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CEO Personality: A Different Perspective on the Nonfamily Versus Family CEO Debate

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Based on a unique, hand-collected data set, we examine the personality traits of nonfamily and family CEOs in privately held Belgian family firms using the Occupational Personality Questionnaire. We find significant differences between nonfamily and family CEOs with regard to nine personality traits: independent minded, democratic, data rational, behavioral, detail conscious, conscientious, relaxed, worrying, and trusting. The findings suggest a very balanced personality profile for nonfamily CEOs and a rather strong-willed personality for family CEOs. Moreover, while the results suggest that the personalities of nonfamily CEOs matter for firm performance, no such indications were revealed for family CEOs.

    Research areas

  • nonfamily CEO, family CEO, personality, occupational personality questionnaire, upper echelons theory, ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE, STRATEGY, Occupational Personality Questionnaire, SUCCESSION, JOB COMPETENCES, UPPER ECHELONS, PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT, SOCIOEMOTIONAL WEALTH, LEADERSHIP, FIRM PERFORMANCE, VALIDITY
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-57
Number of pages27
Journalfamily business review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019