Opinion

Which CEO's have a greater propensity to take risks?

Synopsis: 
A recent academic paper concluded that social background was a determinant in assessing CEOs propensity to take strategic risk. Those from a more privileged background were bigger risk takers.

Our own analysis of the paper suggests that functional background is a also a determinant. Indeed it might be said a greater determinant. Those with an output background (Sales & Marketing) have  a higher propensity for risk taking than those from a general management background. Definitely borne out by my own experience says Oxen Park’s Geoff Booth who has worked with most functions over the years.

You don’t forget your roots: the influence of CEO social class background on strategic risk taking, Jennifer J. Kish-Gephart and Joanna Tochman Campbell, Academy of Management Journal 2015, Vol 58, No 6, pp1614–1636.