Do You Have the CEO Type Personality?

Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology, 2016
Article: Distinguishing CEOs from Top Level Management: A Profile Analysis of Individual Differences, Career Paths, and Demographics
Reviewed by: Ashlyn Patterson

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) hold unique positions in their organizations. They are ultimately responsible for decisions that are made and strategies that are executed. They are, however, not alone. Members of top management teams work with the CEO and are highly influential and essential to organizational effectiveness. Both the CEO and top management teams work together to ensure that the business succeeds. What separates a CEO from other top managers? Recent research (Booth, Murray, Overduin, Matthews & Furnham, 2016) explored cognitive, personality, and career path differences to understand if a “CEO type” exists.


These Four Things Lead to Team Success

Publication: Harvard Business Review, 2016
Article: The Secrets of Great Teamwork
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

Great basketball players know that no matter how good a shot they are, they need to pass the ball sometimes to achieve team success. They are not always going to have a clear look at the basket, and at times they may be fully surrounded by members of the opposing team. Rather than risk a failed shot, they would be wise to pass the ball to teammates who can bring home victory.

Work-teams—much like sports teams—are a collection of distinct individuals with a common goal: success. Whether that work-team is a cluster of students working on a class assignment, or a group of c-suite executives supporting their CEO, teammates must be able to trust each other and must be committed to the betterment of the group.

The authors (Haas & Mortensen, 2016) describe today’s work-teams as “4-D” – diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic. Based on their research and experience they offer four enabling conditions that encourage team effectiveness, and will set up your team for success.


Compelling Direction

At the core of every team and collection of people is their shared goal. This is the team’s collective mission and purpose, or the end result its members are trying to achieve. Goals need to be challenging (but attainable) outcomes that team-members care about. They should be objectives that team members can feel energized and motivated to work towards.

Strong Structure

Every good team functions under a set of rules, whether explicitly outlined or implied. For example, a team may create screening criteria, or set a cap on the number of new joiners it will allow at a given time. Team members may be expected to complete assigned tasks, and to treat other teammates respectfully.

Supportive Context

You can’t do your best work if you don’t have access to the information you need, or when you’re working with ineffective tools and technologies. Positive reinforcement and effective training can go a long way to support high performance and inspire dedication.

Shared Mindset

Fostering community and a shared understanding is key. Team members must feel like they are each valued contributors working toward a common goal. A shared mindset encourages members to move past their differences and frustrations, and to see the big picture and end goal.


Team effectiveness can be evaluated in many ways, but the authors suggest rating your team on the following three criteria: output, collaborative ability, and individual development. Are your team’s clients, customers, or stakeholders happy with your output? How well does your team work together? To what extent are team members learning and growing?

Winning teams make full use of the unique talents of each of their members to achieve synergistic ends. You don’t need a referee to make this call. Team for success and set your team up for a slam dunk!

Haas, M. & Mortensen, M. (2016). The Secrets of Great Work Teams. Harvard Business Review, 94(6), 71-76.

How Managers Can Become Leaders

Publication: The Leadership Quarterly, 2016
Article: When managers become leaders: The role of manager network centralities, social power, and followers’ perception of leadership
Reviewed by: Ashlyn Patterson

It is easier said than done, but managers can become leaders. First, imagine you’re a newly appointed manager who has some decision making power and a few direct reports. Although your role as a manager brings with it formal authority, you don’t really feel like a leader yet. What can you do to be seen as more of a leader? What are the important qualities that transform a manager into a leader? Researchers (Chiu, Balkundi, & Weinberg, 2016) recently discovered the role of social networks in determining whether or not managers were perceived as leaders. (more…)

The Best Combination of Leadership and Organizational Culture

Leadership and organizational culture are two very important parts of I-O Psychology. Yet, researchers are still discovering how the two concepts interact with each other to drive organizational performance. For example, are certain types of leaders more beneficial in certain organizational cultures? New research (Hartnell, Kinicki, Schurer Lambert, Fugate, & Doyle Corner, 2016) considers two different types of organizational culture and two different types of leadership behavior. The results show that CEO behavior can be more effective by tailoring it based on the type of organizational culture already in place.


How to Increase the Proportion of Women in Higher-Level Management Positions

Publication: The Leadership Quarterly, 2016
Article: Help or hindrance? Work-life practices and women in management
Reviewed by: Ashlyn Patterson

How do we increase the proportion of women in higher-level management positions? One strategy organizations take involves implementing work-life practices. The theory is that giving women greater control over their work schedules and reducing the burden of family responsibilities will help women stay in the workforce and perform better, making them more likely to get promotions. In reality, do work-life practices actually help women reach higher levels of management? The researchers (Kalysh, Kulik & Perera, 2016) analyzed data over a twelve-year period from 675 organizations in Australia to find out.


How Can Leaders Effectively Manage Employees’ Negative Emotions?

Publication: Leadership Quarterly (2016)
Article: The role of leader emotion management in leader-member exchange and follower outcomes
Reviewed by: Kevin Leung

Leaders often have to deal with employees’ negative emotions. Whether employees are feeling anxious about a project, feeling sad about being turned down for promotion, or feeling angry about being unfairly treated, leaders play a part in managing these emotions. New research (Little, Gooty, & Williams, 2016) has shown that how these emotions get handled can affect employees’ performance and how they feel about their jobs.


How Childhood Social Class Influences CEO Risk Taking

Publication: Academy of Management Journal
Article: You don’t forget your roots: The influence of CEO social class background on strategic risk taking
Reviewed by: Kayla Weaver

The American Dream symbolizes the opportunity for individuals from any social class or background to achieve occupational success via a “rags to riches” transformation. In fact, some of the most successful CEOs were born into very humble beginnings, including Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Ursula Burns (Xerox), and Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs).


Power Disparity on Teams: Now We Know When It Works

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: When Does Power Disparity Help or Hurt Group Performance?
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Power is what makes people obey even when they don’t want to, and power disparity on teams refers to a situation in which power is not evenly distributed among team members. Imagine a situation in which a powerful and experienced executive works with several junior associates on a project. This might be called high power disparity, because one person will have all of the power.


Can Leadership or Climate Influence Underreporting of Workplace Accidents?

Workplace accidents threaten the lives or well-being of employees, and if that’s not enough of a reason to prevent them, they are also very costly to organizations. Missed work time, potential lawsuits, and increases in health care costs are all among many reasons why accidents affect an organization’s bottom line. But if organizations want to reduce the likelihood of accidents, they need to be aware of their occurrences. Labor statistics vary, but all estimate that the majority of workplace accidents go unreported. New research (Probst, 2015) uncovers two factors that influence the degree to which accidents go unreported.


Transformational Leadership: Good for You and Good for Them

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (Online First Publication, 2015)
Article: Benefits of Transformational Behaviors for Leaders: A Daily Investigation of Leader Behaviors and Need Fulfillment
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Transformational leadership is characterized by motivating, inspiring, and coaching employees to achieve change and innovation. As you can imagine, research has supported the benefits of this leadership style for the followers of such an inspirational leader. For example, research has found that followers of transformational leaders have greater job satisfaction and more creativity. But new research (Lanaj, Johnson, & Lee, 2015) has found that transformational leadership is also beneficial to the leader. How does that happen?