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Characteristics of Risk Taking Executives

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Author Info

  • Kenneth R. MacCrimmon

    (Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Y8)

  • Donald A. Wehrung

    (Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Y8)

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    Abstract

    More than 500 top-level business executives were studied to ascertain the validity of common stereotypes of who takes risks and who avoids risks. We began with 13 risk measures based on theoretical grounds, naturally occurring situations, and attitudes. These measures were formed into seven consolidated measures using factor analysis. Data were gathered on numerous socio-economic variables including ones relating to personal, financial, and professional characteristics. When these characteristics were subjected to factor analysis, four main factors emerged. Linear discriminant analysis was used to address the question of whether risk takers can be differentiated from risk averters. The results were surprisingly clearcut. The most successful executives were the biggest risk takers; the most mature executives were the most risk averse.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.36.4.422
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 36 (1990)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 422-435

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:36:y:1990:i:4:p:422-435

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    Related research

    Keywords: risky decisions; risk characteristics; stereotypes; executives; success; discriminant analysis;

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    Cited by:
    1. Lambert, Jérôme & Bessière, Véronique & N’Goala, Gilles, 2012. "Does expertise influence the impact of overconfidence on judgment, valuation and investment decision?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1115-1128.
    2. Mullins, John W. & Forlani, David, 2005. "Missing the boat or sinking the boat: a study of new venture decision making," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 47-69, January.
    3. Coulibaly, Mantiaba, 2010. "Protection de la propriété intellectuelle par le secret et diversité dans les organisations : vers une orientation au risque ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5246, Paris Dauphine University.
    4. Gerlinde Fellner & Boris Maciejovsky, . "Risk Attitude and Market Behavior: Evidence from Experimental Asset Markets," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-34, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    5. Menapace, Luisa & Colson, Gregory, 2012. "On the Validity of Gamble Tasks to Assess Farmers' Risk Attitudes," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124601, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Imas, Alex, 2013. "Experimental methods: Eliciting risk preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 43-51.
    7. van der Pol, Marjon & Ruggeri, Matteo, 2008. "Is risk attitude outcome specific within the health domain?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 706-717, May.
    8. Deck, Cary & Lee, Jungmin & Reyes, Javier A. & Rosen, Christopher C., 2013. "A failed attempt to explain within subject variation in risk taking behavior using domain specific risk attitudes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-24.
    9. Brian Hill, 2009. "Living without state-independence of utilities," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 67(4), pages 405-432, October.
    10. Ali Choudhary & Paul Levine, 2003. "Self-Stabilizing Firms and Unemployment Persistence," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0303, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    11. Kalogeras, Nikos & Pennings, Joost M.E., 2013. "Marketing Cooperatives' Equity Sources: An Empirical Study," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150701, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Enrico Santarelli & Hien Tran, 2013. "The interplay of human and social capital in shaping entrepreneurial performance: the case of Vietnam," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 435-458, February.
    13. Nielsen, Thea & Zeller, Manfred, 2013. "The Impact of Shocks on Risk Preference Changes between Seasons for Smallholder Farmers in Vietnam," 53rd Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, September 25-27, 2013 156101, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    14. Ali Choudhary & Paul Levine, 2004. "Can Risk Aversion in Firms Reduce Unemployment Persistence?," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0704, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    15. Catalina POPESCU & Ion DOBRE, 2011. "On The Correlated Impact Of The Factors Of Risk Aversion On Decision-Making," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 1(4), pages 4, June.
    16. Xiaoxiao Hu & Xiaofei Xie, 2012. "Validation of the Domain-Specific Risk-Taking Scale in Chinese college students," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(2), pages 181-188, March.

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