CEO pilots bolder in decision-making

The study links the personality traits of high flying executives with mergers and acquisitions.
It was co-authored by Stephen McKeon and Matthew Cain, assistant professors of finance at the Universities of Oregon and Notre Dame, respectively.

"CEOs who seek thrills in their personal lives are more likely than others to be aggressive in their corporate policies," McKeon said.

"They also tend to be effective leaders. If anything, these CEOs execute acquisitions that are more value-creating than those completed by other executives."

McKeon and Cain compared 179 corporate executives who hold private pilots' licences to 2,900 non-pilot CEOs, according to an Oregon statement.

The Sensation Seeking Scale, designed by psychologist Marvin Zuckerman and used in hundreds of psychological studies, identifies the desire to fly airplanes as a very high predictor of thrill and adventure-seeking traits.

The authors identified these CEOs by searching the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) certification database and other public records. FAA manages air safety and air-traffic control in US.

Their study suggests that managing a public corporation may serve as a creative release and draw out abilities that can be beneficial to the executives' firms.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
Comments (+)