CEO Power and Risk-Taking: Intermediate Role of Personal Traits
In our paper we discuss how different personal characteristics of a CEO, being affected by CEO power, may in turn affect personal risk-taking. Agency theory states that managers have non-changing risk preferences and are either risk-averse or risk-neutral. In contrast to that, there may be cases, when managers are risk-seekers and power of executives is positively related to excessive risk-taking. Therefore, our aim is to focus specifically on factors that connect CEO power with CEO risk-taking and to analyze possible effects of that relationship on firm. Based on both psychological and managerial studies, we conclude that, on the one hand, CEO’s power can affect CEO’s personal traits by producing (in the case of overconfidence or hubris) or by enhancing them (in case of narcissism). On the other hand, CEO’s personal traits affect CEO’s risk-taking. It can be either by changing the perception of risk or because of behavior patterns inherent to those traits. Finally, we hypothesize that CEO power can affect CEO personal risk-taking through personality traits. By examining relationship between CEO power and CEO risk-taking based on individual-level determinants, our paper adds to the behavioral corporate finance and corporate governance literature.