Precarious situations: A prelude to hiring more hubristic chief executive officers

Aaron D. Hill, Tessa Recendes, Yuting Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Research Summary: We build upon evidence suggesting the precariousness of the situation organizations face when trying to fill chief executive officer (CEO) openings affects both which executives seek and accept such positions and which executives are sought and endorsed by those tasked with hiring. We argue that while more precarious situations likely deter some executives from pursuing and/or accepting such opportunities, more hubristic executives' tendencies make them likely to do so despite the associated challenges. Concordantly, those tasked with filling CEO openings likely view more hubristic executives as particularly important for combatting the challenges of more precarious situations, leading them to seek and endorse such executives. Using multiple conceptualizations of precarious situations, we find support for our arguments in a sample of CEO changes in S&P 500 firms. Managerial Summary: Why do organizations select more hubristic executives to fill CEO openings? We answer this question by highlighting the role that situational precariousness plays. Specifically, not all CEO openings are equally attractive to prospective CEOs and not all prospective CEOs are equally attractive to decision makers tasked with filling such openings. We argue and find support for the notion that more hubristic executives' tendencies make them more likely to pursue and accept CEO opportunities at organizations in more precarious situations while those tasked with filling CEO openings likewise believe more hubristic executives' tendencies are particularly important given the precarious situations those organizations face. Our findings advance knowledge of CEO hubris and provide insights for practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-828
Number of pages17
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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