Australian Human Resources


Australian CEOs Greater Risk-Takers Than Americans

October 3 2006 - A comparison of Australian and U.S. CEOs shows American business leaders to be more conservative and reserved while Australians are more fun-loving and risk-taking.

55 Australian CEOs were rated on three personality assessments administered by U.S.-based Hogan Assessment Systems and compared with their database of 8,490 U.S. business leaders from a range of organizations and business sectors. HAS president Robert Hogan and Peter Berry of the Australian Peter Berry Consultancy analyzed the data.

According to Robert Hogan: "The Australians and Americans fit a standard profile for managers and executives - hard-working, socially skilled, and self-confident - but there are interesting and subtle differences." Hogan said that, in general, U.S. CEOs scored higher as conservative and cautious managers, more likely to things by the book. Australian CEOs, on the other hand, tended to be more flexible, risk-taking and action-oriented.

Robert Hogan said the Australians in the study scored more highly on hedonism and social engagement, therefore appearing to be more "fun loving." While the Australians preferred learning to have a practical application, American business leaders valued learning more for the sake of learning.

"These Australians are hard-working, results-oriented executives," said Hogan, commenting that CEOs may sometimes act like politicians in order to climb the corporate hierarchy. "Politician-type CEOs promote themselves. Real leaders promote their organizations."

The Australian CEOs came from a wide range of organizations with annual revenues between $2 million and $450 million and 10 to 8,500 employees. Their ages ranged from 37 to 63, with almost a quarter (23.6%) being women.

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