CEO characteristics

a review of influential publications and a research agenda

Yun Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper provides a systematic review of literature pertaining to CEO characteristics and firm performance. The CEO of a firm provides critical leadership, social capital, and legitimacy, and as such exerts significant influence on firm performance. By using a bibliographic mapping approach, we identify the fifty‐one most influential publications on CEO characteristics. This field has developed from a few Upper Echelon Theory publications into four distinct categories. We review each of these to identify the main contributions to this research area and to outline research gaps and future research trends.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalAccounting & Finance
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • CEO characteristics
  • Corporate finance
  • Upper echelon

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