Pursuing Greater Good by Reducing Power: CEO Humility, TMT Decentralization, and Ethical Culture

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Humility is increasingly recognized as a highly important attribute for strategic leaders to build successful organizations. However, research on CEO humility has focused on how humble CEOs shape collective perceptions through their interactions and behaviors with other organizational members while ignoring CEOs' critical role in strategic decision-making processes. We address this unexplored aspect of CEO humility by developing a process theory that explains how humble CEOs influence power decentralization at the TMT and subsequently promote organizational ethical culture. Using a sample of CEOs and TMT members from 120 SMEs, we find strong support for our hypotheses.


Academy of Management Proceedings is an online publication that includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the AOM Annual Meeting. It also includes 6-page abridged versions of the Best Papers accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged so that the full length paper may be submitted for future journal publication.