Individualistic CEO and Corporate Innovation: Evidence from U.S. Frontier Culture

51 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2021 Last revised: 9 Nov 2021

See all articles by Lei Gao

Lei Gao

George Mason University

Jianlei Han

Macquarie University - Faculty of Business and Economics

Zheyao Pan

Macquarie University

Huixuan Zhang

Macquarie University

Date Written: October 27, 2021

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between CEOs’ individualistic cultural background and corporate innovation among firms in the United States. Using hand-collected data on birthplaces of US-born CEOs, we provide robust evidence that CEOs born in frontier counties with a higher level of individualistic culture promote innovation performance. Firms led by such CEOs increase both quantity and quality of innovation outputs, measured by the number of patents, citation-weighted patents, and the market value of patents, and focus more on breakthrough innovation. Our extended analysis suggests that CEOs with an individualistic background tend to build an innovation-oriented corporate culture and to accumulate human capital by increasing the inflow of inventors, thus promoting corporate innovation.

Keywords: Innovation; Culture; Individualism; Frontier History

JEL Classification: G30; O31; O32; M14; N9

Suggested Citation

Gao, Lei and Han, Jianlei and Pan, Zheyao and Zhang, Huixuan, Individualistic CEO and Corporate Innovation: Evidence from U.S. Frontier Culture (October 27, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3950964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3950964

Lei Gao

George Mason University ( email )

Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/lei-gao/home

Jianlei Han

Macquarie University - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2109
Australia

Zheyao Pan (Contact Author)

Macquarie University ( email )

North Ryde
Sydney, New South Wales 2109
Australia

Huixuan Zhang

Macquarie University ( email )

North Ryde
Sydney, New South Wales 2109
Australia

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