Click to view CEO Attitudes and Motivations:
Are They Different for High-Performing Organizations?

Milan D. Larson, University of Northern Colorado
John R. Latham, Monfort Institute at the University of Northern Colorado
Charles A. Appleby, Appleby and Associates
Carl L. Harshman, Harshman & Associates

This article details the findings from an exploratory, mixed-method, multiple case study on the motivational and attitudinal patterns (MAPs) of CEOs who have led successful organization transformations. The paper identifies six differentiating MAPs based on the analysis of results from the iWAM survey and in-depth interviews with Baldrige Award recipient CEOs. Using quantitative and qualitative analysis methods, the authors found that CEOs from Baldrige Award recipient companies have six identifiable differences when it comes to motivation and attitudes associated with their role of transforming organizations to achieve performance excellence including: need to drive continuous evolution, high focus on systems, low need for sole responsibility, high focus on learning from the past, high focus on information, and low tolerance for actions that are inconsistent with the values of the organization. These six patterns are consistent with the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Implications of these findings also serve as a facilitator for the development of leaders of performance excellence, as well as future research directions.