Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14095
The picture of an ideal CEO body
|Title:||The picture of an ideal CEO body|
|Year:||2015 Language: eng|
|Department:||Department of Management Studies|
|Academic subject:||MSc program in Management and International Business|
|Index terms:||johtaminen; management; työ; work; ammatit; professions; imago; image; yrityskuva; company image; johtajat; managers; visuaalinen; visual; diskurssianalyysi; discourse analysis|
|Key terms:||CEO, body, visual, aesthetic, embodiment, discourse analysis|
The picture of the modern day CEO and his/her body can be seen plastered around various forms of media ranging from magazine covers to internet news sites. It is easy to visualize the late Steve Jobs in his pullover and faded jeans, Richard Branson with his flowing blond hair or Warren Buffet in his suit and white shirt. However, what makes a certain body ideal for a CEO is less easy to imagine. Previous research has concentrated on finding a certain quantifiable ideal such as the ideal height. In this research, however, a picture of the ideal CEO body in its entirety is drawn.
The theoretical framework of this research relies on two pillars: visual, aesthetic and embodied perspectives and discourse analysis. The research uses a qualitative methodology for which the material was collected by focus group interviews. The empirical material for this research consists of three focus group interviews, which each has 3-5 participants with different backgrounds, with two groups of students and one group of executive search consultants. In the first phase of the analysis of the conversation material five discourses were identified from which, after several iterations, three remained.
The three discourses identified were: the metamorphosis discourse, the adaptability discourse and the athletic discourse. In the metamorphosis discourse the change the ideal CEO body has gone through over time and is still on-going was in focus. In the adaptability discourse the CEO's capability to transform their appearance according to the industry or situation was emphasized. In the last, the athletic discourse, the fitness, healthy appearance and energy of the CEO constructed part of the picture of an ideal CEO body.
According to this research, the picture of an ideal CEO body is drawn out, as showing the CEO as being able to keep up with the time he/she is in but also being able to adapt to single situations or events presented with the work. Being fit and showing energy is important, as the CEO is seen not only to present himself but the company he/she works for. Also, the CEO has to show physical capabilities to face the challenges presented by the work while simultaneously emitting energy to his followers. The picture of the ideal CEO body is in constant evolvement changing both with the time and the context it is in.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.