A survey of the backgrounds of 74 company presidents in the fields of banking, insurance, and industry in the Houston, Texas, area with implications of uses that might be made of the results
Purpose: The study was made to gain information which would be used as a guide by students of business to indicate the education, abilities, traits, and experiences that are useful in obtaining executive positions in the fields of banking, insurance, and industry. Also, the purpose was to determine what opinions, recommendations, requirements, hiring policies, and preferences company presidents in these fields have regarding the desirable and undesirable traits of executive employees. Methods: The questionnaire method was used to make this study. Library research was used as a secondary source of information pertaining to similar studies that have been made in this field. Findings: Findings of this study were similar to those of other studies made on this subject. 1. Most of the executives obtained their positions through business associates or through recommendations of their friends. 2. Most management positions in these companies had been filled by promotions. 3. The presidents believed that lack of experience and knowledge, bad work habits, poor employment records, and personal appearance are the main things that keep applicants for executive positions from being hired. 4. In this study the presidents thought laziness, inability to work with people, lack of initiative, and reluctance to assume responsibility are the main reasons executives fail to perform their duties. 5. Weakness in the ability to motivate self, handle people well, think creatively, analyze problems, and discipline self were considered the greatest handicaps to the advancement of executives. 6. For a person preparing for a career in management, business administration was considered desirable for undergraduate study; busines administration, law, or economics were thought to be desirable for graduate study. 7. The subjects that were most useful in helping the presidents reach presidency were: accounting, salesmanship, and engineering. The least useful subject they believed to be history. 8. The presidents believed the five leadership characteristics most desirable in hiring a person for an executive position, ranked in one, two, three, four, five, order, are: intelligence, initiative, judgement, drive, and personality. 9. Few of the companies represented had management training programs although many of the company presidents had participated in company-sponsored training programs at other companies.