Analysis

Business Chemistry CxO study methodology

The Deloitte Greenhouse™ Experience team recently completed a study on the Business Chemistry types of 661 C-Suite executives, finding two of four primary Business Chemistry types—which highlight both similarities and differences in working styles—account for nearly two-thirds of the sample. Here is the methodology behind our research.

CxOs

Our sample of CxOs is made up of 661 US-based executives who have self-identified as holding a C-suite role in an organization of more than 100 employees. Most of them serve moderate to large organizations. More than 500 organizations are represented overall, with a relatively even distribution across industries.

Size of organizations served by CxOs in our sample

Thirty-two percent of the CxOs in the sample are women. 32 percent are CIOs, 20 percent CFOs, 14 percent CEOs, 9 percent CHROs, 5 percent CMOs, and 20 percent hold other C-suite roles.

Each participant took the Business Chemistry assessment online between the periods of October 2012 and November 2016. Participants and their roles were validated using external information sources such as LinkedIn and organization websites.

The margin of error for the full sample of 661 CxOs is +/-4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. In other words, while 36 percent of the CxOs in our sample were identified as Pioneers, a 4 point margin of error means we can be reasonably confident that were we able to assess all c-suite leaders in the US the percentage of Pioneers would be somewhere between 32 percent and 40 percent. Likewise, the range for the percentage of Drivers would be 25 percent to 33 percent, for Guardians would be 14 percent to 22 percent, and for Integrators would be 13 percent to 21 percent. A statistically significant difference exists between values when their confidence intervals do not overlap.

Margins of error are higher for the various sub-samples of CxOs categorized by function, organization size, industry, and gender.

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Because the sample included a disproportionate number of men and of CIOs compared to other C-suite roles, we explored how representation of the Business Chemistry types in the C-suite could be impacted by a more equal distribution between women and men and across CxO roles. Weighting scores to reflect such distributions resulted in slight changes in the proportions of Business Chemistry types, but the overall representation was similar, with Pioneers being most common, followed by Drivers.

Stress

Our stress study includes two samples of professionals of varying levels working inside and outside Deloitte, in the US and elsewhere. Participants represent more than 1,300 organizations across various industries and 120 countries overall.

Stress sample 1 is comprised of 23,597 professionals who, during the period of November 2014 to June 2015, completed the Business Chemistry assessment online and also answered questions about their current and general stress levels, and about how stressful they find 15 workplace events and situations to be.

Stress sample 2 is comprised of 17,008 professionals who, during the period of June 2015 to October 2015, completed the Business Chemistry assessment online and also answered questions about how effective they are under stress and how often they use 12 different coping strategies.

The margin error for both samples is less than 2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, for all Business Chemistry types.

Aspirations

Our aspirations study includes 13,885 professionals of varying levels working outside Deloitte, in the US and elsewhere. Participants represent more than 1,200 organizations across various industries and 115 countries overall.

During the period of February 2016 to November 2016 participants completed the Business Chemistry assessment online and also answered questions about their career aspirations, career priorities, and the working conditions under which they thrive. The aspirations question asked respondents to select their top three aspirations out of a list of 10. The margin error for this sample is less than two percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, for all Business Chemistry types.

Quotes

The quotes in this report are drawn from a sample of 142 Deloitte professionals who completed the Business Chemistry assessment online, and in September of 2015 answered a series of open-ended questions about perceptions of the Business Chemistry types.

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