Studies have shown that risk taking behaviour is primarily driven by personality (eg. Nicholson, Soane, Fenton-O-Creevy & Willman, 2005; Vollrath & Torgersen, 2002; Zuckerman & Kuhlman, 2000).
More specifically, overall risk propensity has been shown to correlate with those who are less conscientious, more sensation seeking and extroverted. Using the Hogan assessments can help to identify those people who are more likely to be seen as risk takers in the workplace. Using the Hogan Personality Inventory HPI and Hogan Development Survey HDS you can determine whether someone is likely to be comfortable taking risks on a daily basis, appearing regularly impulsive and spontaneous (low Prudence from the HPI), whether they are more inclined to take risks without an adequate risk assessment (low Cautious from the HDS) and appear limit-testing, and at times, devious and exploitative when under pressure (high Mischievous from the HDS).
The HDS behaviours in particular can potentially be traced back to a family environment characterised by inconsistency, and as adults this tends to make high Mischievous people charming, friendly and spontaneous, yet also comfortable taking risks and brushing off failure easily. The ambiguity of their upbringing also leads these people to rely on their charm and manipulation to get ahead.
The Motives, Values Preferences Inventory (MVPI) can also add to this picture by explaining why risk takers behave the way they do from a values perspective. People who are seen as risk takers often place a low value on Security. They value working in environments that encourage experimentation, innovation and challenging the status quo. They are likely to be risk takers in their personal life and have a fairly unstructured approach to both their career and life.
If you are looking for someone to challenge your current thinking and push the boundaries, look at these aspects of the Hogan assessments. Remember context is always critical when interpreting Hogan profiles.