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Is Tall Poppy Syndrome holding New Zealand back?

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21 March 2022

A tendency to cut high achievers down to size, known as Tall Poppy Syndrome, is an often-cited characteristic of New Zealand’s egalitarian culture. Do Kiwis still have a penchant for holding back their best and brightest, despite rapid social changes in recent years?

Jo Kirkwood, a Professor at Otago Polytechnic, aims to find out with a survey gauging current attitudes and collecting experiences with Tall Poppy Syndrome.

Professor Kirkwood first studied Tall Poppy Syndrome over 15 years ago. She says she is “surprised we are still hearing about Tall Poppy Syndrome. By finding out the current situation, we can see where the pain points are and its impacts on people.”

Hearing about Kirkwood’s research, Professor Rod McNaughton, Academic Director of the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), was quick to ask if he could get involved.

McNaughton says, “Jo’s research looks at a barrier to entrepreneurial success in New Zealand that we shy away from discussing. The recent tragic loss of a well-known young entrepreneur, who many think was the victim of Tall Poppy Syndrome, underscores the importance of this research.”

Findings from Kirkwood’s earlier studies show that many entrepreneurs experience Tall Poppy Syndrome, affecting their well-being and impacting their business and how they run it. Kirkwood and McNaughton hope the research will lead to strategies to support New Zealand’s tall poppies in all fields of endeavour.

You can help by completing the 3-5 minute survey on Tall Poppy Syndrome in New Zealand.

TAKE THE SURVEY

University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education
University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education

social media

21 March 2022

A tendency to cut high achievers down to size, known as Tall Poppy Syndrome, is an often-cited characteristic of New Zealand’s egalitarian culture. Do Kiwis still have a penchant for holding back their best and brightest, despite rapid social changes in recent years?

Jo Kirkwood, a Professor at Otago Polytechnic, aims to find out with a survey gauging current attitudes and collecting experiences with Tall Poppy Syndrome.

Professor Kirkwood first studied Tall Poppy Syndrome over 15 years ago. She says she is “surprised we are still hearing about Tall Poppy Syndrome. By finding out the current situation, we can see where the pain points are and its impacts on people.”

Hearing about Kirkwood’s research, Professor Rod McNaughton, Academic Director of the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), was quick to ask if he could get involved.

McNaughton says, “Jo’s research looks at a barrier to entrepreneurial success in New Zealand that we shy away from discussing. The recent tragic loss of a well-known young entrepreneur, who many think was the victim of Tall Poppy Syndrome, underscores the importance of this research.”

Findings from Kirkwood’s earlier studies show that many entrepreneurs experience Tall Poppy Syndrome, affecting their well-being and impacting their business and how they run it. Kirkwood and McNaughton hope the research will lead to strategies to support New Zealand’s tall poppies in all fields of endeavour.

You can help by completing the 3-5 minute survey on Tall Poppy Syndrome in New Zealand.

TAKE THE SURVEY


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