Do CEO Activists Make a Difference? Evidence from a Field Experiment

Citation data:

SSRN Electronic Journal

Publication Year:
2017
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SSRN
SSRN Id:
2742209
DOI:
10.2139/ssrn.2742209
Author(s):
Chatterji, Aaron ; Toffel, Michael W.
Publisher(s):
Elsevier BV
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article description
CEO activism refers to corporate leaders speaking out on social and environmental policy issues not directly related to their company’s core business. In the first study of this phenomenon, we investigate how CEO activism can influence public opinion about these issues and consumer attitudes about the CEO’s company. Using an experiment, we find that CEO activism can sway public opinion and increase consumers’ intentions to purchase the company’s products. However, we find that these two effects depend on the alignment between the CEO’s message and individuals’ policy preferences.