Continuing our conversation of CEO activism and speaking out on controversial issues with Aaron Chatterji, associate professor at Duke Un...
Do CEO Activists Make a Difference? Evidence from a Field Experiment
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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.