Assessing the Impact of CEO Activism
Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 16-100
37 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2016 Last revised: 22 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 9, 2019
CEO activism refers to corporate leaders speaking out on social and environmental policy issues not directly related to their company’s core business. Distinct from nonmarket strategy and traditional corporate social responsibility, the recent wave of CEO activism focuses on social issues unrelated to their core business, ranging from environmental issues to LGBTQ rights and race relations. In the first study of this phenomenon, we implement two framed field experiments to provide evidence on how CEO activism can influence public opinions about government policies and consumer attitudes about the CEO’s company.
Keywords: business and society, corporate social policy, leadership, social activism, values
JEL Classification: M1, M14, M38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation