Competing with Superstars

Management Science, 62(10), 2016, 2842-2858

Posted: 4 Jun 2015 Last revised: 10 Nov 2016

See all articles by Manuel Ammann

Manuel Ammann

University of St. Gallen - School of Finance

Philipp Horsch

University of St. Gallen

David Oesch

University of Zurich

Date Written: April 20, 2016


This paper investigates the effect of superstar CEOs on their competitors. Exploiting shocks to CEO status due to prestigious media awards, we document a significant positive stock market performance of competitors of superstar CEOs subsequent to the award. The effect is more pronounced for competitors who have not received an Award themselves, who are geographically close to an award winner and who are not entrenched. We observe an increase in risk-taking, operating performance and Innovation activity of superstars’ competitors as potential channels for this positive performance. Our results suggest a positive overall welfare impact of corporate superstar systems due to the incentivizing effect on superstars’ competitors.

Keywords: Competition, Firm performance, Risk-taking, Innovation, Awards, CEO

JEL Classification: G30, G31, G32, G34, J31, J33, L25

Suggested Citation

Ammann, Manuel and Horsch, Philipp and Oesch, David, Competing with Superstars (April 20, 2016). Management Science, 62(10), 2016, 2842-2858, Available at SSRN:

Manuel Ammann (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen - School of Finance ( email )

Unterer Graben 21
St.Gallen, CH-9000

Philipp Horsch

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000

David Oesch

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006

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