Assessing the Impact of CEO Activism
23 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2016 Last revised: 25 Apr 2018
Date Written: December 19, 2017
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.
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