When CEO Sociopolitical Activism Attracts New Talents: Exploring the Conditions Under Which CEO Activism Increases Job Pursuit Intentions

24 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2019

See all articles by Christian Voegtlin

Christian Voegtlin

Audencia Business School; University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration; University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology

Andrew Crane

University of Bath - School of Management

Laura Noval

Imperial College London

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Research on employer attractiveness has investigated the relation between various signals sent by the organization and the attractiveness of the organization as a potential employer, but has so far neglected the role the CEO can play in this process. We investigate through a series of experimental studies, how and under what conditions a specific signal, i.e., CEO sociopolitical activism, affects job pursuit intentions. CEO sociopolitical activism receives increasing attention, both from scholars and practitioners, as we see more and more CEOs publicly voicing their opinions on socially contentious issues. However, there is to date very limited understanding of the effects such activism has on the organization. Drawing on signaling theory, we argue that the effect depends on the political stance CEOs take: CEOs campaigning for humanistic values will increase job pursuit intentions when compared to CEOs remaining neutral, while CEOs campaigning for non-humanistic values will decrease job pursuit intentions when compared to neutral or humanistic CEOs. We argue that the process is mediated by how far potential job applicants perceive that the CEO is acting according to her or his role and moderated by CEO gender. We test our hypotheses in five studies, using an experimental between-subjects factorial design where participants are randomly assigned to one of different scenarios of CEO political activism (or non-activism). Except for the moderation of gender, we find support for our hypotheses and discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

Keywords: CEO sociopolitical activism, job pursuit intentions, employer attractiveness, signaling theory, role theory

Suggested Citation

Voegtlin, Christian and Crane, Andrew and Noval, Laura, When CEO Sociopolitical Activism Attracts New Talents: Exploring the Conditions Under Which CEO Activism Increases Job Pursuit Intentions (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3410382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3410382

Christian Voegtlin (Contact Author)

Audencia Business School ( email )

8 Road Joneliere
BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, 44312
France

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Universitätsstr. 84
CH-8006 Zürich, 8006
Switzerland

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zürich, 8032
Switzerland

Andrew Crane

University of Bath - School of Management ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bath.ac.uk/management/faculty/andrew-crane.html

Laura Noval

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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