Language and Decision Making: Board Members and the Investment in the Future

44 Pages Posted: 6 May 2021

See all articles by Florian Rottner

Florian Rottner

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Date Written: May 4, 2021

Abstract

Recent research has shown that the grammatical representation of the future in languages influences how future-oriented an individual behaves in her private life. In this paper, I examine whether this effect of language characteristics on a person’s behaviour is also evident in the business world. I test the hypothesis that companies with board members whose native language grammatically separates the present from the future are less future-oriented. I find significant effects of the inflectional marking of the future in one language on the growth rate of a company’s intangible assets, which I use as a benchmark for its future orientation.

Keywords: Language Structure, Future Tense, Research and Development Activities

JEL Classification: O10, O30, Z13

Suggested Citation

Rottner, Florian, Language and Decision Making: Board Members and the Investment in the Future (May 4, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3839949 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3839949

Florian Rottner (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

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