Company performance when the CEO shows care

Hot off the presses at Academy of Management Discoveries is this new paper about leaders who express compassion. Basically, if a CEO expressed concern for people during Covid-era earnings calls, their companies had better stock performance. This is true even if their statements were “vague expressions.”

It’s a gated paper, but I’ve linked to the pre-publication version at SSRN.

“When we explored archival data of how CEOs of publicly traded U.S.-based companies from the Russell 3000 Index spoke about COVID-19 in conference calls as the pandemic began in 2020, we noticed that about half of CEOs made human care statements that expressed a concern for people, with seemingly little direct financial relevance. However, although these statements were largely generic, vague expressions rather than clear plans, we discovered that the more such statements CEOs made, the better their companies fared on the stock market when stock prices tumbled globally…Our explorations suggest that it pays off for CEOs to go beyond mere financial information and show some humanity, with implications for downstream theorizing about CEO impression management.”

CEOs Showing Humanity: Seemingly Generic Human Care Statements in Conference Calls and Stock Market Performance During Crisis | Howe, et al


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Written by

Aaron Miller

Aaron Miller

Provo, UT