A moral foundations perspective on CEO political ideology and (ir)responsible behavior

Kowalzick, Marc ; Appels, Moritz ; Woywode, Michael

Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2023
Conference title: EGOS 2023, 39th EGOS Colloquium
Location of the conference venue: Cagliari, Italy
Date of the conference: 06.-08.07.2023
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Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Mittelstandsforschung u. Entrepreneurship (Woywode 2007-)
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (ifm)
Subject: 330 Economics
Abstract: As an integral component of their value system, CEOs’ political ideology has come to be regarded a major determinant for (ir)responsible behaviors. Yet, prior work remains inconclusive on whether it is a more liberal or a more conservative ideological leaning that leads CEOs to engage in more or less (ir)responsible behavior. We argue that this is, at least partly, due to a reliance on the theory of political ideology as motivated cognition rather than the consideration of ideological differences from the perspective of moral psychology. Integrating moral foundations theory into the upper echelons perspective, we theorize that what distinguishes the (ir)responsibility of liberal versus conservative-leaning CEOs may at times be its nature rather than its degree and depend on individual and contextual characteristics. Correspondingly, we show that higher degrees of liberalism and conservatism induce CEOs to increasingly engage in higher degrees of responsible behavior (CSR). In the domain of irresponsible behavior, we likewise observe comparability in CEOs’ degree of earnings management and demonstrate that liberal and conservative-leaning CEOs’ ways of managing earnings follow their ideological reliance on differential moral foundations.
Additional information: Session IV, 7.7.2023 9-13 Uhr

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