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Cheap talk? Strategy Presentations as a Form of Chief Executive Officer Impression Management

by Richard Whittington, Basak Yakis-Douglas, Kwangwon Ahn

ARTICLE | Strategic Management Journal | Forthcoming


We develop and test a set of hypotheses on investors’ reactions to a specific form of impression management, public presentations of overall strategy by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). Contrary to expectations from a ‘cheap talk’ perspective, we suggest that such strategy presentations convey valuable information to investors, especially in conditions of heightened information asymmetry associated with varying types of new CEOs. Broad empirical support for our theoretical arguments is shown in a sample of strategy presentations carried out by NYSE and NASDAQ listed organizations over 10 years. Our research contributes to literature on new CEOs and impression management. We draw out implications both for management and for further research.