ONLINE: The Hard Power Of Soft Power: A behavioral strategy perspective on how power, reputation, and status affect firms



Because of the Corona restrictions this PhD Defence will take place via

This dissertation seeks to shed light on how evaluations by financial markets affect firm decision making and how strategic decisions are evaluated by those markets in three empirical studies. By approaching these issues through the lenses of power, reputation and status, this dissertation reveals some important insights. The first study shows that the kind of power held by a CEO determines the extent to which firms invest in R&D when financial analysts voice concerns regarding the future prospects of a previously successful firm. While CEO prestige power is instrumental in boosting R&D investment, CEO expert, structural and ownership power hinders it. The second study shows that building a strong growth or dividend reputation helps firms who are engaging in acquisitions to maintain positive relationships with investors. This is even more the case when firms communicate in their acquisition announcements how the acquisition is meant to exceed the expectations that investors have of firms, based on their growth or dividend reputations. Finally, the third study reveals that investors react positively to information released by firms with high-status CEOs not because of the CEO’s status per se, but because those CEOs use less powerful language to communicate to investors, which investors prefer. Overall, this dissertation demonstrates how unpacking the effects of power, reputation and status on decision-making and evaluation could help to advance behavioral strategy research.