TitleCelebrity CEO, Identity Threat, and Impression Management: Impact of Celebrity Status on Corporate Social Responsibility
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLee, G, Cho, SYul, Arthurs, J, Lee, EKyung
JournalJournal of Business Research
Date Published2020
KeywordsDoctoral Program, MBA, Strategy & Entrepreneurship

In this study, we examine the impact of CEO celebrity status on the propensity of firms to
engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Integrating identity and impression management
theories, we argue that a firm’s engagement in CSR activities is affected by a celebrity CEO’s
impression management motive to maintain his/her identity and status as a celebrity. We then
explore three boundary conditions under which the effects of celebrity status on CSR may be
strengthened. We find that celebrity CEOs’ engagement in CSR activities as an impression
management tactic increases when uncertainty surrounding a firm’s expected performance is
high, when firm performance is low, and the competitive intensity of the industry is high. The
findings of this study provide useful insights into the specific ways by which celebrity CEOs
attempt to protect their established status and reputation. This paper contributes to various
domains of research concerning CEOs, impression management, and CSR.