Now showing 1 - 10 of 96
  • Publication
    A Good Reputation: Protection against Shareholder Activism
    (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-02) ;
    Simcic Bronn, Peggy
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    When shareholders become dissatisfied with a public company's policies or actions, they may resort to activist interventions. Shareholder activism has been described as an attempt to resolve agency conflicts by directly influencing management or board decisions. Shareholder activism may be incited by a lack of focus on shareholder value, a misalignment of corporate governance or a number of social and environmental policy issues. Over recent years, shareholder activism has become more frequent, professional and costly to corporations. Large, visible companies are held to be most susceptible to activist interventions, potentially damaging their corporation reputation. In this study, we analyze the effect of a good corporate reputation on the susceptibility of public companies to shareholder interventions in the form of proxy fights. We consider both the frequency and success of shareholder proposals and differentiate the effect of corporate reputation by issues context. Our findings indicate that a good corporate reputation serves as a two-fold inoculation against shareholder interventions, reducing both the frequency and success of proxy fights.
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    Scopus© Citations 14
  • Publication
    An Inquiry into the Transformation of the PR Roles' Concept
    Purpose Recent years have seen resurgent interest in professionalism in public relations, with several initiatives to enquire about the state of the communication profession and its part in organizational strategy. This article discusses the findings of a quantitative investigation into the work roles of European communication professionals. In particular, our research investigates different professional roles, as developed in previous roles research, while taking a particular look at managerial role enactment. Design/methodology/approach We report the findings of an explorative study among 551 European communication professionals. The measures are used in this study are closely aligned with previous roles research, but modernized. We analyzed the data with factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Findings We unfold four distinct contemporary managerial tasks ("diagnosis", "coaching", "liaison" and "execution"), extending previous research rooted in distinguishing these managerial tasks from more technical ones. As a result we show that (1) managerial role enactment is predominately determined by education and work experience, with a diminishing gender gap when it comes to performing managerial tasks alone, and (2) that these roles just partly relate to salary but highly relate to job satisfaction, particularly when it comes to taking part in management decision making (tasks that require responsibility, accountability, job diversity and also an analytical, strategic mindset). Originality/value The results of our study point to the further transformation of the PR Roles' concept, turning a more execution oriented job profile into a more managerial and strategically oriented profession.
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    Scopus© Citations 14
  • Publication
    With a little help of my peers : The supportive role of online contacts for the unemployed
    Unemployment is an unfortunate reality, whose overcoming often depends on social support, among other factors. Online social media, such as social network sites and communities, may offer an additional source of such support for unemployed people. This paper posits that online social support plays an important role in unemployed people's ability to cope with unemployment and search for new employment. The paper develops and tests a structural equation model of the influence of online-mediated, enabling and caring social support on job search self-efficacy, which may foster the job search behaviour of unemployed persons. In addition, we control for gender, age, user experience, and attitude towards the Internet. Based on 1322 telephone interviews with unemployed individuals in Germany, we find that online social support drives job search behaviour. Our results show that social support derived from new information and communication technology counteracts the adverse effect of being unemployed to a certain degree. Enabling support and caring support experienced through social media both lead to higher job search self-efficacy, which, in turn, fosters job search behaviour. Furthermore, our model shows that these relationships differ by gender, age, user experience, and attitude towards the Internet.
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  • Publication
    Investor relations beyond financials : Non-financial factors and capital market image building
    Purpose - In this paper, the authors aim to identify a range of non-financial factors that play a role in the formation of a company's image, and ultimately its valuation, on capital markets. By identifying and highlighting their relative importance to the perceptions of equity analysts, the authors seek to show that investor relations are best understood as a strategic communication function rather than a mere purveyor of pure financials. Design/methodology/approach - The findings are based on a two-tiered approach, relying on qualitative interview data collected among 42 equity analysts and a subsequent exploratory factor analysis performed on data obtained from a survey among 134 buy- and sell-side analysts. Findings - The authors argue that equity analysts consider the following eight categories of non-financial information when forming an impression of a company: the stakeholder relations of an organization, its corporate governance, its corporate social responsibility, its reputation and brand, the quality of its management, and its strategic consistency. One of the most important factors, however, is the quality of a company's communication, which underscores the strategic role that the investor relations function should play in fostering positive capital market relations. Research limitations/implications - Being explorative in nature, the categories and scales proposed need further validation. Furthermore, in future research, it would be worthwhile to explore not only the role of non-financials in image formation but also the interplay between financials and non-financials in image formation. Practical implications - Investor relations professionals should consider the factors presented in this study in their work in order to ensure that they cater to the actual information needs of capital market participants. The consideration of non-financial factors enhances the quality of financial communications. It also enriches the understanding of the strategic communication tasks of the investor relations department. Originality/value - This paper describes an empirical analysis of the management of corporate relationships with financial audiences, a stakeholder group increasingly focused on by communications research. It represents a contribution to the further establishment of investor relations as a strategic communication function.
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    Scopus© Citations 49
  • Publication
    On the corporate social responsibility perceptions of equity analysts
    (Blackwell, 2011-04-01)
    The importance of communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) not only to socially responsible investors but also to the mainstream of the financial community is gaining importance in a more competitive capital market environment. This article looks at how equity analysts at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt - individuals who are not particularly involved in socially responsible investment (SRI) research - perceive economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibility strategies. The evidence obtained in our interviews suggests that responsibility issues are increasingly becoming part of mainstream investment analysis. However, for them to play a larger part in the future, investor relations personnel must frame responsibility strategies in a way that is more consistent with the financial community's perspective. In particular, the impact of CSR measures on strategic development, competitive anticipation and creating trust with stakeholders are key in leveraging CSR in financial communications.
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    Scopus© Citations 77
  • Publication
    On Relational Capital in Social Media
    (Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research, 2010)
    Etter, Michael
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    Stakeholder relationships become increasingly important as new communication technologies en-able interest groups to communicate their demands, organize themselves and voice their concerns with ease. In this changing stakeholder environment, the creation and maintenance of relational social capital relies not only on communication in classical media alone but also on the various online channels summarized by the term "social media." Utilizing a literature study and expert interviews, this article explores how organizations engage in creating and maintaining relational social capital by communicating their corporate social responsibility efforts through social media channels.
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  • Publication
    Corporate Social Responsibility in the Blogosphere
    (Springer, 2010-02) ;
    Fleck, Matthes
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    This paper uses social network analysis to examine the interaction between corporate blogs devoted to sustainability issues and the blogosphere, a clustered online network of collaborative actors. By analyzing the structural embeddedness of a prototypical blog in a virtual community, we show the potential of online platforms to document corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and to engage with an increasingly socially and ecologically aware stakeholder base. The results of this study show that stakeholder involvement via sustainability blogs is a valuable new practice for CSR communications and stakeholder engagement. It also opens new horizons for communicating CSR issues to key constituencies online.
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    Scopus© Citations 142
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