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Different Leaders in a COVID-19 Scenario: CEO Altruism and Generous Discourse

Isabel-María García-Sánchez (), Víctor Amor-Esteban () and Alejandra García-Sánchez ()
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Isabel-María García-Sánchez: Instituto Multidisciplinar de Empresa, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, Universidad de Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
Víctor Amor-Esteban: Departamento de Estadística, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, Universidad de Salamanca, c/Alfonso X El Sabio s/n, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
Alejandra García-Sánchez: Independent Scholar, Pharmaceutical, 37006 Salamanca, Spain

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 7, 1-19

Abstract: Academic literature has begun to be interested in the informational gaps between what companies say and do in relation to their financial performance and their commitment to society and the environment, identifying the use of self-protection and self-enhancement strategies before their interest groups. In this research, based on a statistical analysis of textual data and a correspondence analysis, the sentiment of the discourse that Spanish CEOs have held with their stakeholders regarding the operational and strategic decisions they made in the face of COVID-19 is analysed. The evidence shows that managers who promptly reported negative news regarding divestments, cutting expenses and destroying jobs, used the epidemic as justification. The leaders who combined these decisions with responsible actions—focused on the ethical and commercial sustainable dimensions—adopted an approach with a different degree of self-enhancement to value their responsible decisions. In contrast, optimistic CEOs, altruistically committed to society, opted for more personal, emotional, dynamic and constant channels and procedures, avoiding selfish attributions for their actions.

Keywords: COVID-19; CEO; disclosure; CSR; statistical text analysis; correspondence analysis; multivariate analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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