Corporate Leaders and Firm Acquisitions
Hoskisson, Robert E; Zhang, Yan Anthea
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation examines the influence of CEOs’ social peers on their acquisition decisions and consists of three empirical essays. Findings from the first essay indicate that CEOs undertake fewer acquisitions after they witness an independent director’s death, implying that an independent director’s death may heighten mortality awareness among CEOs, attenuating the importance of extrinsic goals in driving CEO acquisition decisions. Findings from the second essay suggest that after witnessing a dramatic increase in a CEO’s social status through winning a certification contest (i.e., a superstar CEO), competitors of the superstar CEO may be inspired to engage in intensive acquisition activities to increase their social status. Findings from the third essay indicate that CEOs undertake more acquisitions but such acquisitions tend to be value destructive when CFOs exhibit a high level of language style matching with CEOs. I posit that high CEO-CFO language style matching reflects that the CFO may try to ingratiate the CEO and is less likely play the role of a “naysayer”. This dissertation can contribute to strategic leadership research by highlighting the importance of CEOs’ social peers in shaping firm acquisition decisions and acquisition decision quality.
Strategic leadership; mergers and acquisitions