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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Christopher P. Agoglia

Second Advisor

M. David Piercey

Subject Categories



This study addresses concerns from the SEC and examines the trend of shareholder activism and its impact on financial players. Specifically, I examine how the nature of the shareholder activism (Profitability-focused versus Environmental/Social-focused) interacts with CEO gender to create perceptions of match or mismatch within nonprofessional investors, in terms of perceived ability to address the shareholder activism. Drawing on role-congruity theory, I predict and find that when a perceived match exists, investment willingness is increased, with the greatest differences occurring when the CEO does not disclose earnings guidance information. Given recent trends that show increased disclosure of earnings guidance in companies threatened by shareholder activism, I examine how this type of disclosure impacts investor judgments. I find that when managers’ optimistic forecasts differ from consensus analyst estimates, this creates an incongruent message and attenuates the heuristic processing associated with the perceived CEO gender-activism match. Additionally, I find evidence that earnings guidance disclosure has a stronger impact on perceptions of female CEOs than male CEOs. Finally, I find that this effect is seen under various types of forecasts (point and range), suggesting that both types of forecasts are capable of acting as incongruent messages to motivate systematic processing.


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