Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2019, 67, 583-595

https://doi.org/10.11118/actaun201967020583
Published online 2019-04-29

Linguistic Differences Between Successful and Non‑Successful CEOs During the Financial Crisis

Josef Scheuerlein1, Helena Chládková2

1Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Received May 28, 2018
Accepted February 6, 2019

The present study represents an important attempt to explore some of the rhetorical aspects of effective leadership. The main purpose is to investigate possible linguistic differences between 104 effective and non‑effective CEOs during the Financial Crisis (years 2008 and 2009) – using language and company performance as predictor variables. The word usage of the top and bottom 25 % of CEOs from the S and P500 within their corresponding letters to shareholders were analysed via the LIWC2015 quantitative content analysis software. The main focus is on the following linguistic markers: use of a) present achievement –, b) present power –, c) present risk –, d) emotionality –, e) present positive work – and f) visionary words. The results revealed that successful and non‑successful CEOs use language equally, indicating that both also have the same leadership attributes. Our findings highlight the important role which communication plays in the leadership process, as well as, leadership effectiveness.

References

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