Social media is an influential medium for various stakeholders in the business domain. This study focuses on the presence of “social executives,” that is, strategic leaders who actively engage in online social media, and examines their impact on corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategies. The results of our difference-in-differences (DID) analysis suggest that the presence of acquirer-side social executives improves acquirer firms’ propensity to undertake M&A transactions and boosts announcement returns. Interestingly, these relationships are more pronounced when senior executives have high behavioral engagement in online social media compared with those with low engagement. The major contribution of this study is to empirically verify the impact of the presence of social executives on corporate M&A outcomes through the lens of the upper echelons and social presence theories.
Bibliographical noteOur research work was partly supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Projects: CityU 11525716); the NSFC Basic Research Program (Project No. 71671155); and the CityU Shenzhen Research institute.
- Difference-in-differences analysis
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Social executives
- Social media behavioral engagement
- Social presence