Do Managers’ Nonnative Accents Influence Investment Decisions?
The Accounting Review, Forthcoming
53 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 6, 2021
Reactions to earnings calls are sensitive to subtle features of managers’ speech, but little is known about the effect of nonnative accents in this setting. Nonnative-accented CEOs may avoid holding calls in English for fear of investors’ negative stereotypes. However, theory indicates that stereotypes from the CEO position and nonnative accents conflict, and that the process of reconciling conflicting stereotypes requires effortful processing. We use a series of four experiments to test each link of the causal chain that we hypothesize based on this theory. We demonstrate that motivated investors reconcile conflicting stereotypes by inferring exceptional qualities, such as hard work and determination, that positively affect their impressions of nonnative-accented CEOs and, hence, of the company as an investment. We also show that, because bad news stimulates effortful processing, investors receiving bad (versus good) news are more likely to form a positive image of nonnative-accented CEOs and their companies.
Keywords: Earnings conference calls, investment decisions, nonnative accents, impressions of CEOs
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