Chief executive officer positive framing and employee ownership

Jiangyan Li, Wei Shi, Marie T. Dasborough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Employee ownership is an important governance tool used to encourage employee participation and enhance employee productivity, but we know little about what encourages employee ownership. This study investigates the influence of chief executive officer (CEO) positive framing in public speeches on employee ownership. We propose that CEO positive framing can increase employee ownership when employees internalize CEOs' positive beliefs about firms' accomplishments and prospects. Using a sample of 664 U.S. listed firms from 2002 to 2018, we find that CEO positive framing increases employee ownership. In addition, the stock purchasing behaviors of top executives, analyst recommendations, and positive media coverage strengthen the effectiveness of CEOs' positive framing on employee ownership. Findings from this study advance employee ownership research by highlighting the vital role of CEOs' public language use in promoting employee ownership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHuman Resource Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • employee ownership
  • framing theory
  • human resource management
  • language positivity
  • leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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