b'FACULTY HIGHLIGHTSA Tweet or a news release? HOW CORPORATE COMMUNICATION AFFECTS ACQUISITIONSBY XINRAN (JOYCE) WANG Organizations and CEOs use a variety of communication chan- tion process, my research turned to communications and social nels, including social media and professional newswires, to reachpsychology literature.their audiences. Audiences (acquisition targets for this purpose) perceive infor-MOST WORKPLACES HAVENTResearch on one of the most common social media platforms usedmation exchanges via Twitter as similar to face-to-face interac-by CEOs, Twitter, shows posting positive messages often high- tions, even though the interactions are text-based and frequently REACHED THEIR FULL POTENTIAL,lights relationship-specific trustworthiness, benevolence and reci- one-sided. An increase in Twitter sentiments can lead audience procity. In contrast, the more traditional corporate press release isperceptions in a collegial direction and create a sense of inter-less personalized, highlighting a firms advantage and enhancingpersonal connectedness between the acquirers CEO and the NEW MU STUDY FINDS negotiating power. In the context of acquisitions specifically,target firm, thereby allowing the development of social bonds, ambiguity exists regarding how CEOshared goals and social trust during Tweets and corporate press releasesthe deal negotiation process.affect target firms perceptions, andTheincreaseinsentimentsof also how they further acquisitionacquirers press releases has two Article courtesy of MU News BureauThis is important because such a structure tends to establish verycompletion and duration. implications, which differ signifi-MU research shows managers must step up to encourage morequickly and is often not optimal, Peng said. If you are not initiallyTobetterunderstandhowCEOcantly from those of Twitter: demon-employees to be leaders, ultimately increasing the effectivenessestablished as a leader in that structure, you are at a disadvan- communication affects acquisitions,strating advantages and generating of the workplace. tage. For instance, someone who is extroverted is more likely toI gathered 144,184 Tweets posted onan advantaged position. Firms care-quickly emerge as a leader, whereas someone who is introvertedthe personal Twitter accounts of S&Pfully choose the rhetoric used in press Among a group of coworkers, oneand equally talented may not. Yet, the group dynamic we found500 CEOs and 17,639 press releasesreleases, including such words as employee can sometimes emerge assuggests that the introverted person, despite his/her talent andpublished by S&P 500 firms duringremarkable, confident and strong. an informal leader, a go-to person tomotivation to lead, may be called upon less by their peers. deal negotiation processes betweenThey often issue press releases to solve problems and answer questions.Pengs research shows that this phenomenon can make it difficult2009 and 2019. demonstratebusinessqualityin As a result, most managers assign thatfor all employees to feel included and have opportunities to bea showy or ostentatious tone to employee the most important tasksBy analyzing media texts and firmsenhance their advantaged positions.and the best opportunities for profes- developed as leaders and to potentially be promoted for formalacquisition data, it became clear sional development and growth. leadership positions. Not only is this unfair to certain employees,that increases in sentimentmoreAs a result, although the increases in particularly minorities, but Peng said it can negatively impact thepositive tone in terms of attitudes,press release sentiments often help However, other employees in theproductivity of the company as a whole. opinions and emotions (includingfirms attract more security analysts same unit may be just as fit to lead,Organizations benefit from individual initiatives, so you want toinformality, friendliness and inti- to follow and boost short-term stock Ann Peng and businesses benefit from allowingencourage all of your employees to behave like leaders, Peng said.macy)in acquirer CEO Twitterperformance, such communications more employees to get involvedThis prevents the expectations of a leader, like identifying issuesposts enhance the possibility ofpotentially place firms negotiating in leadership opportunities. A new study at the University ofand motivating the team, from being levied on one personandcompleting the deal and reduceparties (acquisition targets) in a Missouri suggests that organizations might not be utilizing otherit generates a healthier and more productive work environment. the time it takes to complete it. Indisadvantaged position, triggering employees to their full leadership capabilities as they arent givencontrast, increases in sentiment intheir resistance.the same opportunities for leadership development and advance- To increase production in the office and ensure many workersacquirer press releases lower the ment. are exhibiting and developing leadership qualities, she said itsMy study provides several implica-important for managers to be mindful of this group dynamic andchances of acquisition completion and lengthen the time totions for both managers and merging firms:Associate professor of management, Ann C. Peng, studied howcounteract the tendency to lean on one person by intentionallycompletion.coworkers internally select leaders among their peers, known asManagers may reconsider the assumption that positive senti-informal leaders. By surveying more than 375 employees fromoffering disadvantaged members opportunities to prove theirThe study showed that an acquisition is 15% more likely to bements in press releases will automatically lead to positive stra-63 stores, she and her colleagues found that not everyone wholeadership skills. completed for every 10% increase of Twitter sentiment, whiletegic outcomes. CEOs in particular should be aware of how their is motivated and capable of leading is asked to act as a leaderIf you want to encourage more healthy leadership behaviorthere is a 7% decrease in the likelihood of acquisition completioncommunication strategies affect corporate outcomes. Although equally. During the survey process, Peng asked the participantsamong a workforce, you need to consider a few tactics that canfor every 10% increase of press release sentiment. they are expected to be assertive and even dominant, CEOs in the study whom they looked to for leadership and motivationmake an impact on the relationship dynamics of the workforce,Speaking to acquisition completion speed, I found that a 10%should consider the importance of showing positivity and person-on hard days. Most responded by looking to the same coworker,like assigning someone that is exhibiting fewer leadership qualitiesincrease in CEO Twitter sentiment leads to a decrease of acqui- ality when communicating with audiences, especially using their who had separated themselves as a leader. to take charge of a particular task, Peng said. Managers needsition duration of almost 12%, but a 10% increase of press releaseTwitter accounts. Peng said that once the teams establish a certain leadershipto make an effort, otherwise nothing will change. sentiment extends the duration to complete the acquisition byThe takeaway? CEOs should strategically manage their commu-structure, it tends to be relatively stable over time, and as thatHow is leadership maintained? A longitudinal mediation modelmore than 14%. nications when engaging in critical corporate activities, such as structure forms it can be difficult to change. linking informal leadership to upward voice through peer adviceTo understand why an acquirers press releases seem like dealacquisition attempts, initial public offering attempts and new seeking was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. breakers while its CEO Tweets seem to enhance the acquisi- product announcements.28 MANAGEMENT MATTERSMANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT 2023 ANNUAL REPORT 29'