The reputation costs of executive misconduct accusations: Evidence from the #MeToo movement

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


In this study, we examine how sexual harassment accusations against executives affect the stock returns of the affiliated organization. Taking a reputation cost perspective, we identify 98 sexual harassment accusations during 2016–2019, of which 25 directly target organizational executives. We employ an event study methodology to detect abnormal stock reactions for the affiliated organization. The results indicate that #MeToo accusations substantially harmed the stock returns of the organization despite the accusation relating to an individual’s misconduct. We discover significant results only for executives who are employed at the parent organization. Therefore, we first provide evidence that misconduct by individuals matters for organizations. We demonstrate that executive misconduct becomes particularly relevant when the executive assumes a leading position at the parent organization. This finding has important implications for future research and practitioners.
ZeitschriftScandinavian Journal of Management
Anzahl der Seiten13
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.03.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the participants as well as the convenors and facilitators of the PDW ?Challenges to Multidisciplinary Research at the Borderlands between State, Market and Civil Society? at the 36th EGOS Colloquium ?Organizing for a Sustainable Future: Responsibility, Renewal & Resistance? for their helpful remarks, comments, and recommendations that helped to improve the quality of the manuscript. Furthermore, the manuscript benefited comprehensively from the discussions on the 12th EURAM Early Career Colloquium ?Successfully managing the unavoidable trade-offs between research, teaching and service?. This research has also been presented at the 2021 AOM annual meeting and considered, in an abridged version, in the 2021 AOM Proceedings ( We are also grateful to Michael Frese for his comments on an earlier version of this manuscript and his recommendations, which substantially improved the consistency of the manuscript. Finally, we thank Klarissa Lueg, Claudia Gabbioneta, Galina Goncharenko, Trevor Hopper, and Svitlana Sapolski for their valuable recommendations that helped to enhance the theoretical argument of our study in terms of consistency and validity.

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