Marketing experience of CEOs and corporate social performance

Saeed Janani, Ranjit M. Christopher, Atanas Nik Nikolov, Michael A. Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Corporate social performance (CSP) is increasingly becoming an important firm performance dimension in its own right. Since the CEO plays a pivotal role in setting the firm’s strategic actions, the examination of CSP’s antecedents has often focused on how CEO characteristics may impact CSP. According to upper echelons theory, one such key characteristic is the CEO’s functional background. As CEO experience in marketing may instill a CSP-supportive mindset in line with stakeholder theory, we examine how such CEO marketing experience may promote CSP and how situational factors may moderate this. Analyses of 3,569 CEOs from 1,999 firms from 2001 to 2016 reveal that CEO prior experience in marketing positively relates to CSP. This finding is robust to multiple analytical methods and endogeneity checks. Further, marketing experience’s effect is stronger than that of other functional experiences. Moderation results indicate this effect is associated more with executive discretion than job demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-481
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • CEO
  • CSP
  • CSR
  • Corporate social performance
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Discretion
  • Functional background
  • Job demands
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Upper echelons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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