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The primary purpose of this dissertation is to provide an empirical test of the proposed theoretical link between the construct of celebrity, in an organizational context, and firm performance. The model proposed in this dissertation tests this link at both the individual- and firm-levels. As an exploratory study, this research showed evidence of initial, direct linkages between the socially constructed resource of celebrity and firm performance. The results also found firm celebrity to mediate the relationship between CEO celebrity and firm performance. A secondary purpose of this dissertation was to advance work on celebrity, in the organizational sciences, by providing a means for preliminary measurement of the construct in this context. In this dissertation, celebrity at the CEO and firm levels were measured using both archival and survey methodology. The findings of this dissertation suggest that celebrity CEOs may aid in building firm celebrity, but that the firm, as a celebrity, carries the focal weight in the minds of media audiences. In turn, the focal weight on firm celebrity carries a greater impact on firm performance. Moreover, the findings provide support for future work to examine the "black box" between this specific strategic resource and firm performance. Lastly, this dissertation concludes with a discussion of the paper's limitations, contributions, and practical implications.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Management in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Gerald R. Ferris, Professor Directing Dissertation; Annette L. Ranft, Committee Member; Susan Fiorito, Outside Committee Member; James G. Combs, Committee Member; Bruce T. Lamont, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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