Paper Number

1311

Paper Type

Short Paper

Abstract

Using social media is gaining momentum among top managers (TMs). While prior social media research suggests some differences related to gender and language style, the effect on social media engagement (SME) remains largely unexplored for TMs’ social media activities. Drawing on agency-communion theory, we examine the effects of language style (i.e., agentic vs. communal) in tweets on SME by accounting for TMs' gender. Our text analysis of 5,742 tweets by 48 TMs from S&P 500 companies reveals that SME increases for both genders with a communal language style, which is primarily associated with feminine traits. In contrast, however, an agentic language style, which is primarily associated with masculine traits, negatively affects SME for male TMs, with the opposite being true for female TMs. Our findings allude to potential limits of the universal application of agency-communion and role congruence theory in a social media context.

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Jun 14th, 12:00 AM

Tweeting Top Managers: Does the Effect of Language Style on Social Media Engagement Vary Across Gender?

Using social media is gaining momentum among top managers (TMs). While prior social media research suggests some differences related to gender and language style, the effect on social media engagement (SME) remains largely unexplored for TMs’ social media activities. Drawing on agency-communion theory, we examine the effects of language style (i.e., agentic vs. communal) in tweets on SME by accounting for TMs' gender. Our text analysis of 5,742 tweets by 48 TMs from S&P 500 companies reveals that SME increases for both genders with a communal language style, which is primarily associated with feminine traits. In contrast, however, an agentic language style, which is primarily associated with masculine traits, negatively affects SME for male TMs, with the opposite being true for female TMs. Our findings allude to potential limits of the universal application of agency-communion and role congruence theory in a social media context.

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