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CEOs on a Mission: Reimagining CEO Activism, Development, and Difference

 Author: Eric Kwame Adae  Category: Corporate Activism/Advocacy, Marketing, Public Relations & Strategic Communications, Responsible Management  Publisher: Emerald Publishing (United Kingdom, North America, Japan, India, Malaysia, China)  Published: September 11, 2023  ISBN: 9781803822167  Pages: 304  Country: United Kingdom  Language: English  Dimension: 152 x 229 x 15.875mm  Learn more

Today, CEOs function increasingly as social activists, often pursuing socio-political causes which fall outside of their usual pursuit of the corporate or financial bottom line. Based on a series of long interviews and the application of alternative theoretical lenses, this book examines this phenomenon within the African context on the road to creating a CEO Activism Development Model.

Addressing the gender disparity that continues to persist in this field, chapters consider alternative perspectives on corporate socio-political involvement, including motivations, tactics, safeguards and guidelines. Through a distinct postmodern lens, Eric Kwame Adae further explores how CEO activism fits into more specific African contexts and intersects with certain Afrocentric philosophies, including Caritas, Ubuntu philosophy and Africapitalism.

Breaking new ground in his analysis of CEO activism within a non-Western sociocultural context, Eric Kwame Adae presents an exciting exploration of the theoretical, managerial, practical and methodological implications of CEO activism today.


Chapter 1. Introduction: Reimagining CEO Activism, Development, and Difference
Chapter 2. Doing Well to Do Good: A Quick Map of the Field of Corporate Sociopolitical Involvement
Chapter 3. This Is Why We Do It: Examining CEO Activism Motivations
Chapter 4. Walking the Talk: Africapitalism as a Major Motivation for CEO Activism
Chapter 5. This Is What We Fight For: Examining CEO Activism Issues
Chapter 6. This Is How We Do It: Examining CEO Activism Tactics
Chapter 7. Counting the Costs and Reaping the Dividends: Examining CEO Activism Effects
Chapter 8. Taking Cover: Examining CEO Activism Safeguards
Chapter 9. Profiting from Experience: Examining CEO Activism Guidelines
Chapter 10. Conclusion: The CEO Activism Development Model


Eric’s approach to understanding activism is to build what social scientists call a “process model.” This means that he approaches CEO activism not as a static role or a category, but as a process that unfolds over time and evolves as external stakeholders react to a CEO’s words and actions. Eric digs into his interviews to smoke out the motives that drive some CEOS to activism, to explain how they chose the issues and causes for their advocacy, to spell out the tactics and safeguards they employed, and to reflect on activism’s consequences for society, companies, and CEOs themselves.

In an era roiled by acronyms that include CSR (corporate social responsibility), DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), and ESG (environmental, social, and governance factors), this book is an eye-opener. For executives, it presents a model for those who want to undertake activism or understand colleagues that do. For academics, it affords insights into the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of CEO activism, informed by Eric’s postmodern perspective. For everyone, CEOs on a Mission provides a good read.

– Alan Meyer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Management, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, USA


Communicating Responsible Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.