Title page for ETD etd-05092011-160518

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Crighton, Lindsay
Author's Email Address lcrighton@vt.edu
URN etd-05092011-160518
Title CEO Icon to GOP Hopeful: A Quantitative Analysis Exploring Politically Motivated Celebrity CEOs
Degree Master of Arts
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tedesco, John C. Committee Chair
Chen, Yi-Chun Yvonnes Committee Member
Holloway, Rachel L. Committee Member
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Celebrity CEOs
  • priming theory
  • political cynicism
Date of Defense 2011-04-26
Availability unrestricted
This study examined the perceptions of celebrity CEOs potentially transitioning to political candidates. Using Carly Fiorina’s campaign for Senator of California, this study identified how young voters perceive celebrity CEOs as politicians, their identification of celebrity CEOs, and the evaluations of CEOs and their companies. Results indicate a more favorable evaluation of Fiorina resulted in a more favorable reaction to Hewlett- Packard. Results also confirm the use of media messages to prime young voters about political candidates. Finally, political party affiliation was found to significantly influence the findings of this study while gender and political cynicism did not. Theoretical implications and areas of future research in celebrity and politics are discussed.
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