Motive Imagery and Corporate Success

Motive Imagery and Corporate Success

Motive Imagery and Corporate Success is an Organizational Studies Honors research thesis conducted at the University of Michigan during the 2008-2009 academic year. Tyrone Schiff, a student concentrating in the interdisciplinary program of Organizational Studies, developed, designed, and implemented the research study under the faculty mentorship of Richard Price, director of the Organizational Studies program. The thesis seeks to explore the impact of motive imagery on corporate profitability by evaluating the language used in Letters to the Shareholders contained within publicly traded company's annual reports.


Motive Imagery and Corporate Success was inspired by the findings of David G. Winter, professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. A class taken by Schiff in the fall semester of 2007, political psychology, revealed the causal linkage of motive imagery to political outcomes. The idea almost immediately triggered Schiff to explore other possibilities of motive imagery. He was extremely interested in finance and following the stock markets and was thus drawn to the possibility of determining outcomes of corporations and their stock prices using this psychological metric. In a term paper for political psychology, Schiff did an initial study of his newly formed hypothesis that motive imagery could lead to corporate outcomes. The paper was entitled, "Achievement Motive Imagery and Stock Price." [] The results of the study were extremely forthcoming. Schiff looked at five companies from different sectors of the US economy, including: General Electric, Caterpillar, Merck, Intel, and Disney. He coded the Letters to the Shareholders contained within the 1998 Annual Report for each company for a singular type of motive imagery called Achievement motive imagery. Following this coding, he tracked the companies stock price from the date the 1998 Annual Report was released. His findings are summarized in the table below:

The company highest in Achievement motive imagery, Caterpillar, had the greatest % stock increase, while the company with the lowest Achievement motive imagery, Disney, had the largest % stock decrease. The results revealed to Schiff that there may be some sort of correlation that could exist between motive imagery and the fluctuation in stock prices. Schiff received exemplary marks for this assignment.

Schiff also received motivation from his political psychology graduate student instructor, Sara Konrath. In an informal discussion held at Espresso Royale in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Konrath raised the prospect of writing a thesis on the topic of motive imagery and corporate outcomes. At the time, she was unaware of any prior research that had been done on this idea. Konrath's enthusiasm and input was integral to Schiff's commitment and eventual pursuit of this question.



Prior Research

Motive Imagery


Research Assistants


= Problems Arising =

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Computers and Information Systems — ▪ 2009 Introduction Smartphone: The New Computer.       The market for the smartphone in reality a handheld computer for Web browsing, e mail, music, and video that was integrated with a cellular telephone continued to grow in 2008. According to… …   Universalium

  • Europe, history of — Introduction       history of European peoples and cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Europe is a more ambiguous term than most geographic expressions. Its etymology is doubtful, as is the physical extent of the area it designates.… …   Universalium

  • France — /frans, frahns/; Fr. /frddahonns/, n. 1. Anatole /ann nann tawl /, (Jacques Anatole Thibault), 1844 1924, French novelist and essayist: Nobel prize 1921. 2. a republic in W Europe. 58,470,421; 212,736 sq. mi. (550,985 sq. km). Cap.: Paris. 3.… …   Universalium

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • Christianity — /kris chee an i tee/, n., pl. Christianities. 1. the Christian religion, including the Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox churches. 2. Christian beliefs or practices; Christian quality or character: Christianity mixed with pagan elements; …   Universalium

  • English literature — Introduction       the body of written works produced in the English language by inhabitants of the British Isles (including Ireland) from the 7th century to the present day. The major literatures written in English outside the British Isles are… …   Universalium

  • BIBLE — THE CANON, TEXT, AND EDITIONS canon general titles the canon the significance of the canon the process of canonization contents and titles of the books the tripartite canon …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Roman Catholicism — the faith, practice, and system of government of the Roman Catholic Church. [1815 25] * * * Largest single Christian denomination in the world, with some one billion members, or about 18% of the world s population. The Roman Catholic church has… …   Universalium

  • JERUSALEM — The entry is arranged according to the following outline: history name protohistory the bronze age david and first temple period second temple period the roman period byzantine jerusalem arab period crusader period mamluk period …   Encyclopedia of Judaism