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Strategic management Journal (forthcoming)
This paper uses signaling theory to bring together two complementary research streams that have largely ignored each other: strategic human resource management and media relations management. We argue that when publicly traded firms voluntarily and publicly disclose positive information about their value creation and appropriation activities, they also send positive signals to managerial labor markets regarding executives’ capabilities. Accordingly, we hypothesize a positive association between public disclosures and voluntary executive turnover. An analysis of pharmaceutical and communications equipment firms from 1990 to 2004 supports this prediction, underscoring the need to better understand the effects of voluntary public disclosures on a firm's ability to protect its human capital. More generally, our results highlight the importance of considering the impact of a single signal on multiple receivers.