The Impact of CEO Image on the Consumer Trust in the Organization
Corporate image entails several elements of which the image of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) is regarded as one of the most significant in building the consumer opinion about the organisation. The study of academic literature has shown that the role of a leader, the impact of management styles for the achievements of the organisation are investigated quite extensively by researchers of leadership, psychology or sociology. However, from the prospect of marketing, the effect of CEO image and its elements on consumer behaviour and establishment of long-term relationships has not been analysed. The aim of the paper was to evaluate an impact of CEO image and its elements on consumer trust in the organisation. The empirical data was collected from 186 respondents who are potential consumers of successful Lithuanian business companies. The survey has showed that the psychological traits and verbal/non-verbal behaviour of the CEOs have the highest impact, and the leadership has the lowest impact on consumer trust on the organisation. The impact on the consumer trust with organisation varies and depends on the assessment of the overall image of CEOs, i.e. the CEO image has the most influence when the consumers are neutral about the overall image of the CEO and the lowest influence when the CEO is evaluated negatively.