Green innovation has become an effective way to coordinate economic growth and environmental protection because of the combination of “green development” and “innovation-driven” characteristics. Enterprises are the main force to carry out green innovation, and the implementation of green innovation strategy cannot be separated from the support of managers. Managers run enterprises on behalf of shareholders and have more idiosyncratic information about enterprises than shareholders. When quantitative disclosure is strictly controlled, managers will use MD&A in the annual report to deliver text information about enterprises’ future development and strategic planning, which is a window for the management to transmit signals about corporate value to the outside world. However, executives of listed companies are often exposed as “inconsistent between words and deeds”, so is the management tone “from the heart” or “insincere”? Whether the management tone can explain green innovation behavior remains to be tested.
Given this, based on the speech act theory, this paper explores the relationship between management tone and green innovation based on the data of A-share listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen from 2006 to 2019. The results show that there is a significant positive correlation between the positive degree of management tone and the level of green innovation, indicating that the positive degree of management tone has a predictive effect on green innovation. By differentiating the types of green innovation, the positive degree of management tone has a more significant predictive effect on social green innovation. Furthermore, we find that higher market competition pressure and lower degree of financing constraint can enhance the predictive effect of positive management tone on green innovation (especially social green innovation). Management abnormal tone manipulation can predict green innovation (especially social green innovation). In addition, the positive tone of management predicts the green innovation of enterprises, which is conducive to the improvement of corporate value. This paper enriches the research on the impact of management intonation characteristics on enterprise behavior, explains the situational factors that the positive degree of management tone depends on to have a predictive effect on green innovation, and provides theoretical support and empirical evidence for improving the research on the effect of management tone.
The research contributions of this paper are as follows: (1) With the help of speech act theory, it examines the relationship between management tone and green innovation, expands the research scope of factors influencing green innovation from the psychological perspective of managers’ emotions and mentality, and discusses the predictive effect of abnormal tone manipulation and normal tone on green innovation. (2) It innovatively divides green innovation into self-interest green innovation and social green innovation, in order to identify the predictive effect of positive management tone on which type of green innovation is more significant, which is a reference for future investors, and enriches the practice system of China under the background of MD&A text information in the value of the enterprise environment strategy research.