Value-Enhancing Capabilities of CSR: A Brief Review of Contemporary Literature

Journal of Business Ethics 127 (2):419-438 (2015)
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Abstract

This study reviews and synthesizes the contemporary business literature that focuses on the role of corporate social responsibility to enhance firm value. The main objective of this review is to proffer a precise understanding of what has already been investigated and the findings of those investigations regarding the value-enhancing capabilities of CSR for public firms. In addition, this review identifies gaps in the existing literature, evaluates inconsistent findings, discusses possible data sources for empirical researchers, and provides direction for exploring other promising avenues in future studies. The thrust of the CSR literature largely acknowledges the value-enhancing capabilities of firms’ social and environmental activities. However, the predominance of inconsistent theoretical grounds in major CSR-benefits-related areas suggests that there is ample room for future research to contribute to the extant literature. Anecdotal evidence, the prevalence of theoretical arguments, and the availability of large cross-sectional firm-level data suggest that future research will enrich the literature by investigating the real insights behind several unanswered questions, by establishing implicit understandings regarding recognized findings, and by developing new theories in this emerging field

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