Having, Giving, and Getting: Slack Resources, Corporate Philanthropy, and Firm Financial Performance

Business and Society 43 (2):135-161 (2004)
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Abstract

This study investigates financial correlates of corporate philanthropy in Fortune 1000 companies using structural equation modeling. The results suggest that cash flow (one of the most discretionary types of organizational slack) has a significant impact on a firm’s cash donations to charitable causes, but monetary donations do not affect firm financial performance. These findings support the accepted view of corporate philanthropy as a discretionary social responsibility and the traditional thinking about firm giving in the business and society literature—that doing well enables doing good. Contrary to some contemporary thinking, the findings imply no significant effect on profits from corporate generosity.

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