Stakeholder theory provides a framework for investigating the relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance. This relationship is investigated by examining how change in CSP is related to change in financial accounting measures. The findings provide some support for a tenet in stakeholder theory which asserts that the dominant stakeholder group, shareholders, financially benefit when management meets the demands of multiple stakeholders. Specifically, change in CSP was positively associated with growth in sales for the current and subsequent (...) year. This indicates that there are short-term benefits from improving CSP. Return on sales was significantly positively related to change in CSP for the third financial period, indicating that long-term financial benefits may exist when CSP is improved. (shrink)
This study explores the impact of both individual ethics (IE) and organizational ethics (OE) on ethical intention (EI). Ethical intention, or the individual's intention to engage in ethical behavior, is useful as a dependent variable because it relates to behavior which can be an expression of values, but also is influenced by organizational and societal variables. The focus is on EI in international business decision-making, since the international context provides great latitude in making ethical decisions. Results demonstrate that both IE (...) and OE influence EL Ethical congruence is also discussed as a positive influence. Younger managers are more influenced by OE than older managers. The findings call for creating governance mechanisms to enhance ethical congruence, thereby increasing the likelihood of managers making ethical choices in organizational decision-making. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the ways through which companies gain legitimacy. However, CSR actions themselves are subject to public skepticism because of increased public awareness of greenwashing and scandalous corporate behavior. Legitimacy of CSR actions is indeed influenced by the actions of the company but also is rooted in the basic cultural values of a society and in the ideologies of evaluators. This study examines the legitimacy of CSR actions of publicly traded forest products companies as compared (...) to family-owned forest products companies. Results indicate a lower legitimacy for CSR actions of publicly traded companies than for family-owned companies. The study also examines the effect of social responsibility orientation (SRO) of evaluators on the legitimacy accorded to companies' CSR actions. We found that SRO was negatively associated with legitimacy, especially for women. Perceived profitability of companies was negatively associated with legitimacy of CSR actions for publicly traded but not for family-owned companies. (shrink)
Research on positive psychology demonstrates that specific individual dispositions are associated with more desirable outcomes. The relationship of positive psychological constructs, however, has not been applied to the areas of business ethics and social responsibility. Using four constructs in two independent studies (hope and gratitude in Study 1, spirituality and generativity in Study 2), the relationship of these constructs to sensitivity to corporate social performance (CSCSP) were assessed. Results indicate that all four constructs significantly predicted CSCSP, though only hope and (...) gratitude interacted to impact CSCSP. Discussion focuses upon these findings, limitations of the study, and future avenues for research. (shrink)
This study develops a scale to measure consumer sensitivity to corporate social performance using the factor analysis procedure to generate a valid and reliable 11-item scale. Results from a U.S. sample of M.B.A. students suggest that women are more sensitive to CSP than men and that Democrats are more sensitive to CSP than Republicans. Future research can use this scale to measure the correlation between attitudes toward CSP and actual behavior.
This paper discusses the economic impact and political consequences of ethical investing, with particular attention to the case of South Africa. The origins of ethical investing are examined, along with the institutions and strategies by which ethical investing operates today. Of immediate relevance to managers is a recent judicial decision upholding Baltimore's divestment ordinance. The discussion concludes with an assessment of the likely consequences of ethical investing for U.S. multinationals in Southern Africa.
This study analyzes corporate social reporting in Mexico as it has evolved in recent years, expanding and updating a previous study. Two sets of Mexican companies were identified, each of whom had expressed a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) through social responsibility reports and practices on their websites. One set (" first generation") were identified as early adopters of CSR reporting in Mexico by a previous study published in 2006. The second set ("second generation") has adopted CSR reporting practices (...) since the data collection for the first study was finished. Through content analysis of the websites of both these "first generation" and "second generation" companies, general CSR reporting practices in Mexico were assessed. "First generation" companies were found to more frequently issue CSR reports and have them available in more languages than "second generation" companies. "First generation" companies also refer to stakeholders, citizenship, human rights, and code of conduct more often than "second generation" companies. The results suggest that "first generation" companies in recent years have reduced the use of local norms that focus on Mexican values, philanthropy, and a Spanishspeaking audience, and are moving more toward global norms of abiding by international standards that emphasize concrete reporting norms, along with social and environmental goals. At the same time, "second generation" companies are evolving their reporting norms in a way similar to what was observed in "first generation" companies, emphasizing local norms in their initial CSR reporting. (shrink)
This article discusses the development and application of various types of corporate social monitoring systems. Boycotts are a relatively simple form of social monitoring system which aim to produce changes in corporate social behavior. Boycotts may be organized by a single group, or by a number of groups simultaneously. Rating systems may be organized around a single issue, such as the Sullivan Principles rating scheme, or may include multiple companies and multiple issues, such as shopping guides or ethical investment systems.Monitoring (...) systems may be unidimensional or multidimensional, qualitative or quantitative, and absolute or relative. Consumers and investors appear to be the groups most likely to be targeted in these schemes. The importance of these monitoring systems appears to be increasing as both consumers and investors become more interested in using social criteria in decision-making. (shrink)
Corporate social monitoring has reached its most systematic form and has had the most practical impact with regard to companies doing business in South Africa. The Sullivan Principles have guided the monitoring system for U.S. companies, of which about 166 remain in South Africa and about 140 have withdrawn. However, corporate social monitoring in South Africa is currently subject to certain tensions. The Rev. Sullivan has called for the withdrawal of U.S. companies, and has himself withdrawn from the monitoring effort.This (...) paper discusses the economic climate for U.S. business in South Africa both historically and currently, the conflicting pressures experienced by U.S. companies remaining there, and the effectiveness of strategies aimed to create pressure for companies to withdraw, including divestment resolutions, purchasing restrictions, and sanctions. (shrink)
Business legitimacy is important for any business, especially in times of economic downturn and increased media attention on corporate scandals. However,legitimacy is a quality that comes from society itself, sometimes influenced by the actions or image of the firm, but also rooted in the basic cultural values of the population. This study takes “legitimacy gap” as its dependent variable, defining it as the difference between expected and observed levels of social and environmental performance for both publicly-traded and family-owned business. The (...) study was conducted with a random sample using mailed surveys, and was oriented towards the forest products sector. Results indicate that family-owned businesses have lower legitimacy gaps (therefore, higher legitimacy) than publicly-traded companies, especially when the latter are considered very profitable. These findings were especially strong for women and for respondentswith a high social responsibility (SRO) orientation. (shrink)
Online teaching is consistent with the educational tradition of extension and distance learning, but its recent expansion creates new issues, especially in teaching business ethics/business and society. Students, professors, and especially administrators benefit greatly from some aspects of online learning. Online learning has such advantages over the traditional classroom in logistical flexibility and cost efficiency that decision-making may become overly pragmatic. There are special challenges in teaching business ethics/business and society online, as the subject matter requires nuanced judgment rather than (...) right-or-wrong answers. (shrink)
This paper presents a comparison of two management models. The first is a prominent Chinese model used in management and encouraged by both traditional cultural practices and modern political statements, often using the term “harmonious relationships.” The second is the stakeholder management model, familiar to most Western management scholars.
The object of this article is to demonstrate how stakeholder theory can be enlarged and enhanced by two communications theories, media systems dependency and community infrastructure theory. The stakeholder perspective is often represented by a diagram in which a firm is centrally positioned, surrounded by stakeholders. However, relationships between stakeholders are given relatively little attention, the various groups theoretically encompassed by the term “community” remain relatively undefined, and other marginalized stakeholders often go unrecognized. MSD and CIT can enable us to (...) conceptualize the stakeholder model more clearly, to develop research projects that more adequately capture the dynamic quality of stakeholder relationships, to tailor management strategies to particular stakeholder characteristics, and to understand corporate social responsibility messages. As an example, stakeholder theory, combined with MSD and CIT, is applied to California’s cannabis/marijuana industry. (shrink)
The measure proposed here, the ratio of the price reported in a given trade to the average world price for that commodity, is based on the average world price for a given commodity reported for all trades between the U.S. and all other countries for a given period. This new measure can be used to enable government agencies to identify trades between U.S. firms or individuals and their counterparts in other countries which are designed to further prohibited activities such as (...) money laundering or tax avoidance. This measure would also enable the U.S. government to monitor trade flows more accurately, facilitating more analysis of trade imbalances between countries and tracking trade in strategie materials, for example, weapons. Use of this new measure could enable naive buyers and seIlers of goods, for example, those situated in remote or underdeveloped markets, to know what their counterparts in more central and informed countries are paying or being paid for comparable goods, and hence to become more informed as trading partners. (shrink)
The ideal of corporate social responsibility as a management orientation and as a field of study in business schools was given support by John D. Rockefeller 3rd (JDR 3). He attempted to promote this concept in the Committee on Economic Development and in certain business schools. This attempt was not very effective in academe, due partly to a lack of understanding about how universities function. As a result, an adequate academic infrastructure was slow to develop.
Socially responsible investing is a significant part of the U.S. equity market. Studies of the relationship between social performance and financialperformance have not considered the effect of business cycles, which is the main topic of this study. An SRI Fund of Funds is compared to the S&P 500 over two complete business cycles from 1991 to 2009. The SRI Fund of Funds had financial performance comparable to the S&P 500 during market contractions, but underperformed during market expansions. The factors associated (...) with SRI returns are examined using both the Fama-French 3-Factor Model and the Carhart 4-Factor Model. Momentum appears to be of special importance during market expansions. The implications of these findings for the field of SRI are examined. (shrink)
This study tests the relationship between demographic and psychological variables, particularly positive psychology, and investor preferences. Of thedemographics variables, only gender was related to investor preferences, with women expressing a longer time horizon than men. However, the positive psychology variables of hope and novelty orientation were strongly related to risk tolerance, time horizon, and estate intentions.