ABSTRACTThis article examines how a firm’s prior record on corporate social responsibility influences individual stakeholders’ perceptions of corporate hypocrisy in the wake of a corporate social irresponsibility event. Our research extends extant corporate hypocrisy literature by highlighting the role of individual stakeholders’ inferences about a genuine CSR motive in their judgments of corporate hypocrisy. This can serve to differentiate perceived corporate hypocrisy from inconsistency that arises because of a lack of ability and/or resources. Our research further identifies a source for (...) such perceptions: individual stakeholders’ perceptions of firm warmth generated by a firm’s prior record of CSR. In addition, we find that when CSR and CSI are in the same domains, it can strengthen perceptions of hypocrisy. This provides direct evidence to explain why markets react differently when CSR and CSI events occur in the same domain. (shrink)
This paper investigates an under-researched relationship, that between corporate social performance (CSP) and geographical diversification. Drawingupon the institutional and stakeholder perspectives and utilising data on a sample of large UK firms, we develop a set of empirical models of CSP, and findevidence of a significant contemporaneous positive relationship between the two for some types of social performance and in some regions of the world. Overall,we provide evidence that firms shape their social performance strategies to their geographical profile.
This article investigates the influence of innovation on the relationship between corporate strategy and social issues. Specifically, we employ firm-level data for a large sample of U.K. companies drawn from a diverse range of industrial sectors to investigate, given innovation, the determinants of both the probability that the innovation brings reduced environmental impacts and/or improved health and safety, and the strength of this effect. In this connection, we find evidence of a dichotomy between product and process innovations, and roles for (...) firm size, industrial sector, a foreign market presence, access to various information sources (e.g. universities and government research organisations) and the extent to which activities are constrained by regulation. Furthermore, we find a tendency for the influences of many of these factors to vary between older and newer firms. (shrink)
This paper investigates the degree to which corporate philanthropy is influenced by the extent to which a firm is internationalised and/or whether it hasoperations in one or more controversial countries. Utilising data on a sample of large UK firms, we find evidence of a positive effect not for internationalisation per se, but only for a presence in these controversial countries. More specifically, we find evidence that in this connection the salient feature of a country is a lack of political rights (...) and/or civil liberties, rather than a presence of rampant corruption. Furthermore, this positive impact on charitable giving is restricted to a presence in only those countries that are, according to Freedom House indicators, most lacking (and so controversial) in this respect. (shrink)