Drawing upon rational choice and investor attention theories, we examine how accusations of corporate bribery and subsequent investigations shape market reactions. Using event study methodology to measure loss in firm value for public firms facing bribery investigations from 1978 to 2010, we found that total market penalties amounted to $60.61 billion. We ran moderated multiple regression analysis to examine further the degree to which the unique characteristics of bribery explain variations in market penalties. Companies committing bribery in less corrupt host (...) countries and with the involvement of compromised executives experienced greater market penalties than did other companies. After partitioning share value losses into components for regulatory penalties, class action settlements, and loss to reputation, we found that reputational penalties account for 81.8¢ of every dollar of share value loss. Omission of reputational penalties in rational choice calculus underestimates bribery costs by 4.5 times. The results suggest that firms should not underestimate the importance of market-imposed reputational penalties by merely considering regulator-imposed fines and sanctions. (shrink)
This study seeks to examine the mechanisms by which a corporation’s use of philanthropy affects its reputation for corporate social performance (CSP), which the authors conceive of as consisting of two dimensions: CSP awareness and CSP perception. Using signal detection theory (SDT), the authors model signal amplitude (the amount contributed), dispersion (number of areas supported), and consistency (presence of a corporate foundation) on CSP awareness and perception. Overall, this study finds that characteristics of firms’ portfolio of philanthropic activities are a (...) greater predictor of CSP awareness than of CSP perception. Awareness increases with signal amplitude, dispersion, and consistency. CSP perception is driven by awareness and corporate reputation. The authors’ contention that corporate philanthropy is a complex variable is upheld, as we find that CSP signal characteristics influence CSP awareness and perception independently and asymmetrically. The authors conclude by proposing avenues for future research. (shrink)
U.S. corporations have long tried to enact a favorable business environment via political activities such as lobbying and campaign contributions. This particular strategy is receiving increased attention due to the recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which establishes that corporations have the same rights with regard to political activities as individuals. In this work, we examine the nature of corporate political activity and the need for accountability; define transparency in the context of corporate political activity; and (...) examine the antecedents for corporate political disclosure. We then test our model on the S&P 100 using an index of corporate political disclosure that we developed. We find that opportunities to participate in political activities, dependence on government contracts and prior disclosure on other topics such as the environment lead to more disclosure. The intensity of the regulatory environment appears to have no influence. (shrink)
This study seeks to examine the mechanism by which a corporation’s use of philanthropy might affect its reputation for CSP. We propose and test a model relating corporate philanthropy and foundations to awareness of and evaluations of firm social responsibility. We find that the relationships are more perplexing than others have proposed. Our contention that corporate philanthropy is a complex variable is upheld and we propose avenues for future research.