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Reputation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Market Regulation

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  • J.J. Graafland
  • H. Smid

Abstract

The paper investigates the role of the government and self-regulatory reputation mechanisms to internalise externalities of market operation. If it pays off for companies to invest in a good reputation by an active policy of corporate social responsibility (CSR), external effects of the market will be (partly) internalised by the market itself. The strength of the reputation mechanism depends on the functioning of non governmental organisations (NGOs), the transparency of the company, the time horizon of the company, and on the behaviour of employees, consumers and investors. On the basis of an extensive study of the empirical literature on these topics, we conclude that in general the working of the reputation mechanism is rather weak. Especially the transparency of companies is a bottleneck. If the government would force companies to be more transparent, it could initiate a self-enforcing spiral that would improve the working of the reputation mechanism. We also argue that the working of the reputation mechanism will be weaker for smaller companies and for both highly competitive and monopolistic markets. We therefore conclude that government regulation is still necessary, especially for small companies.

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File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/tem/jaargangen/2001-2010/2004/TEM2004-2/TEM%2004_2_4_GRAAFLAND.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen in its journal Review of Business and Economics.

Volume (Year): XLIX (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 271-308

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Handle: RePEc:ete:revbec:20040204

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Postal: Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven
Web page: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be
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References

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  1. Graafland, J.J., 2002. "Modelling the trade-off between profits and principles," MPRA Paper 20752, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kimberly Ann Elliot & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "White hats or Don Quixotes? Human rights vigilantes in the global economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19952, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Zahra, Shaker A. & Covin, Jeffrey G., 1995. "Contextual influences on the corporate entrepreneurship-performance relationship: A longitudinal analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 43-58, January.
  4. J.J. Graafland & S.C.W. Eijffinger, 2004. "Corporate social responsibility of Dutch companies: Benchmarking, transparency and robustness," De Economist, Springer, vol. 152(3), pages 403-426, 09.
  5. Francois, P. & Roberts, J., 2001. "Contracting Productivity Growth," Discussion Paper 2001-35, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Graafland, J.J. & Ven van de, B. & Stoffele, N., 2003. "Strategies and instruments for organising CSR by small and large businesses in the Netherlands," MPRA Paper 20754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  8. Webley, Paul & Lewis, Alan & Mackenzie, Craig, 2001. "Commitment among ethical investors: An experimental approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-42, February.
  9. Oriol Amat & John Blake & Ester Oliveras, 2000. "The ethics of creative accounting: Some Spanish evidence," Economics Working Papers 455, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Badrinath, S G & Bolster, Paul J, 1996. "The Role of Market Forces in EPA Enforcement Activity," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 165-81, September.
  11. Graafland, J.J., 2001. "Profts and principles: Four perspectives," MPRA Paper 21134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Graafland, J.J., 2003. "Distribution of responsibility, ability and competition," MPRA Paper 20731, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Koku, Paul Sergius & Akhigbe, Aigbe & Springer, Thomas M., 1997. "The Financial Impact of Boycotts and Threats of Boycott," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 15-20, September.
  14. Kong, Nancy & Salzmann, Oliver & Steger, Ulrich & Ionescu-Somers, Aileen, 2002. "Moving Business/Industry Towards Sustainable Consumption:: The Role of NGOs," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 109-127, April.
  15. Richardson, Vernon J & Waegelein, James F, 2002. " The Influence of Long-Term Performance Plans on Earnings Management and Firm Performance," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 161-83, March.
  16. Bizjak, John M. & Brickley, James A. & Coles, Jeffrey L., 1993. "Stock-based incentive compensation and investment behavior," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 349-372, April.
  17. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 1997. "The Use of Quality and Reputation Indicators by Consumers: The Case of Bordeaux Wine," MPRA Paper 9283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Graafland, J.J., 2002. "Sourcing ethics in the textile sector: The case of C&A," MPRA Paper 20769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Brown, Lawrence D. & Ngo Higgins, Huong, 2001. "Managing earnings surprises in the US versus 12 other countries," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4-5), pages 373-398.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Johan Graafland & Corrie Mazereeuw-Van Der Duijn Schouten, 2007. "The Heavenly Calculus and Socially Responsible Business Conduct: An Explorative Study among Executives," De Economist, Springer, vol. 155(2), pages 161-181, June.
  2. Thomas Laudal, 2011. "Drivers and barriers of CSR and the size and internationalization of firms," Social Responsibility Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 7(2), pages 234-256, July.
  3. Suman Sen & James Cowley, 2013. "The Relevance of Stakeholder Theory and Social Capital Theory in the Context of CSR in SMEs: An Australian Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 413-427, December.
  4. Haylee Uecker-Mercado & Matthew Walker, 2012. "The Value of Environmental Social Responsibility to Facility Managers: Revealing the Perceptions and Motives for Adopting ESR," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 269-284, October.
  5. David Williamson & Gary Lynch-Wood & John Ramsay, 2006. "Drivers of Environmental Behaviour in Manufacturing SMEs and the Implications for CSR," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(3), pages 317-330, September.
  6. Nijhof, A. & Graafland, J.J. & Kuijer de, O., 2009. "Exploration of an agenda for transparency in the construction industry," MPRA Paper 20274, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. J. Graafland, 2010. "Do Markets Crowd Out Virtues? An Aristotelian Framework," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, January.

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