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The Impact of Public Scrutiny on Corporate Philanthropy

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  • Ailian Gan

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    Abstract

    This paper proposes that a corporation’s vulnerability to public scrutiny drives its corporate giving. The hypothesis that companies donate for strategic motives is tested against the alternative that they do so for altruistic reasons. Court cases and news articles were selected as proxies for public scrutiny. Macroeconomic variables were used to gauge the level of public charitable need and test for altruism. Through examining the philanthropic behavior of 40 Fortune 500 companies over 7 years, this paper finds that companies are strategic and altruistic in their giving. Copyright Springer 2006

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-006-9087-4
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 217-236

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:69:y:2006:i:3:p:217-236

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: altruism; corporate giving; corporate philanthropy; strategic philanthropy; D64; G34;

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    1. Mike Adams, 1998. "An Analysis of Corporate Donations: United Kingdom Evidence," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(5), pages 641-654, 09.
    2. Duncan, Brian, 2004. "A theory of impact philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2159-2180, August.
    3. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
    4. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
    5. Stephen Brammer & Andrew Millington, 2004. "The Development of Corporate Charitable Contributions in the UK: A Stakeholder Analysis," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(8), pages 1411-1434, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Sun Lee & Craig Carroll, 2011. "The Emergence, Variation, and Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Public Sphere, 1980–2004: The Exposure of Firms to Public Debate," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 115-131, November.
    2. Lydia Segal & Mark Lehrer, 2013. "The Conflict of Ethos and Ethics: A Sociological Theory of Business People’s Ethical Values," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 513-528, May.
    3. Hela Sheth & Kathy Babiak, 2010. "Beyond the Game: Perceptions and Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Professional Sport Industry," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 433-450, February.
    4. Daina Mazutis, 2014. "Supererogation: Beyond Positive Deviance and Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 119(4), pages 517-528, February.
    5. Marcus Wagner, 2013. "‘Green’ Human Resource Benefits: Do they Matter as Determinants of Environmental Management System Implementation?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 443-456, May.

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