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The role of board gender and foreign ownership in the CSR performance of Chinese listed firms

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  • McGuinness, Paul B.
  • Vieito, João Paulo
  • Wang, Mingzhu

Abstract

China's recent promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has coincided with a marked increase in the number of Chinese listed firms attracting female board members and foreign equity investors. Using Rankins' (RKS) ratings over the 2009 to 2013 period, we show that greater gender balance in top-management supports stronger CSR performance. This finding broadens gender-based accounts emphasizing social networks (Westphal and Milton, 2000), Critical Mass Theory (Kramer et al., 2006; Bear et al., 2010; and Soares et al., 2011) and team dynamics (Woolley et al., 2010; and Hoogendoorn et al., 2013). Findings also reveal stronger CSR performance in firms where a female officer is present at the CEO and/or vice-CEO level. Female leadership thus appears to be just as important as gender mix in driving CSR change. Our findings shed new light and add further dimension to the nascent literature on gender and CSR-engagement in China (Lau et al., 2016; and Liao et al., 2016).

Suggested Citation

  • McGuinness, Paul B. & Vieito, João Paulo & Wang, Mingzhu, 2017. "The role of board gender and foreign ownership in the CSR performance of Chinese listed firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 75-99.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:75-99
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2016.11.001
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    Keywords

    Gender; CSR ratings; Social performance; QFII; Governance; China;

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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