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Unpacking the Drivers of Corporate Social Performance: A Multilevel, Multistakeholder, and Multimethod Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Marc Orlitzky

    (The University of South Australia)

  • Céline Louche

    (Audencia Nantes School of Management)

  • Jean-Pascal Gond

    (City University London)

  • Wendy Chapple

    (Nottingham University Business School)

Abstract

The question of what drives corporate social performance (CSP) has become a vital concern for many managers and researchers of large corporations. This study addresses this question by adopting a multilevel, multistakeholder, and multimethod approach to theorize and estimate the relative influence of macro (national business system and country), meso (industry), and micro (firm-level) factors on CSP. Applying three different methods of variance decomposition analysis to an international sample of 2060 large public companies over a time span of 5 years, our results show that firm-level factors explain the largest proportion of variance in aggregate CSP as well as CSP oriented toward communities, the natural environment, and employees. These results support our hypotheses according to which CSP is not primarily driven by macrolevel or mesolevel factors, except for shareholder-oriented CSP, which is relatively more influenced by country-level factors. As a whole, our findings also point to the value of subdividing CSP into its stakeholder-specific components as this disaggregation allows for a more careful examination of distinct drivers of distinct aspects of CSP.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Orlitzky & Céline Louche & Jean-Pascal Gond & Wendy Chapple, 2017. "Unpacking the Drivers of Corporate Social Performance: A Multilevel, Multistakeholder, and Multimethod Analysis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 21-40, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:144:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2822-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-015-2822-y
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