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Determinants of Managerial Values on Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from China

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  • Liangrong Zu

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  • Lina Song

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Abstract

This paper empirically investigates how Chinese executives and managers perceive and interpret corporate social responsibility (CSR), to what extent firms’ productive characteristics influence managers’ attitudes towards their CSR rating, and whether their values in favour of CSR are positively correlated to firms’ economic performance. Although a large proportion of respondents express a favourable view of CSR and a willingness to participate in socially responsible activities, we find that the true nature of their assertion is linked to entrepreneurs’ instincts of gaining economic benefits. It is the poorly-performing firms, or rather, firms with vulnerable indicators – smaller in size, State-owned, producing traditional goods and located in poorer regions that are more likely to have managers who opt for a higher CSR rating. Managers’ personal characteristics per se are not significant in determining their CSR choice. Moreover, controlling for other observed variables, we find that managers’ CSR orientation is positively correlated with their firms’ performance. The better-off a firm is, the more likely its manager is to get involve in CSR activities. Firms with better economic performance before their restructuring would sustain higher post-restructuring performance.
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Suggested Citation

  • Liangrong Zu & Lina Song, 2009. "Determinants of Managerial Values on Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 105-117, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:88:y:2009:i:1:p:105-117 DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9828-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1999. "The Rural-Urban Divide: Economic Disparities and Interactions in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293309.
    2. Teoh, Hai-Yap & Thong, Gregory, 1984. "Another look at corporate social responsibility and reporting: An empirical study in a developing country," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 189-206, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gao, Fox & Faff, Robert & Navissi, Farshid, 2012. "Corporate philanthropy: Insights from the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 363-377.
    2. Heung-Jun Jung & Dong-One Kim, 2016. "Good Neighbors but Bad Employers: Two Faces of Corporate Social Responsibility Programs," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 295-310.
    3. Cheung, Yan-Leung & Jiang, Kun & Tan, Weiqiang, 2012. "‘Doing-good’ and ‘doing-well’ in Chinese publicly listed firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 776-785.
    4. Douglas Cumming & Wenxuan Hou & Edward Lee, 2016. "Business Ethics and Finance in Greater China: Synthesis and Future Directions in Sustainability, CSR, and Fraud," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 601-626.
    5. Khaled Mohammed Alqahtani & Pingping Song, 2016. "Corporate Social Responsibility of Chinese SMEs: Implementation and Challenges (Spoleczna odpowiedzialnosc chinskich MSP: wdrozenie, realizacja i wyzwania)," Research Reports, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 1(20), pages 65-79.
    6. ChungMing Lau & Yuan Lu & Qiang Liang, 2016. "Corporate Social Responsibility in China: A Corporate Governance Approach," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 73-87.
    7. Juelin Yin & Yuli Zhang, 2012. "Institutional Dynamics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in an Emerging Country Context: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 301-316.
    8. Farag, Hisham & Meng, Qingwei & Mallin, Chris, 2015. "The social, environmental and ethical performance of Chinese companies: Evidence from the Shanghai Stock Exchange," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 53-63.
    9. repec:eee:touman:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:231-235 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Min Zhang & Biying Jin & G. Alan Wang & Thong Ngee Goh & Zhen He, 2016. "A Study of Key Success Factors of Service Enterprises in China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 1-14.
    11. Wu, Shuangqi & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Wang, Jinmin, 2017. "The Determinants of Virtue: Modelling Changes in the CSR Ratings of Chinese Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 11153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. 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.
    13. Liang Zhang & Tie-nan Wang & Hung-Gay Fung, 2014. "Market Reaction to Corporate Social Responsibility Announcements: Evidence from China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 22(2), pages 81-101, March.
    14. Wenjing Li & Ran Zhang, 2010. "Corporate Social Responsibility, Ownership Structure, and Political Interference: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 631-645.
    15. Kong, Dongmin, 2012. "Does corporate social responsibility matter in the food industry? Evidence from a nature experiment in China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 323-334.
    16. Jamali, Dima & Karam, Charlotte & Yin, Juelin & Soundararajan, Vivek, 2017. "CSR logics in developing countries: Translation, adaptation and stalled development," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 343-359.
    17. Lam, Hugo K.S. & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Cheng, T.C.E. & Humphreys, Paul K., 2016. "Corporate environmental initiatives in the Chinese context: Performance implications and contextual factors," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 48-56.
    18. Shuangqi Wu & Simon Appleton & Lina Song & Jinmin Wang, 2017. "The Determinants of Virtue: Modelling Changes in the CSR Ratings of Chinese Firms," Working Papers id:12253, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate social responsibility; profit maximisation; China;

    JEL classification:

    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

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