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Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect the Performance of Firms?

Author

Listed:
  • Nicola Comincioli

    (University of Brescia)

  • Laura Poddi

    (University of Ferrara)

  • Sergio Vergalli

    (University of Brescia and FEEM)

Abstract

Over the last two decades in OECD countries an increasing number of firms are obtaining certification as Socially Responsible (CSR is the acronym for Corporate Social Responsibility). Several studies (including Preston and O’Bannon, 1997; Waddock and Graves, 1997; McWilliams and Sieger, 2001; Ullman, 1985) have sought to test whether there is a relation between Social Responsibility certification and firm performance. Our work builds a CSR index that intersects two of the three main international indices (Domini 400 Social Index, Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, FTSE4Good Index), in order to overcome some problems related to the multiplicity of CSR definitions and certifications. By using this database in a panel framework, our work shows that some performance indicators are affected by a firm’s social responsible behaviour and certifications. The main results seem to support the idea that CSR firms, which are more virtuous, have better long-run performance: even if they have initial costs due to the certification, they achieve higher sales volumes and profits, thanks to the reputation effect, a reduction in long-run costs and increased social responsible demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Comincioli & Laura Poddi & Sergio Vergalli, 2012. "Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect the Performance of Firms?," Working Papers 2012.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2012.53
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Navarro, Peter, 1988. "Why Do Corporations Give to Charity?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(1), pages 65-93, January.
    2. Louis Amato & Christie Amato, 2007. "The Effects of Firm Size and Industry on Corporate Giving," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 229-241, May.
    3. S. Brammer & Geoffrey Williams & John Zinkin, 2007. "Religion and Attitudes to Corporate Social Responsibility in a Large Cross-Country Sample," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 71(3), pages 229-243, March.
    4. Dierkes, Meinolf & Preston, Lee E., 1977. "Corporate social accounting reporting for the physical environment: A critical review and implementation proposal," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 3-22, January.
    5. Cowen, Scott S. & Ferreri, Linda B. & Parker, Lee D., 1987. "The impact of corporate characteristics on social responsibility disclosure: A typology and frequency-based analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 111-122, March.
    6. Stephen J. Brammer & Stephen Pavelin, 2006. "Corporate Reputation and Social Performance: The Importance of Fit," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 435-455, May.
    7. Parket, I. Robert & Eilbirt, Henry, 1975. "The practice of business social responsibility: the underlying factors," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 5-10, August.
    8. Sergio Vergalli & Laura Poddi, 2009. "Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect the Performance of Firms?," Working Papers 2009.52, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Roberts, Robin W., 1992. "Determinants of corporate social responsibility disclosure: An application of stakeholder theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 595-612, August.
    10. Mike Adams, 1998. "An Analysis of Corporate Donations: United Kingdom Evidence," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(5), pages 641-654, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2171-:d:120307 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Paolo Cominetti & Laura Poddi & Sergio Vergalli, 2012. "The Push Factors for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Probit Analysis," Working Papers 2012.58, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate Social Responsibility; Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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