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The CSR-Firm Performance Missing Link: Complementarity Between Environmental, Social and Business Behavior Criteria?

  • Sandra Cavaco

    (LEM - Laboratoire d'Économie Moderne - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche)

  • Patricia Crifo

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS, UP10 - Université Paris 10, Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, CIRANO - Montréal)

This article analyses the complementarity between various dimensions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and financial performance. We hypothesise that the absence of consensus in the empirical literature on the CSR-financial performance relationship may be explained by the existence of synergies (complementarity) and trade-offs (substitutability) between the different CSR components. We investigate such relationships using a sample of 595 firms from 15 European countries over the 2002-2007 period. The results suggest some kind of trade-offs between CSR components. Some CSR combinations appear as relative complements, human resources and business behaviour towards customers and suppliers, suggesting mutual benefits and less conflicts between those stakeholders. Conversely, environment and business behaviour towards customers and suppliers appear as relative substitutes, suggesting more conflict or over investment between such types of stakeholders.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00504747.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00504747
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  1. Daniel Fernández-Kranz & Juan Santaló, 2010. "When Necessity Becomes a Virtue: The Effect of Product Market Competition on Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 453-487, 06.
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