Corporate Social Responsibility in the Journal of Strategy and Management
Virtual Issue, Summer 2023
edited by Steve Lovett
Department of Management
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Journal of Strategy and Management contributors have recently been quite interested in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Dane K. Peterson and colleagues (2021), Serhan Kotiloglu (2023), and Hyun-Soo Woo and colleagues (2022) all investigated the motives for CSR. Burhan Rasheed and Muhammad Ahmad (2022) and Pedro Silva and colleagues (2023) investigated the results or benefits of CSR, and Feibo Shao and colleagues (2021) investigated the relationship between CSR and corporate social irresponsibility (CISR).
Dane K. Peterson and colleagues (2021) presented a model based on a shareholder-CEO principle-agent conflict, in which shareholders have only business objectives for charitable giving, while CEOs can have both business and non-business objectives. For example, shareholders support charitable giving when it enhances the reputation of the company among potential customers or employees, while CEOs may support pet charities or those reflecting their personal interests. Peterson and colleagues concluded that powerful shareholders tend to steer charitable donations toward business objectives.
Serhan Kotiloglu (2023) related CSR to organizational performance feedback theory (PFT). PFT suggests organizations set aspiration levels by comparing their performance either to themselves in the past or to peer organizations. Kotiloglu found as performance dips below aspirations organizations increase CSR in an attempt to increase performance. But, ironically, as performance increases above aspirations, organizations also increase CSR because they become motivated to contribute to society. Furthermore, LGBT inclusion is a form of CSR and may moderate the above relationships.
Hyun-Soo Woo and colleagues (2022) noted previous research showed domestic firms often engage in CSR in response to entry into their markets by foreign firms, presumably to enhance their reputations in the face of a competitive threat. Investigating this issue further, Woo and colleagues found this response was more common when the foreign firm entered through M&A than when they entered with a greenfield venture, and explained that the M&A entry results in a more serious or at least more immediate threat. They also found CSR was less common in more concentrated industries, and explained that when only a few firms dominate an industry they feel less of a threat from a new entrant.
Burhan Rasheed and Muhammad Ahmad (2022) investigated the relationship between CSR and competitive advantage in Pakistan, a successful emerging economy. They found CSR leads to competitive advantage, but especially in the most competitive industries, and these results hold true even given two different measures of CSR. The authors explained CSR helps firms stand out from the competition, and in competitive industries firms need to do more CSR in order to stand out.
Pedro Silva and colleagues (2023) investigated another benefit to CSR – employees’ job performance. Social identity theory tells us as CSR increases the prestige or reputation of a company it should also increase employee effort and performance. However, Silva and colleagues found no significant direct effect of CSR perceptions on performance. Rather, they found significant effects when using job satisfaction and organizational trust as mediating variables. This helps to illustrate the mechanism or path by which CSR helps to increase employee performance.
Feibo Shao and colleagues (2021) investigated the relationship between CSR and corporate social irresponsibility (CISR), which are often present simultaneously in firms. Examples of CSR include charitable giving to education or non-profit institutions, while examples of CISR include insider trading or doing business with suppliers who do not respect employees’ human rights. Shao and colleagues found positive relationships between prior CSR and subsequent CSR and also between prior CISR and subsequent CISR, indicating firms tend to be consistent over time. But perhaps their most interesting finding was a positive relationship between prior CISR and subsequent CSR. It may be that firms, like individuals, practice moral compensation. In other words, they attempt to use CSR to compensate for past bad behavior.
The following articles are free to access from 15 Sept 2023 to 15 Oct 2023:
“Motives for corporate philanthropy and charitable causes supported,” by Dane K. Peterson, Cathryn Van Landuyt, and Courtney Pham. JSM, 2021, 14(4): 397-412.
“Exploring how organizational performance feedback influences corporate social responsibility (CSR): the moderating role of LGBT inclusion,” by Serhan Kotiloglu. JSM, 2023, 16(2): 378-394.
“How increased foreign competition motivates domestic firms to do good: An examination of foreign entry modes and domestic CSR response,” by Hyun-Soo Woo, John Berns, Kaushik Mukherjee, and Jisun Kim. JSM, 2022, 15(4).
“Competitive intensity: Bridging the gap between corporate social responsibility and competitive advantage,” by Rasheed Burhan and Muhammad Ahmad. JSM, 2022, 15(4): 745-765.
“Employees’ perception of corporate social responsibility and performance: The mediating roles of job satisfaction, organizational commitment and organizational trust,” by Pedro Silva, Antonio Carrizo Moreira, and Jorge Mota. JSM, 2023, 16(1): 92-111.
“Understanding the dynamic relationships between CSR and CSIR,” by Feibo Shao, Audrey J. Murrell, Xiaoping Zhao, Ke Zhang, and Timothy A. Hart. JSM, 2021, 14(4): 545-561.