Does Equity Ownership Matter for Corporate Social Responsibility? A Literature Review of Theories and Recent Empirical Findings

Does Equity Ownership Matter for Corporate Social Responsibility? A Literature Review of Theories... Based on the concept of shareholder primacy, many scholars have argued that it is more important for businesses to earn profits for their shareholders than to provide benefits to society at large. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is often regarded as an investment that comes at the expense of shareholders. In contrast, research analyzing the connections between the equity ownership structure of a company and its level of CSR engagement suggests that CSR offers benefits to shareholders that go beyond direct financial returns from investments. This study provides a comprehensive review and systematic assessment of theoretical considerations and approaches regarding different forms of equity ownership and their relationships to CSR, and it discusses the relevant benefits and motivations of shareholders. The perceived value of these CSR benefits varies among different types of shareholders, as they assign unequal values to short-term financial or to rather long-term CSR benefits. Based on a literature sample of 146 publications, this review demonstrates central problems inherent in previous analyses. Given the ambiguous and partially contradictory findings of prior research, this study identifies potential moderating influences that help clarify empirical evidence. A contingency approach is suggested in future research, as this can help resolve the problem of contradictory empirical findings and theoretical arguments. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Ethics Springer Journals

Does Equity Ownership Matter for Corporate Social Responsibility? A Literature Review of Theories and Recent Empirical Findings

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Business and Management, general; Management; Business Ethics; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
0167-4544
eISSN
1573-0697
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10551-016-3122-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Based on the concept of shareholder primacy, many scholars have argued that it is more important for businesses to earn profits for their shareholders than to provide benefits to society at large. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is often regarded as an investment that comes at the expense of shareholders. In contrast, research analyzing the connections between the equity ownership structure of a company and its level of CSR engagement suggests that CSR offers benefits to shareholders that go beyond direct financial returns from investments. This study provides a comprehensive review and systematic assessment of theoretical considerations and approaches regarding different forms of equity ownership and their relationships to CSR, and it discusses the relevant benefits and motivations of shareholders. The perceived value of these CSR benefits varies among different types of shareholders, as they assign unequal values to short-term financial or to rather long-term CSR benefits. Based on a literature sample of 146 publications, this review demonstrates central problems inherent in previous analyses. Given the ambiguous and partially contradictory findings of prior research, this study identifies potential moderating influences that help clarify empirical evidence. A contingency approach is suggested in future research, as this can help resolve the problem of contradictory empirical findings and theoretical arguments.

Journal

Journal of Business EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 16, 2016

References

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