An empirical examination of institutional investor preferences for corporate social performance

Journal of Business Ethics 52 (1):27-43 (2004)
Abstract
This study investigates the pattern of institutional shareholding in the U.K. and its relationship with socially responsible behavior by companies within a sample of over 500 UK companies. We estimate a set of ownership models that distinguish between long- and short-term investors and their largest components and which incorporate both aggregated and disaggregated measures of corporate social performance (CSP). The results suggest that long-term institutional investment is positively related to CSP providing further support for earlier studies by Johnson and Greening (1999, Academy of Management Journal 42, 564–576) and Graves and Waddock (1994, Academy of Management Journal 37, 1034–1046). Disaggregation of CSP into its constituent components suggests that the pattern of institutional investment is also related to the form which CSP takes. Investigation of the impact of investment screens on the selection of stocks suggests that long-term institutional investors select primarily through exclusion, rejecting those firms which have the worst CSP.
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