David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):175-186 (2012)
Corporate social performance (CSP) has become a widely applied concept, discussed in most large firms’ corporate reports and the academic literature alike. Unfortunately, CSP has largely been employed as a way of demonstrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) in practice, or to justify the business case for CSR in academia by relating some measure of CSP to some measure of financial performance. In this article, we discuss multiple shortcomings to these approaches. We argue that (1) CSR activities need to be managed and measured as projects and aggregated to the business or corporate level using a project portfolio; (2) appropriate measures need to be identified that move away from reporting the firm’s activities toward quantifying actual social outcomes achieved; and (3) given the types of projects prevalent in CSR, statistical evaluation methods common in other fields (ideally, pre-test post-test control group designs, such as used in medicine or propensity score matching for ongoing or past projects) should be employed to properly measure outcomes. We make a first, albeit imperfect, attempt at using such an approach with data collected on behalf of the Patrimonio Hoy project, a well-publicized CSR initiative carried out by Cemex in Mexico. We show that the results from this data reinforce concerns voiced earlier in this article.
|Keywords||Corporate social performance Impact evaluation Measurement issues Project management Propensity score matching|
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References found in this work BETA
J. Griffin & Mahon John (1997). The Corporate Social Performance and Corporate Financial Performance Debate: 25 Years ofIncomparable ReseaarchJ. Business and Society 1:73-75.
William R. Shadish (2001). Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference. Houghton Mifflin.
Geoff Moore (2001). Corporate Social and Financial Performance: An Investigation in the U.K. Supermarket Industry. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 34 (3-4):299 - 315.
Citations of this work BETA
Won-Moo Hur, Hanna Kim & Jeong Woo (2013). How CSR Leads to Corporate Brand Equity: Mediating Mechanisms of Corporate Brand Credibility and Reputation. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 125 (1):1-12.
Ge Bai (2013). How Do Board Size and Occupational Background of Directors Influence Social Performance in For-Profit and Non-Profit Organizations? Evidence From California Hospitals. Journal of Business Ethics 118 (1):171-187.
Richard Peters, Ethan Waples & Peggy Golden (2014). A Real Options Reasoning Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility : Integrating Real Option Sensemaking and CSR Orientation. Business and Society Review 119 (1):61-93.
Malay Biswas (forthcoming). Are They Efficient in the Middle? Using Propensity Score Estimation for Modeling Middlemen in Indian Corporate Corruption. Journal of Business Ethics.
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