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  1. The Heterogeneity of Board-Level Sustainability Committees and Corporate Social Performance.Udi Hoitash, Rani Hoitash & Jenna Burke - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):1161-1186.
    This paper explores an increasingly prevalent element of board-level commitment to sustainability. We propose a theoretical framework under which the existence and associated actions of board-level sustainability committees are motivated by shared value creation, where the interests of a diverse group of stakeholders are satisfied and sufficient profit is achieved. Using hand-collected data, we find that sustainability committees are heterogeneous in focus and vary in their effectiveness. Specifically, we disaggregate the sustainability committee construct based on stakeholder group focus and find (...)
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  • Initiating Disclosure of Environmental Liability Information: An Empirical Analysis of Firm Choice. [REVIEW]Jennifer C. Chen, Charles H. Cho & Dennis M. Patten - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 125 (4):1-12.
    This paper investigates potential motivations for late adopting U.S. companies to begin disclosing environmental liability amounts in their financial statements. Based on a review of 10-K reports filed from 1998 through 2012, inclusive, we identified 55 firms initiating environmental liability disclosure over the period, with all but three doing so by 2006. Focusing on the disclosers up through 2006, we argue that the companies may have used the disclosure as a tool of impression management to avoid potential stakeholder mis-estimation of (...)
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  • Does the Voluntary Adoption of Corporate Governance Mechanisms Improve Environmental Risk Disclosures? Evidence From Greenhouse Gas Emission Accounting.Gary F. Peters & Andrea M. Romi - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 125 (4):1-30.
    Prior research suggests that voluntary environmental governance mechanisms operate to enhance a firm’s environmental legitimacy as opposed to being a driver of proactive environmental performance activities. To understand how these mechanisms contribute to the firm’s environmental legitimacy, we investigate whether environmental corporate governance characteristics are associated with voluntary environmental disclosure. We examine an increasingly important attribute of a firm’s disclosure setting, namely the disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) information. GHG information represents proprietary non-financial information about the firm’s exposure to environmental (...)
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  • Astroturfing Global Warming: It Isn’T Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence. [REVIEW]Charles H. Cho, Martin L. Martens, Hakkyun Kim & Michelle Rodrigue - 2011 - Journal of Business Ethics 104 (4):571-587.
    Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them. They constitute the corporate version of grassroots social movements. Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach. This study is motivated by this particular issue and examines the effectiveness of astroturf organizations in the global warming context, (...)
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  • Corporate Social Responsibility Report Narratives and Analyst Forecast Accuracy.Albert Tsang, Suresh Radhakrishnan, Sunay Mutlu & Volkan Muslu - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):1119-1142.
    Standalone corporate social responsibility reports vary considerably in the content of information released due to their voluntary nature. In this study, we develop a disclosure score based on the tone, readability, length, and the numerical and horizon content of CSR report narratives, and examine the relationship between the CSR disclosure scores and analyst forecasts. We find that CSR reporters with high disclosure scores are associated with more accurate forecasts, whereas low score CSR reporters are not associated with more accurate forecasts (...)
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  • Managing the Risks of Corporate Political Donations: A Utilitarian Perspective.Shane Leong, James Hazelton & Cynthia Townley - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 118 (2):429-445.
    This paper applies a utilitarian analysis to corporate political donations. Unlike the more common rights-based analyses, it is argued that the optimal policy is the one that best satisfies society’s rational preferences concerning donor influence, adequate financing, donor pressure and the cost of maintaining and enforcing the democratic system. This analysis suggests that a ban is best if it would be generally observed and sufficient financing from other sources is available, otherwise a donation cap is a better option. Further, lobbyists (...)
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  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Productivity: Evidence From the Chemical Industry in the United States.Li Sun & Marty Stuebs - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 118 (2):251-263.
    Prior research suggests that participating in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities can lead to higher future productivity. However, the empirical evidence is still scarce. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between CSR and future firm productivity in the U.S. chemical industry. Specifically, this study examines the relationship between CSR in year t and firm productivity in year (t + 1), (t + 2), and (t + 3). We use Data Envelopment Analysis, a non-parametric method, to measure (...)
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  • Beyond Acclamations and Excuses: Environmental Performance, Voluntary Environmental Disclosure, and the Role of Visibility.Cedric E. Dawkins & John W. Fraas - 2010 - Journal of Business Ethics 92 (4):655-655.
    Some researchers have argued that firms with favorable environmental performance are more likely to provide voluntary environmental disclosure, while others have argued that firms with poor environmental performance are most likely to disclose. The authors propose a curvilinear relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure that is moderated by visibility. Data were obtained from S&P 500 firms queried by the Ceres’ Climate Disclosure Project. Results show a U-shaped environmental performance–environmental disclosure relation and a main effect for visibility, but no moderating (...)
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  • Erratum To: Beyond Acclamations and Excuses: Environmental Performance, Voluntary Environmental Disclosure and the Role of Visibility. [REVIEW]Cedric E. Dawkins & John W. Fraas - 2011 - Journal of Business Ethics 99 (3):383 - 397.
    Some researchers have argued that firms with favorable environmental performance are more likely to provide voluntary environmental disclosure, while others have argued that firms with poor environmental performance are most likely to disclose. The authors propose a curvilinear relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure that is moderated by visibility. Data were obtained from S&P 500 firms queried by Ceres' Climate Disclosure Project. Results show a U-shaped environmental performance—environmental disclosure relation and a main effect for visibility but no moderating effect (...)
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  • Coming Clean: The Impact of Environmental Performance and Visibility on Corporate Climate Change Disclosure. [REVIEW]Cedric Dawkins & John W. Fraas - 2011 - Journal of Business Ethics 100 (2):303 - 322.
    Previous research provides mixed results on the relationship between corporate environmental performance and the level of voluntary environmental disclosure. We revisit this relation by testing competing predictions from defensive and accommodative approaches to voluntary disclosure with regard to climate change. In particular, we add to the prior literature by determining the extent to which environmental performance and company media visibility interact to prompt voluntary climate change disclosure. Using ordinal regression and Ceres, KLD, and Trucost ratings of S& P 500 companies, (...)
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  • The Normativity and Legitimacy of CSR Disclosure: Evidence From France.Jean-Noël Chauvey, Sophie Giordano-Spring, Charles H. Cho & Dennis M. Patten - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 130 (4):789-803.
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  • Complementary Resources and Capabilities for an Ethical and Environmental Management: A Qual/Quan Study.María Dolores López-Gamero, Enrique Claver-Cortés & José Francisco Molina-Azorín - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 82 (3):701-732.
    Managers’ commitment to contribute to sustainable development holds the key to their long-term business success and may be a source of competitive advantage. The managerial perception of business ethics is influenced by the level of moral development and personal characteristics of managers. These perceptions are also shaped by forces existing in the environment of the firm, including available resources, societal expectations, sector, and regulations. The resource-based perspective can thus contribute to the analysis of ethical issues offering important insights on how (...)
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  • Do Lenders Applaud Corporate Environmental Performance? Evidence From Chinese Private-Owned Firms.Xingqiang Du, Jianying Weng, Quan Zeng, Yingying Chang & Hongmei Pei - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 143 (1):179-207.
    This study extends previous literature on the association between corporate social responsibility and corporate financial behavior by investigating the influence of corporate environmental performance on the cost of debt. Using a sample of Chinese private-owned firms, we document strong and consistent evidence to show that corporate environmental performance is significantly negatively associated with the interest rate on debt—the proxy for the cost of debt. The findings suggest that lenders applaud better environmental performance. Moreover, internal control attenuates the negative association between (...)
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  • Corporate Charitable Contributions: A Corporate Social Performance or Legitimacy Strategy?Jennifer C. Chen, Dennis M. Patten & Robin W. Roberts - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 82 (1):131-144.
    This study examines the relation between firms' corporate philanthropic giving and their performance in three other social domains - employee relations, environmental issues, and product safety. Based on a sample of 384 U.S. companies and using data pooled from 1998 through 2000, we find that worse performers in the other social areas are both more likely to make charitable contributions and that the extent of their giving is larger than for better performers. Analyses of each separate area of social performance, (...)
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  • Measurement Issues in Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (ECSR): Toward a Transparent, Reliable, and Construct Valid Instrument. [REVIEW]Noushi Rahman & Corinne Post - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 105 (3):307-319.
    One of the major roadblocks in conducting Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (ECSR) research is operationalization of the construct. Existing ECSR measurement tools either require primary data gathering or special subscriptions to proprietary databases that have limited replicability. We address this deficiency by developing a transparent ECSR measure, with an explicit coding scheme, that strictly relies on publicly available data. Our ECSR measure tests favorably for internal consistency and inter-rater reliability, as well as convergent and discriminant validity.
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  • The Role of CEO’s Personal Incentives in Driving Corporate Social Responsibility.Michele Fabrizi, Christine Mallin & Giovanna Michelon - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 124 (2):311-326.
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  • The Frontstage and Backstage of Corporate Sustainability Reporting: Evidence From the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Bill.Charles H. Cho, Matias Laine, Robin W. Roberts & Michelle Rodrigue - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 152 (3):865-886.
    While proponents of sustainability reporting believe in its potential to help corporations be accountable and transparent about their social and environmental impacts, there has been growing criticism asserting that such reporting schemes are utilized primarily as impression management tools. Drawing on Goffman’s self-presentation theory and its frontstage/backstage analogy, we contrast the frontstage sustainability discourse of a sample of large U.S. oil and gas firms to their backstage corporate political activities in the context of the passage of the American-Made Energy and (...)
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  • Legitimacy and Organizational Sustainability.Tom E. Thomas & Eric Lamm - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 110 (2):191-203.
    The literature regarding social and environmental sustainability of business focuses primarily on rationales for adopting sustainability strategies and operational practices in support of that goal. In contrast, we examine sustainability from a perspective that has received far less research attention—attitudes that inform managerial decision-making. We develop a conceptual model that identifies six elemental categories of attitudes that can be held independently or aggregated to yield a meta-attitude representing the legitimacy of sustainability. Our model distinguishes among three types of internally held (...)
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  • Monitoring Intensity and Stakeholders' Orientation: How Does Governance Affect Social and Environmental Disclosure? [REVIEW]Christine Mallin, Giovanna Michelon & Davide Raggi - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 114 (1):29-43.
    The aim of the paper is to investigate the effects of the corporate governance model on social and environmental disclosure (SED). We analyze the disclosures of the 100 U.S. Best Corporate Citizens in the period 2005–2007, and we posit a series of simultaneous relationships between different attributes of the governance system and a multidimensional construct of corporate social performance (CSP). We consider both the extent and the quality of SED, with the purpose of identifying increasing levels of corporate commitment to (...)
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