Journal of Business Ethics 116 (1):49-65 (2013)

Authors
Ying Ru Li
University of Sydney
Abstract
This paper investigates the impact of diversity on corporate philanthropy. Compared to previous studies that have considered the influence of board diversity and CEO gender on corporate philanthropy, this study introduces the concept of operational diversity, which is the implementation of diversity programs at management, employee, and supply chain levels, and further, it explains why operational diversity influences corporate philanthropy, by using the premises of resource dependence theory. Second, this study also investigates the influence of board diversity on corporate philanthropy. Third, this study uses a large sample of U.S. firms over the period of 1991–2009 and tries to mitigate possible omitted variables and endogeneity problems that are often overlooked in previous research. We demonstrate that firms with operational diversity programs are likely more dependent on a broad variety of resources and give more to community as a strategic maneuver; hence, operational diversity is a better indicator for predicting future corporate giving than board diversity alone. However, having a woman or a member of a minority as a company’s chief executive officer is not sufficient to impact its charitable giving. A battery of robustness tests support our conclusion and confirm that our results are not driven by a firm’s general corporate social responsibility (CSR) score, gender or independence of board members, or firm ownership. This paper will assist researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders in deepening their understanding of the predictors of corporate giving
Keywords Corporate philanthropy  Operational diversity  Board of directors  Resource dependence theory
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-012-1445-9
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