Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):175-186 (2012)
AbstractCorporate 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.
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Citations of this work
How CSR Leads to Corporate Brand Equity: Mediating Mechanisms of Corporate Brand Credibility and Reputation. [REVIEW]Won-Moo Hur, Hanna Kim & Jeong Woo - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 125 (1):1-12.
How Do Board Size and Occupational Background of Directors Influence Social Performance in For-Profit and Non-Profit Organizations? Evidence From California Hospitals.Ge Bai - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 118 (1):171-187.
Ethical Implications of Management Accounting and Control: A Systematic Review of the Contributions from the Journal of Business Ethics.Christoph Endenich & Rouven Trapp - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 163 (2):309-328.
Unmasking Corporate Sustainability at the Project Level: Exploring the Influence of Institutional Logics and Individual Agency.Jacqueline Corbett, Jane Webster & Tracy A. Jenkin - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 147 (2):261-286.
A Real Options Reasoning Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility : Integrating Real Option Sensemaking and CSR Orientation.Richard Peters, Ethan Waples & Peggy Golden - 2014 - Business and Society Review 119 (1):61-93.
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