Business and Society 58 (2):231-267 (2019)

J. J. Graafland
Tilburg University
There are relatively few empirical studies on the impacts of corporate social responsibility policies and programs. This article addresses the research gap by analyzing the incidence of, and the conditions that affect, decoupling among CSR policies, implementation of CSR programs, and CSR impacts for various environmental and social issues. Complete decoupling is a condition of full divergence among policies, programs, and impacts amounting to purely ceremonial CSR. Using ratings from a sustainability rating agency on a sample of about 1,000 large companies in 24 countries, the authors find empirical evidence not supporting a conclusion of complete decoupling. The empirical evidence suggests four levels of nondivergence in the sample. First, for most CSR issues examined, CSR policies of high quality do have relatively strong effects on CSR implementation. Second, CSR programs of high quality do have relatively strong effects on CSR impacts. Third, for most CSR issues, even low-quality CSR policies enforce the incidence and quality of programs in comparison with having no policy at all. Fourth, weak programs have more impact on the realization of CSR goals than having no program at all. The authors also find that the quality of CSR reporting and locating the responsibility for CSR at the board level reduce decoupling by strengthening the quality of CSR programs.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0007650316647951
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,946
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ethics Programs and Their Dimensions.Steven N. Brenner - 1992 - Journal of Business Ethics 11 (5-6):391-399.
Trying and Failing.Annie Powell, Johanne Grosvold & Andrew Millington - 2015 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 26:192-204.
Issues for Development Communication Ethics.William Herzog - 1991 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 6 (4):210 – 221.


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #657,610 of 2,427,250 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #540,061 of 2,427,250 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes