Reexamining Corporate Social Responsibility and Shareholder Value: The Inverted-U-Shaped Relationship and the Moderation of Marketing Capability

Journal of Business Ethics:1-17 (forthcoming)

Abstract
In the literature, CSR’s roles on firm performance are found to be positive, negative, or neutral. This inconclusive pattern suggests there may be a more complicated mechanism at work than the traditional focus on simple linear associations. We propose and test an inverted-U-shaped relationship between CSR and shareholder value, the fundamental measure of firm performance. Further, we incorporate a critical firm attribute, marketing capability, to moderate the nonlinear link between CSR and shareholder value, thereby exploring a previous understudied area involving the interplay between CSR and market-side competency. The results show that an initial increase in CSR engagement positively drives firm shareholder value, but the effect turns negative when a firm pursues excessive CSR engagement. Notably, however, this negative association does not apply to firms that have a high marketing capability. Our research generates meaningful implications for a stakeholder view of CSR, strategic management, firm valuation, resource-based theories, and business practices.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-018-3854-x
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