This paper analyzes the determinants of corporate reputation within a sample of large UK companies drawn from a diverse range of industries. We pay particular attention to the role that philanthropic expenditures and policies may play in shaping the perceptions of companies among their stakeholders. Our findings highlight that companies which make higher levels of philanthropic expenditures have better reputations and that this effect varies significantly across industries. Given that reputational indices tend to reflect the financial performance of organizations above (...) other factors (Fryxell, G. E. and J. Wang: 1994, Journal of Management 20, 1–14) and that elements of the literature emphasise that discretionary aspects of social responsibility, including corporate donations, may not be in the financial interests of organizations (e.g. Friedman, M.: 1970, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits”, New York Times Magazine, September 13), this is a significant finding. It suggests that philanthropic expenditures may play a significant role in stakeholder management and may, in particular, lead to stakeholders holding more positive impressions of philanthropic corporations. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between religious denomination and individual attitudes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within the context of a large sample of over 17,000 individuals drawn from 20 countries. We address two general questions: do members of religious denominations have different attitudes concerning CSR than people of no denomination? And: do members of different religions have different attitudes to CSR that conform to general priors about the teachings of different religions? Our evidence suggests that, broadly, religious individuals do (...) not prioritise the responsibilities of the firm differently, but do tend to hold broader conceptions of the social responsibilities of businesses than non-religious individuals. However, we show that this neither true for all religious groups, nor for all areas of CSR. (shrink)
This study investigates the pattern of institutional shareholding in the U.K. and its relationship with socially responsible behavior by companies within a sample of over 500 UK companies. We estimate a set of ownership models that distinguish between long- and short-term investors and their largest components and which incorporate both aggregated and disaggregated measures of corporate social performance (CSP). The results suggest that long-term institutional investment is positively related to CSP providing further support for earlier studies by Johnson and Greening (...) (1999, Academy of Management Journal 42, 564–576) and Graves and Waddock (1994, Academy of Management Journal 37, 1034–1046). Disaggregation of CSP into its constituent components suggests that the pattern of institutional investment is also related to the form which CSP takes. Investigation of the impact of investment screens on the selection of stocks suggests that long-term institutional investors select primarily through exclusion, rejecting those firms which have the worst CSP. (shrink)
This paper analyses the relationships between corporate community involvement activities, the organizational structures within which they are managed, the firm's industry and evolving stakeholder attitudes and preferences in a sample of 148 U.K. based firms who have demonstrated a clear desire to be socially responsible. The research highlights significant associations between the allocation of responsibility for community involvement within the firm, its industry and the extent of its community involvement activities. Consistent with the view that managerial structures may play a (...) significant role in the implementation of community initiatives, the results identify significant variations in community involvement policies across alternative organizational forms. However, important similarities in corporate community policies across alternative structures are also shown to exist suggesting that corporate community involvement activities may be influenced by the preferences of societal stakeholders. (shrink)
We address the issue of UK firms relatively poor record of corporate community contributions (CCCs) by subjecting them to formal comparison with those of US firms. To this end, we employ data on the top 100 UK, and top 100 US, contributors in 2001. Cross-country differences are described and discussed with reference to a stakeholder perspective on corporate social responsibility, and CCCs in particular. In this connection, we evaluate the role played by the sectoral composition of activities, as well as (...) national, cultural and institutional factors. Our findings highlight a number of significant cross-country differences in the pattern of CCCs and suggest that UK and US firms operate within significantly different stakeholder environments. (shrink)
This paper investigates an under-researched relationship, that between corporate social performance (CSP) and geographical diversification. Drawingupon the institutional and stakeholder perspectives and utilising data on a sample of large UK firms, we develop a set of empirical models of CSP, and findevidence of a significant contemporaneous positive relationship between the two for some types of social performance and in some regions of the world. Overall,we provide evidence that firms shape their social performance strategies to their geographical profile.
How do a country’s basic institutions enable or hinder women’s rise to the boards of public companies? The study evaluates this question with reference to the five basic institutions that research suggests are common across all countries: family, education, economy, government, and religion. The study draws on a sample, which consists of 23 countries, and the study is framed in neo-institutional theory. In analyzing the role of these institutions, the article seeks to understand better the relationships between specific institutions and (...) the share of board seats held by women. The results suggest that four of the five basic institutions are related to the share of board seats women hold. Family, education, economy, and government influence women’s rise to the board; however, religion does not influence women’s rise to the corporate board of directors. (shrink)
Functionalism offers an account of the relations that hold between behavioural functions, information and neural processing, and conscious experience from which one can draw two inferences: for any discriminable difference between qualia there must be an equivalent discriminable difference in function; and for any discriminable functional difference within a behavioural domain associated with qualia, there must be a discriminable difference between qualia. The phenomenon of coloured hearing synaesthesia appears to contradict the second of these inferences. We report data showing that (...) this form of synaesthesia is genuine and probably results from an aberrant projection from cortical language areas to a region specialized for the perception of colour. Since functionalism purports to be a general account of consciousness, one such negative instance, if it can be further sustained empirically, is sufficient to invalidate it. (shrink)
The ideology of consumption and the imperative of consumer choice have washed across the globe. In today's developed economies there is an ever-increasing amount of buying, amidst an ever-increasing amount of purchase options, amidst an ever-increasing amount of stress, amidst an ever-decreasing amount of discretionary time. This brief essay reviews research suggesting, for example, that hyperchoice confuses people and increases regret, that hyperchoice is initially attractive but ultimately unsatisfying, and that hyperchoice is psychologically draining. Future research is then discussed, including (...) how and why hyperchoice may have other toxic effects on people, including the degrading of moral emotions and behavior. (shrink)
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that firms are responding differently to the mounting concerns over environmental degradation and climate change. While a few studies at individual firm level do exist, relatively little is known about the longitudinal development of corporate environmental strategy at the population level of firms. Employing KLD data we explore the evolution of environmental strategy among a sample of S&P500 corporations over the period 1997 to 2006. We theoretically ground our study in Burgelman’s (1991) autonomous and induced (...) perspectives of strategy-making. Our findings suggest widespread inertia among firms to adjust to the changing socio-institutional environment. (shrink)
In this article we explore the influences upon the proportion of women on a country’s corporate boards. Using a conceptual framework that builds uponnational business systems theory, we investigate the extent to which national economic, cultural, political and social institutions explain cross-country variationin the gender composition of corporate elites. In the context of a sample drawn from over 40 countries, our empirical analysis shows that such institutionscollectively explain approximately two-thirds of the variance between countries in the percentage of women on (...) their corporate boards. Specifically, our findingsshow that economic and cultural factors play a particularly important role in shaping the gender balance of boards in comparison to political and social factors. (shrink)
Different stages of the product and industry life cycle has been argued to be an important factor in shaping firms’ strategic actions, as the life cycle influence the firms’ sales, profit, product innovation, marketing mix and differentiation strategies. Drawing on the theory of industry life cycle , this article examines how the ILC influences firms’ corporate social responsibility performance in the context of global procurement transactions. The findings suggest that mature industries have much greater levels of responsible procurement processes, compared (...) to rapid growing and declining industries. The authors conclude that CSR in procurement transactions is a trait of changes in the strategic behaviour of firms, as they progress from the ILC stage of growth to maturity and decline, rather than being a by-product of supply chain sophistication, which also develops along the ILC. (shrink)
In this paper we provide the first comprehensive insight into corporate community involvement activities of companies in Turkey. Drawing upon an extensive database compiled from corporate websites and archive documents in addition to a primary survey of 77 of Turkey’s largest companies, we examine the pattern of corporate community activities in Turkey and juxtapose these against existing evidence for other countries and distinctive elements of Turkey’s institutional environment. Our analysis highlights the historical role played by leading philanthropists in stimulating corporate (...) community involvement activities in Turkey and shows that overall giving is very heavily concentrated among the largest givers. We also highlight the concentration of giving among consumer good producers, suggesting a clear strategic rationale for the majority of CCI activity in Turkey, the very low levels of giving by foreign owned and controlled companies, and the strong orientation of CCI in Turkey to projects concerned with education, healthcare and the arts. (shrink)
In this article we explore the state of current ESCM practices in U.K. companies. We develop a conceptual framework that draws upon the stakeholder,resource-based, and power-dependence perspectives and examine this framework in light of empirical evidence concerning ESCM in 166 UK companies. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, our evidence suggests that around 50% of sample companies engage in some form of ESCM activity and that experiencing significant external pressure from customers is an important driver of ESCM.
In this study, we aim to illustrate the process of corporate community involvement (CCI) decision-making and the choice of corporate community involvement behaviors within the confines of behavioral theory of the firm. Case study approach will be taken for this study. Four different genres of companies are chosen in Turkey (e.g. multinational, holding company, subsidiary, joint venture). Five core concepts of the behavioral theory of the firm are studied and analyzed based on the findings related to corporate community involvement decisions (...) process of the 4 studied companies. (shrink)
This paper analyses the areas of philanthropic expenditure prioritized by a sample of 164 large UK companies within a model that draws on economics and stakeholder theory. Broadly, our evidence suggests that firms make systematic choices over the alternative destinations of their philanthropic donations in ways that are rationalisable by reference to the particular strategic benefits that are associated with their business environments. Specifically, we identify statistically significant preferences for medical research among hitechnology companies, environmental causes among firms active in (...) environmentally damaging industries, and educational charities among labour intensive companies. This provides significant support for studies that suggest that philanthropy is increasingly viewedstrategically by companies. (shrink)
This study assesses the impact had by institutional isomorphic pressures in the organisational fields of 185 businesses operating within the United Kingdom. The emphasis throughout is on how external institutions affect the socially and environmentally responsible aspects of an organization’s purchasing practice. Factor analyses and a linear regression model are employed to test the influence of these pressures. Initial findings suggest that what other industry participants are doing in this area is not as important in affecting the procurement practice of (...) the focal organisation as is the managers’ perception of how legitimacy is awarded by stakeholders and, indeed, if competitors with well-developed social and environmental supply chain management programs are perceived favourably in the industry. (shrink)
This paper examines how competition and competitive strategy influence companies’ propensity to engage in socially and environmentally responsible procurement processes (SERP). We interview 141 British procurement managers, on their perception of their company’s competitive strategy and the competitive environment in which they operating in. In addition, participants were asked how important responsible procurement was for their overall business and their strategy.Our results suggest that companies that produce a differentiated product engage in relatively proactive SERP process, compared to their counterparties, who (...) aimed to produce a product at the lowest price possible. (shrink)
Prior research that analyses the cross-firm variation in the prevalence of women on corporate boards has tended to emphasise the importance of firm and industry-level factors, such as firm size, the quality of corporate governance, and the proximity to final consumers. In contrast, very little research has explored the role of national institutional factors for this important phenomenon. In this study, we explore the relative importance of country, industry, and firm-level factors in explaining the cross-firm variation in the proportion of (...) directorships occupied by female directors. Findings indicate that while all levels of influence are significant, country-level effects are a highly-important and under-researched antecedent of the presence of women on corporate boards. (shrink)
This paper investigates the degree to which corporate philanthropy is influenced by the extent to which a firm is internationalised and/or whether it hasoperations in one or more controversial countries. Utilising data on a sample of large UK firms, we find evidence of a positive effect not for internationalisation per se, but only for a presence in these controversial countries. More specifically, we find evidence that in this connection the salient feature of a country is a lack of political rights (...) and/or civil liberties, rather than a presence of rampant corruption. Furthermore, this positive impact on charitable giving is restricted to a presence in only those countries that are, according to Freedom House indicators, most lacking (and so controversial) in this respect. (shrink)
In this study, we set out to examine the role played by country institutional environments in explaining cross-country variation in the prevalence of women on corporate boards of directors. In order to address this question, we compare the predictive power and substantive implications of four existing typologies of national institutional environments due to Hall and Soskice (2001), La Porta et al., (1999), Weimar and Pape’s (1999), and Whitley (1991, 1996, 1999). These frameworks encapsulate a variety of national institutionalcharacteristics and provide (...) a means to a) evaluate the significance of national institutional environments for the presence of women on boards, and b) distinguish between the importance of various specific aspects of country institutional environments for board diversity. Our findings show that as much as half of the variation across countries in the presence of women on corporate boards is attributable to institutional factors and that legally-oriented institutions appear to play the most significant role in shaping board diversity. (shrink)
This paper prepares an investigation into environmental performance among multinational enterprises in the context of greenhouse gas emissions. The authors offer a theoretical background about how MNCs are faced with opposing choices with regard to standardising or adjusting their local environmental performances. Moreover, we outline a potential methodology for exploring the variation in MNCs’ levels of greenhouse gas emissions around the world.