Most Cited: A new look at the CSR-Financial Performance link

One of the most cited articles in the last 3 years at Business & Society is a meta-analysis of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate financial performance (CFP). The article, by Qian Wang, Junsheng Dou, and Shenghua Jia, looks at how a few different contextual factors moderate this oft-examined relationship.

Prior meta-analysis examining the CSR-CFP (Aupperle, Carroll, & Hatfield, 1985; Orlitzky, Schmidt, & Rynes, 2003) link have examined the 100+ studies that have tested various aspects of this relationship. With all of the inconsistent and mixed findings, meta-analysis are helpful in trying to discern a more accurate view of the relationship. Also, as CSR has become more mainstream, it is important to take a fresh look at recent studies examining the CSR-CFP relationship, as well as the numerous contextual factors that have also been examined.

They find a positive and significant relationship between CSR and CFP and support for the idea that the connection is stronger in developed countries than in developing countries. If you research in this area, this is an important article to be familiar with and incorporate into your research. If not, it would be a great way to get a more current view of this important relationship.

— Tim Hart, The University of Tulsa

Aupperle, K. E., Carroll, A. B., & Hatfield, J. D. 1985. An empirical examination of the relationship between corporate social responsibility and profitability. Academy of Management Journal, 28(2): 446-483.

Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, F. L., & Rynes, S. L. 2003. Corporate social and financial performance: A meta-analysis. Organization Studies, 24(3): 403-441.



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