Do firm motivations matter for CSR awareness?
This chapter investigates the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) motivations (greenwashing, defensive, pro-social and strategic) and CSR awareness intensity about environmental, social and societal issues. Based on an original national French survey on sustainable development, I show on a representative sample of 8336 French firms that firms claiming to do some CSR actions are eﬀectively more likely to be aware of any CSR issue than firms which do no CSR. The greenwash-ing hypothesis to explain firms’ CSR awareness is therefore rejected. More specifically, firms which adopt a defensive CSR policy are related to the lowest level of CSR awareness in the sample. Firms which develop a pro-social CSR policy are additionally aware of the environmental management and biodiversity issues, reflecting their preference for environmental values, through soft CSR practices (policy and objectives). Firms which have a strategic CSR policy are more likely to invest through soft and hard (label, monitoring plan) practices in any CSR issue related to strategic stakeholders such as the relationships with customers, suppliers and community within the societal dimension, in the environmental management within the environmental dimension or in working conditions within the social dimension.
Key words: Corporate Social Responsibility, Firm motivation, Firm performance, Probit
Acknowledgments: I would like to thank the INSEE for granting me access to their data, and Chaire Finance Durable et Investissement Responsable and LABEX ECODEC – Decision making and market regulation- for granting the research program. This work is supported by a public grant overseen by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as part of the “Investissements d’avenir” program (ref-erence : ANR-10-EQPX-17 – Centre d’accès sÃľcurisé aux données – CASD). I am thankful to Patricia Crifo, Nathalie Greenan, Yuri Biondi and Eric Strobl for valuable comments as well as participants to INSEE seminar. Of course the usual disclaimer applies.
The European Commission claims in its Europe 2020 policy1 that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the main drivers of firm competitiveness and sustainable growth (Boulouta and Pitelis, 2014). According to the European commission of CSR (2011), firms should take into account the environmental, social and societal impacts of their activities in their decisions. The environment dimension covers firm negative externalities on ecosystems (e.g. pollution and biodiversity loss) as much as pro-active actions (e.g. eco-friendly design). The social dimension tackles human resource management practices (training, career development) as well as human rights protection (e.g. eliminat-ing child labor). The societal dimension considers the relationships with outside stakeholders (business behavior) or community (e.g. local economic development). The increasing demand for developing CSR policy comes from regulators (through increasing legal environmental, social and governance -ESG- disclosure at the national and european levels2), shareholders (especially the socially respon-sible investors, see Crifo and Mottis, 2013; Arjalies, 2010) and other stakeholders such as customers, suppliers or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (e.g. Arenas et al., 2009). From an economic point of view, firms go beyond what the law requires (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001) in order either to keep their license to operate and to mitigate ESG risks (Post et al., 2002a), to pursue some environ-mental or social preferences (Benabou and Tirole, 2010), to build new business strategy (Crifo and Sinclair-Desgagne, 2014), or to maximize shared value between shareholders and stakeholders (Porter and Kramer, 2011). CSR here targets firm engagement (voluntary practices) beyond the business as usual rather than firm compliance (legal requirement) towards the environmental, social and societal issues (Huang and Renneboog, 2014).
Nowadays, CSR is widely spread on corporate agenda at least in the OECD countries. In the indus-trialized countries, two thirds of the biggest firms publish some CSR information (KPMG, 2011). In France, 62% of firms know the concept of CSR and 52% claim to implement some CSR practices (Ernst and Honore-Rouge, 2012). However, the relationship between CSR commitment and firm performance remains a debated research question without any strong academic consensus (McWilliams and Siegel, 2000; Margolis and Walsh, 2003; Orlitzky et al., 2003). The remaining questions are whether claiming to implement a CSR policy changes the firm business behavior and whether it impacts firm perfor-mance. Margolis et al. (2011), thanks to a meta-analysis, show a slightly positive link between CSR investment and firm performances. Nevertheless, the lack of consensus among studies is explained by three reasons: some identification and measurement biases (Chatterji et al., 2009; Garcia-Castro et al., 2009), some trade-oﬀs between CSR practices with mixed impacts on financial performances (Cavaco and Crifo, 2014; Crifo et al., 2014), and the ignorance of motivation behind CSR commitment (Dam et al., 2009; Baron et al., 2011).
Indeed, firms implement a set of CSR practices and commit to some specific CSR dimensions rather than others. Each CSR practice can diﬀerently impact firm performance (Barcos et al., 2013) and all CSR strategies do not have the same positive impact on firm performance (Brammer and Millington, 2008; Mackey et al., 2007). Wal-mart for example invests in energy eﬃciency through green building and waste reduction in order to cut costs and to improve its green reputation. But it does not promote any social rights like the representation of workers through union trade within the firm, and is often criticized by NGOs for business practices (Lussier, 2015). Wal-mart decided then to specifically commit to environment without any concern for social and societal issues. The expected benefit in terms of financial performance could be mixed. Some recent empirical studies investigate the impact of commitment trade-oﬀs between CSR dimensions on firm performance, as a mediating process to understand the relationship between CSR and performance. For example, Crifo et al. (2014) analyze the quantitative-qualitative trade-oﬀs between each CSR dimension, on a large data set of French firms. The authors show that each dimension is diﬀerently related to firm performance, and that the most profitable strategy is investing in the social and environment dimensions. Cavaco and Crifo (2014) demonstrates complementarity eﬀects between the social and societal dimensions, and substi-tute eﬀects between the societal and environment dimensions on firm performance. The literature makes therefore clear that the mix of CSR practices determines the impact on firm performance. But only a few papers investigate why firms do not converge to the same commitment, and how firms motivation may modulate CSR commitment and, at some extent, firm performance (Baron, 2001; Benabou and Tirole, 2010; Dam et al., 2009). I argue here that CSR motivation is the missing link in the CSR-performance nexus.
Baron (2001) highlights three types of CSR motivation: defensive, altruistic (pro-social) and strate-gic. First, defensive CSR enables to reduce threats from external pressures like regulatory pressure (Maxwel et al., 2000; Lyon and Maxwell, 2008) or from other stakeholders which aﬀect economic activity. Firms search to maintain their license to operate through CSR commitment (Post et al., 2002a). The relationship between CSR and firm performance is then neutral or mixed depending on the trade-oﬀ between the CSR costs and benefits. Second, altruistic or pro-social CSR is a way to meet individual preferences for social and environmental values (Baron, 2001; Dam et al., 2009; Baron, 2010). Firms provide public goods, voluntarily reduce firm negative externalites and engage in philanthropic activities. From this perspective, firms may reduce expected financial performance in the social interest (Benabou and Tirole, 2010). CSR is in this case an agency problem (Friedman, 1970; Ferrell et al., 2014) Third, strategic CSR is a revenue-maximization strategy for firms (Siegel and Vitaliano, 2007; Dam et al., 2009; Orlitzky et al., 2011; Ferrell et al., 2014). Firms enhance their reputation in terms of quality, or diﬀerentiate their products in a competitive market. Firms are also able to attract better employees and improve their productivity (see for example Brekke and Nyborg, 2008; Delmas and Pekovic, 2013). Strategic CSR is then a way to answer demands from strategic stakeholders in order to improve firm performance. These various CSR motivations most probably aﬀect the set of CSR practices implemented by firms, and influence the trade-oﬀ between benefits and costs of CSR practices. The relationship between CSR motivation and CSR commitment intensity is therefore a crucial empirical question in order to understand the relationship between CSR and firm performance.
However, many NGOs or other stakeholders are skeptic about the materiality of firms’ commitment towards CSR issues. BP environmental crisis is one of the most relevant examples. British Petroleum (BP) was well evaluated by the extra-financial rating agencies and advertised a lot about their environ-mental friendly practices, but the deep water horizon crisis revealed some caveats in its environmental management (Cherry and Sneirson, 2010). The discrepancy between firm discourse (mostly evalu-ated by rating agencies) and practices is the main weakness of CSR implementation (Bazillier and Vauday, 2013). From this perspective, greenwashing covers firm’s behaviors or advertisement which are misleading towards consumers or customers with false claims about CSR practices and bene-fits (TerraChoice, 20103). Greenwahsing firms benefit from a postive CSR reputation eﬀect without any improvement of product quality or responsible behavior (Benabou and Tirole, 2006). Academics should firstly investigate at a large scale whether claiming to do some CSR makes any diﬀerence about CSR commitments and awareness (Laufer, 2003).
This chapter investigates whether firms which claim to do some CSR actions are more aware of CSR issues than others, and whether CSR motivation aﬀects CSR awareness intensity. Based on a national French Survey about sustainable development (EnDD) conducted by the French National Institute for Economic Studies and Statistics (INSEE) in 2011, I determine the CSR awareness intensity about the environmental, social and societal issues, as well as the firm motivation. I take advantage of the detailed self-administrated survey about firm CSR practices and objectives (38 questions). The CSR scores, based on the number of CSR practices implemented by firms, provides a comprehensive quantitative metrics of CSR commitment intensity in three CSR dimensions (societal, social and envi-ronment) and the 10 related sub-dimensions investigated by the survey. The CSR awareness indexes are dummy variables, equal to 1 if the firm’s score is higher than the sample average score in the related CSR dimension or sub-dimension. The “CSR leaders” are firms whose the commitment intensity is above the average commitment intensity. The final sample is a representative sample of 8336 French firms with at least 10 employees across industries.
I show that when controlling for firm size, industry and other firm specific characteristics, firms claim-ing to do some CSR actions are more likely to be aware of CSR issues whatever the dimension. These results reject the greenwashing hypothesis to explain why firms claim to do some CSR practices. More specifically, defensive and pro-social CSR firms adopt the minimal level of CSR awareness (base line), whereas strategic CSR firms are more aware of CSR issues in the environment and societal dimensions. At the sub-dimension level, relative to the defensive CSR firms, pro-social CSR firms are additionally positively related to the environmental management and biodiversity awareness intensity, whereas strategic CSR firms are additionally positively correlated to the environmental management practices towards consumers (label and eco-product). Strategic CSR firms are also positively associated with the dimensions related to strategic stakeholders like customers, suppliers and community, as well as employees. To sum-up, firms implementing strategic CSR policy are more likely to be aware of hard CSR practices (monitoring tools, labels) related to strategic stakeholders, whereas pro-social CSR firms are more likely to be aware of soft CSR practices (policy, objectives) revealing some environ-mental preferences. Finally, doing some CSR actions is determined by firm size and revenue as well as listed status. However, the main determinants of firm specific motivation are firm age, debt level and industry.
This chapter contributes at least for three reasons to the CSR literature. First, it complements the literature on the CSR-performance nexus. Beyond the classical analysis on the direct link between CSR commitment and firm performance (Margolis et al., 2011), few studies investigate the relation-ship between CSR motivation and firm performance (Ferrell et al., 2014). Baron (2001) argues that both motivation and performance should be investigated together in order to distinguish the strategic CSR in the interest of the shareholders and the altruistic CSR at the expense of the shareholders. In addition, McWilliams et al. (2006) analyze how strategic CSR aﬀects firm management. However, this literature presents a caveat: how firm motivation aﬀects CSR awareness in the diﬀerent dimensions (Tang et al., 2012). This chapter investigates how firm are likely to modulate their CSR awareness depending on their motivation. Moreover, the chapter helps to understand why firms choose to imple-ment a set of CSR practices and why CSR commitment may have mixed eﬀect on firm performance (Crifo et al., 2014). Strategic CSR, as a value-enhancing strategy, should lead to better financial performance, whereas pro-social CSR, as an agency issue, should be related to lower firm performance (Ferrell et al., 2014). Defensive CSR should be neutral towards financial performance. However, at some extent, all these strategies are related to a better awareness of CSR issues. Only the intensity of firm awareness depends on the motivation. This chapter provides therefore new insights to investigate the relationship between CSR and performance.
Second, this chapter provides a comprehensive CSR metrics, directly related to firm CSR practices, thanks to the survey. The extra-financial rating agencies use a lot of public information to rate firms through scores, but they are often criticized for the lack of transparency of their methodologies (Chat-terji et al., 2009). This approach therefore complements this approach by providing a repeatable method, especially regarding the investigated CSR practices and the aggregation of CSR dimensions scores. Furthermore, I am able to estimate a firm exogenous weighting scheme of the CSR practices. Capelle-Blancard and Petit (2014) argue that the weight of each CSR dimension can be estimated from the whole investigated population. In their case, they analyze the weight of each CSR dimen-sion in the news. The CSR practices are weighted depending on their implementation in the whole population of the French firms. Moreover, the INSEE survey is compulsory for firms with at least 10 employees (if they are sampled). This avoids any respondent bias and any measurement bias due to an heterogeneity of information availability between firms doing some CSR and the others. It increases therefore the robustness of the findings. However, the survey has two limits. On the one hand, the number of questions is limited to increase the likelihood of response from firms. On the other hand, the survey is self-administrated, increasing the risk that some firms over-claim regarding their actual practices.
Third, the sample is representative of the French firms, and is broader than the usual spectrum of extra-financial rating agencies which rate only large listed firms. Oueghlissi (2013) shows that indus-try and firm size are two important determinants of CSR commitments on another large dataset of French Firms. This survey enables to investigate CSR motivation and awareness in small and medium enterprises (SME), as well as large firms in the same framework. Regarding the previous literature on SME (see for a review Kechiche and Soparnot, 2012), Berger-Douce (2008) provides evidence that profitable SMEs adopt similar CSR practices to larger firms. Santos (2011) also shows that CSR practices are taken into account by SME in the daily management, and are focused on eco-eﬃciency, social climate and the relationships with the community. However, Perrini et al. (2007) highlights that large firms are more able to identify relevant stakeholders and to implement related specific strategic CSR. Regarding industry, a few papers show that the controversial industries use CSR to reduce ESG risks, to keep their licenses to operate and to create some shared value (Lindgreen et al., 2012; Cai et al., 2012; Jo and Na, 2012). CSR motivations and awareness intensity may be therefore modulated by firm size and industry. In order to determine the determinants of CSR awareness, the study investigates CSR practices accross industry for SME and large firms according to the same criteria. The chapter shows that large firms are more aware of CSR issues than SME, but the motivation are identically distributed in the large firms and the SME. SME do some defensive, pro-social or strategic CSR. Controversial industries are more likely to implement some CSR policy, especially pro-social and strategic CSR, as well as industry with a green premium (real estate).
The remainder of this chapter proceeds as follows. Section 2.2 presents the literature and the hy-potheses on the link between CSR motivations and CSR awareness intensity. Section 2.3 presents the data and section 2.4 the results of the empirical analysis. Sections 2.5 and 2.6 test the robustness of the empirical results and conclude.
Literature review and hypotheses
CSR has focused an increasing attention from shareholders, employees, customers, consumers and society. In particular, the regulator develops some ESG disclosure requirements in order to sustain firm CSR engagement (Grenelle II law in France, European Directive). In response, firms put a lot of eﬀort to appear as socially responsible. This signal may be indeed important for conducting busi-ness. Responsible firms have better access to capital, especially during financial crises, on stock and debt markets. Goss and Roberts (2011) show that responsible firms pay their debt between 7 and 18 points less than irresponsible firms in the US. El Ghoul et al. (2011) exhibit a cheaper cost of equity for responsible firms, especially if firms invest in employee or environmental-oriented practices. CSR investment can also be necessary to please the direct strategic stakeholders (Post et al., 2002b). Responsible shareholders may request environmental or social performances in order to invest in firms (Crifo and Mottis, 2013). Employees are sensitive to the status of responsible firm for choosing their employers and for committing at work (Brekke and Nyborg, 2008). Consumers may have some pref-erences for responsible products (Castaldo et al., 2008).
Firm motivations and objectives throughout CSR are however diverse and aﬀect firm CSR awareness intensity (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). The following literature review presents four main moti-vations behind CSR commitment: greenwashing, defensive, pro-social and strategic. Baron (2001) highlights the three latter motivations as the main drivers of CSR commitments if they are material. Frankental (2001) argues that CSR is only a communication tool without any related business change.
Improving firm reputation is one of the key mechanisms to benefit from positive externalities of CSR involvement (Baron, 2001). Due to the information asymmetry between managers and the other stakeholders, and to the lack of hard (tangible) CSR information, actual CSR engagement is hardly observable (Chatterji et al., 2009). Firm may adopt an opportunistic behavior as a free-riding strategy: claiming to do some CSR actions without any real commitment and without bearing extra-costs (Ma-honey et al., 2013). Greenwashing characterizes then the fact that some firms claim to be responsible, whereas their CSR commitment is not diﬀerent from the other firms in the same industry (Blowfield and Murray, 2008). From this perspective, greenwhashing firms spend more financial resources to ad-vertise about their responsible behavior than to implement CSR practices (Bazillier and Vauday, 2013).
Empirically, some studies document the possibility for firms to adopt such greenwashing strategies. Kim and Lyon (2011) show for example that the American firms, voluntarily disclosing environmental information, report greenhouse gas emission reductions, whereas their total emissions increase over time. On the contrary, non-participant firms decrease their emissions. The voluntary disclosure pro-gram is used by firms as a greenwashing process. In the same perspective, Bazillier and Vauday (2013) investigate the relationships between green communication, external certification and CSR in-volvement. They show that at a given CSR level, there is a negative trade-oﬀ between the level of communication and the likelihood of being certified by an external organism, suggesting that com-munication hides the lack of tangible CSR investment. Moreover, there is a non-linear relationships between CSR communication and engagement, suggesting that firms which disclose the most regard-ing CSR issues adopt a greenwashing behavior. Theoretically, Lyon and Maxwell (2011) support this empirical literature by demonstrating a non-linear relationship between firm disclosure and environ-mental performance. The most environmental friendly firms are not the ones which disclose the most abundantly. The other firms, which are less environmentally eﬃcient, are then able to adopt some greenwashing practices by disclosing more information.
Both empirical and theoretical literatures suggest that some firms, which claim to be responsible, are as much likely to commit to CSR than other “unresponsible” firms. Firms benefit thus from a reputa-tion eﬀect, without bearing any additional cost to strengthen their CSR policy. From this perspective, claiming to do some CSR actions should not have any consequence on the firm CSR awareness inten-sity. Firms which claim to do some CSR practices and the others would indeed have the same optimal level of CSR commitment (or awareness). The hypothesis is:
Hypothesis 1: If firms adopt a greenwashing behavior, firms claiming to do some CSR actions are as likely as to be aware of CSR issues as the other firms.
If firms which claim to do some CSR actions are tangibly more committed than others, the first rea-son explaining the firm CSR commitment is the economic and social threats. The threats come from regulators, environmental activists, competitors or various stakeholders. In this case, CSR enables to privately provide some public goods in order to reduce ESG risks and to keep the firm’s license to operate (Post et al., 2002a; Crifo and Sinclair-Desgagne, 2014).
First, regulators use law and compulsory actions in order to reduce firm’s negative externalities. To avoid this potential regulation which could lead to new constraints and extra-costs, firms may commit to CSR. CSR engagement is then a way to preempt the regulation. Such preemption strategy is prof-itable for firms if the lobbying cost during the legislative debate is high (Maxwel et al., 2000). Based on the case study of the American metal-finishing industry, Brouhle et al. (2009) show empirically that firms under the threat of regulation reduce more their carbon emission and are more likely to integrate a EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) voluntary programm than others.
Second, CSR is a way to answer social pressures in order to keep the firm’s license to operate and its competitive positions. According to the theory of contestability (Hommel and Godard, 2001), the threats against firms can discipline their behavior, especially by reducing negative externalities. The economic contestability analyzes the threats from competitors, whereas social contestability reveals the pressure from outside stakeholders. On the one hand, CSR is a way to reduce economic con-testability by managing eﬃciently the ESG risk. Firms can also reduce their costs through CSR to remain competitive in the market (Cottrill, 1990). On the other hand, CSR is a way to maintain the agreement of outside stakeholders regarding firm production and externalities (Post et al., 2002a). Van den Berghe and Louche (2005) underline the crucial role of the “new invisible hand” constituted by stakeholders such as NGOs, union trades or community. From this perspective, Sinclair-Desgagne and Gozlan (2003) show for example that when NGO threat is big enough, environmental friendly firms are more likely to report detailed CSR information in order to diﬀerentiate themselves from other firms. In addition, Sam et al. (2009) show that firms which are more likely to be targeted by boycott due to environmental policy are more willing to participate in voluntary disclosure program and in pollution reduction.
In this case, CSR policy is a defensive strategy to avoid any social contestability and to be able to maintain the long-term activity. However, the benefits from implementing such CSR practices should oﬀset the costs associated with their implementations (Paul and Siegel, 2006). CSR awareness inten-sity should therefore be at the minimum level to balance the benefit from reducing the threat and the cost from implementing these practices whatever the CSR dimension. Defensive CSR firms should implement value neutral practices. The hypothesis is:
Hypothesis 2: Firms which adopt a defensive CSR policy are more likely to be aware of CSR issues than firms which do not do any CSR action.
Firms may commit to CSR in order to fulfill the environmental and social preferences of individuals sustained by moral, altruistic or self-esteem concerns (Benabou and Tirole, 2010). CSR engagement is then a firm self-regulation process motivated by moral preferences or individual interests (Baron, 2010). In this case, CSR is qualified as “pro-social behavior” (or insider-initated corporate philantro-phy according to Benabou and Tirole (2010)). Pro-social CSR policy covers first the philanthropic activities and more generally the actions reducing negative externalities which are not directly linked with the firm core strategy, such as biodiversity protection, promotion of human rights or involvement with non-governmental organizations.
Firms bear then some social non-market costs, but do not expect any financial return (Heal, 2005; Dam et al., 2009). In line with the Friedman’s view about CSR activities, CSR is a value destroying strategy, consuming investors’ capital for individual motivated actions (Friedman, 1970). Pro-social CSR reveals therefore some agency problem and is related to managers’ discretionary areas and pre-requisites (Baron et al., 2011). Managers may indeed expect to build a “good citizen” reputation and to get some private benefits from such policy (Barnea and Rubin, 2010; Cespa and Cestone, 2007). Supporting this point of view, Masulis and Reza (2015) empirically show that the CEO’s orientation towards CSR leads to an increase of charity givings, and aﬀects negatively firm value.
In order to obtain the social reward related to a pro-social CSR policy, firms which adopt such policy should appear more responsible (more aware of CSR issues) than others. These firms should then at least reach the minimal level of CSR awareness required by defensive goals and be more responsible in some specific dimensions, especially those related to common responsible (environment and social) values and unrelated to strategic stakeholders’ demands. For example, firms which adopt a pro-social CSR policy should be more aware of biodiversity, climate change, human rights issues than other firms. The hypothesis is:
Hypothesis 3: Firms which adopt a pro-social CSR policy are more likely to be aware of CSR issues related to social and environmental issues than firms which adopt a defensive CSR policy.
Strategic CSR enables to respond to strategic stakeholders’ demands (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001) in order to maximize firm revenue and shared value (Post et al., 2002a). Benabou and Tirole (2010) ague that this profit-maximizing CSR strategy is either a “win-win” strategy or a delegated philanthropy from consumers or investors.
On the one hand, CSR is a way to develop new products and to secure market positions (Baron, 2001). Firm may strategically engage to CSR to take the “responsible” market through a product dif-ferentiation strategy (Reinhardt and Stavins, 2010). This strategy enables to attract green consumers and their willingness to pay for a responsible product (Arora and Dharwadkar, 2011). CSR is also a signal of quality that help firms to build their reputation towards consumers (Fisman et al., 2006; Portney, 2008). Hines and Ames (2000) report that 68% of consumers claim buying products or ser-vices because the firm has a responsible reputation. Moreover, the Porter hypothesis (Porter and Van Der Linde, 1995) argues that firms develop new opportunity through CSR commitment and improve their eﬃciency. Derwall et al. (2005) and Guenster et al. (2011) support this hypothesis by showing a positive link between eco-eﬃciency technology and firm performance. Furthermore, CSR fosters also the innovation in terms of processes and products. Wagner (2008) shows in a cross-countries analysis that environmental management is related to process innovation, whereas labeling is related to prod-uct innovation. Finally, CSR may increase the entry cost inside the market for competitors, like the label for responsible goods (Chambolle and Giraud-Heraud, 2005). Reducing competition may lead to increase revenue as Lyon and Maxwell (2008) show for the cut pesticide-free flower market in Europe. From this perspective, strategic CSR enables to increase both firm performance and stakeholders’ value.
On the other hand, CSR is a signal to attract the best employees and a way to improve firm productiv-ity. A large literature suggests that employees are directly or indirectly one of the main targets of CSR policy. CSR is firstly a signal of firm value. Brekke and Nyborg (2008) argue that responsible firms are more able to attract employees looking for team work. Portney (2008) shows that CSR reduces a costly turnover among the employees. A few works highlight also that good, at least qualified, employ-ees are more likely to work for responsible firms (Turban and Greening, 1997; Albinger and Freeman, 2000; Greening and Turban, 2000). Backhaus et al. (2002) show finally that environment, community relations and diversity issues are the most important CSR dimensions to define the attractiveness of responsible firms. Beyond attracting better employees, CSR is a way to improve their productivity if firms invest in social and environmental dimensions. Delmas and Pekovic (2013) show for example on French data that firms compliant with environmental standard have a higher labor productivity. Employees feel their work more useful and are more willing to work extra-hours without any compen-sation if the firm is environmental friendly (Lanfranchi and Pekovic, 2014). In order to achieve the employees’ demands, firms should invest in social and environmental management dimensions.
Strategic CSR is therefore a shared value enhancing strategy (Dam et al., 2009; Orlitzky et al., 2011; Ferrell et al., 2014). Strategic CSR is then related to business strategy and should target strategic stakeholders, especially consumers, customers and employees. Firms which adopt a strategic CSR policy should be more aware of CSR related to their strategic stakeholders. The hypothesis is:
Hypothesis 4: Firms which adopt a strategic CSR policy are more likely to be aware of CSR issues related to stakeholders’ demands than firms which adopt a defensive CSR policy.
Table of contents :
2 Do firm motivations matter for CSR awareness?
2.2 Literature review and hypotheses
2.2.2 Defensive CSR
2.2.3 Pro-social CSR
2.2.4 Strategic CSR
2.3.1 The EnDD survey
2.3.2 CSR motivations
2.3.3 CSR awareness indexes
2.4 Empirical analysis and results
2.4.1 What are the determinants of CSR motivation?
2.4.2 Are firms claiming to do some CSR actions more likely to be aware of CSR issues?
2.4.3 Is there a link between CSR motivation and CSR awareness intensity?
2.5 Robustness checks
2.5.1 Soft and hard practices
2.5.2 Weighted awareness indexes
2.5.3 The three-level CSR awareness indexes
2.7.1 EnDD Survey
2.7.3 Complementary descriptive statistics and empirical results
3 Board independence and the monitoring-advising trade-off
3.2 Basic set up
3.2.2 Contractual variables
3.3 The governance and productive stages
3.3.1 The governance stage
3.3.2 The production stage
3.4.1 The trade-off between monitoring and advising boards
3.4.2 Monitoring boards with low expertise level
3.4.3 Board’s decision
3.4.4 Shareholders’ decision
3.4.5 Incentive compatibility constraints
3.5 The relationship between board characteristics and monitoring boards
3.5.1 Proposition 1. Expertise and monitoring boards
3.5.2 Proposition 2. The cost of monitoring board in terms of advising quality
3.5.3 Proposition 3. Advising boards and CEO’s private benefit
3.5.4 Proposition 4. The cleansing effect of expertise
3.7.1 Description of the productive stage
4 Independent directors: Less informed, but better selected than affiliated directors?
4.2 Literature review and hypotheses
4.2.1 Board functioning and the informational gap
4.2.2 Director selection and heterogeneity
4.3 Identification strategy
4.3.1 General approach
4.3.2 Independent position and the informational gap
4.3.3 Director fixed effects and selection
4.4.1 Sample selection
4.4.2 Director, board and firm characteristics
4.4.3 Selection bias
4.5 Empirical results
4.5.1 Independence position and the informational gap
4.5.2 Independent directors’ selection
4.6 Endogeneity issues
4.8.2 The French elite social network
4.8.3 Selection bias
4.8.4 Robustness checks for independent position
4.8.5 Robustness checks for director fixed effects analysis
5 The representation of managers, shareholders and stakeholders inside the boardroom: Does it Matter for CSR commitment?
5.2 Literature review and hypotheses
5.2.1 The CEO’s opportunistic behavior hypothesis
5.2.2 The stakeholders’ conflicts resolution hypothesis
5.3 Data and methods
5.3.1 Board variables
5.3.2 CSR commitment indexes
5.3.3 Control variables
5.4.1 Bivariate analysis
5.4.2 The shareholder perspective on the link between CSR commitment and board composition
5.4.3 The stakeholder perspective on the link between CSR commitment and board composition
5.5.1 Robustness checks
5.5.2 Endogeneity issues
5.7.2 Sample descriptive statistics
5.7.3 Extra-financial data
5.7.4 Robustness checks
6 Gender quota inside the boardroom: Female directors as new key players?
6.2 Literature review
6.2.1 Diversity and governance
6.2.2 The effects of a gender quota
6.2.3 The determinants of director fees
6.3 Who is entering the boardroom?
6.3.1 Seasoned or unseasoned directors?
6.3.2 The pool of directors
6.3.3 The pool of directorships
6.4 What do they do inside the boardroom?
6.5 What do they earn?
6.5.1 The determinants of director fees
6.5.2 Why do female directors fail to be the new key players?
6.7.2 Gender policy in Europe
6.7.3 The French elite network
6.7.4 Trend in directors’ fees over the 2006-2014 period