Many ways to Rome: Exogenous and endogenous pathways to environmental and social performance

Halme, M., Rintamaki, J., Knudsen, J. S. & Kuisma, M (2014). Many ways to Rome: Exogenous and endogenous pathways to environmental and social performance. 74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2014, doi: 10.5465/AMBPP.2014.39

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It is often taken for granted that corporate social responsibility (CSR) will bring about social benefits and environmental improvements. Yet there is little empirical evidence of outcomes of CSR initiatives for the natural environment or the wider society as studies have focused on the influence of CSR on financial performance rather than its societal outcomes. This study begins addressing this gap in the literature by empirically studying the environmental and social performance of CSR in 19 European companies. We analyse which configurations of institutional constraints and organizational CSR practices influence environmental and social performance. Based on this analysis, we identify two pathways that can lead to high environmental and social performance and we scrutinize configurations that lead to low performance. The exogenous pathway is characterized by the use of externally certified management tools and certificates and a high importance of external rating schemes. This pathway seems typical for large publicly listed firms. The endogenous pathway, in turn, includes firms that are characterized by internally developed means of conducting CSR.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Academy of Management. this article is publishd under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License.
Uncontrolled Keywords: corporate social responsibility, CSR impacts, environmental performance
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management

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