City Research Online

Professors on the Board: Do They Contribute to Society Outside the Classroom?

Cho, C. H., Jung, J. H., Kwak, B. , Lee, J. & Yoo, C-Y. (2017). Professors on the Board: Do They Contribute to Society Outside the Classroom?. Journal of Business Ethics, 141(2), pp. 393-409. doi: 10.1007/s10551-015-2718-x


According to our data, 38.5 % of S&P 1500 firms have at least one professor on their boards. Given the lack of research examining the roles and effects of academic faculty as members of boards of directors (professor–directors) on corporate outcomes, this study investigates whether firms with professor–directors are more likely to exhibit higher corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance ratings. Results indicate that firms with professor–directors do exhibit higher CSR performance ratings than those without. However, the influence of professor–directors on firm CSR performance ratings depends on their academic background—the positive association between the presence of professor–directors and firm CSR performance ratings is significant only when their academic background is specialized (e.g., science, engineering, and medicine). Finally, this positive association weakens when professor–directors hold an administrative position at their universities.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: academic; board of directors; corporate governance; corporate social responsibility; professor
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: Bayes Business School > Finance
SWORD Depositor:
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