When corporate social responsibility matters: An empirical investigation of contingencies

International Journal of Corporate Governance 3:143-162 (2012)
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Rather than re-examine the question of whether doing good generally helps a company to do well, this study draws on contingency theory to empirically examine when doing good helps a company do as well as possible. Using panel data, we examine the effects of industry life cycle, munificence, and instability on the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate financial performance (CFP). Our findings indicate that life cycle has a significant impact on the CSR-CFP relationship, as does industry instability. These findings suggest that CSR helps the bottom line considerably – if it is applied at the right time.

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Clyde Hull
Rochester Institute of Technology


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