Board Reputation Attributes and Corporate Social Performance: An Empirical Investigation of the US Best Corporate Citizens
Accounting and Business Research, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 3, 2010
The aim of the paper is to investigate the relationship between board reputation and corporate social performance. Specifically, we claim that corporate social performance may be a function of board attributes and we investigate the association between board reputation – in terms of board composition, competence, diversity, leadership, structure and links with the external environment – and the social performance of firms, after controlling for other company-specific characteristics.
In order to explore such a relationship, we analyse the association between corporate social performance and board reputation of the Business Ethics 100 Best Corporate Citizens over the period 2005-2007. Data on corporate social responsibility are collected from the KLD’s SOCRATES database, which is derived from multiple sources and is not dependent upon corporate self-reporting. Data on board reputation are hand-collected from corporate reports and proxy statements.
Our empirical evidence shows that the proportions of independent, community influential and female directors are positively associated with corporate social performance, while the presence of a CSR committee is positively associated with community performance. In contrast, we find that CEO duality and community influential directors with multiple directorships have a negative effect on corporate social performance.
Keywords: Board of Directors, Corporate Social Performance, Stakeholder Theory, Community Influential Directors, Women on the Board
JEL Classification: M14, G39
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