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The Effect of Family Ownership on Different Dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from Large US Firms

Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 23, No. 7, pp. 475-492, 2014

36 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2011 Last revised: 28 Jun 2015

Jorn H. Block

University of Trier - Faculty of Management; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute of Management (ERIM)

Marcus Wagner

Julius-Maximilians-University of Wuerzburg; BETA

Date Written: October 24, 2011

Abstract

Prior research has shown that family firms differ from non-family firms with regard to aggregate measures of corporate social responsibility (CSR). We argue that CSR is a multidimensional concept that comprises several aspects, which range from employee relations to ecological concerns and product issues. Based on an organizational and family identity perspective, we argue that the effect of family ownership can differ across various CSR dimensions. Family firms can be responsible and irresponsible regarding CSR at the same time. We use a dataset of large US firms to test our hypotheses. Our Bayesian regressions show that family ownership is negatively associated with community-related CSR performance and positively associated with diversity-, employee-, environment-, and product-related aspects of CSR. The largest positive effect of family ownership on CSR performance exists with regard to product-related aspects of CSR.

Keywords: Family firms, corporate social responsibility, CSR

Suggested Citation

Block, Jorn H. and Wagner, Marcus, The Effect of Family Ownership on Different Dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from Large US Firms (October 24, 2011). Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 23, No. 7, pp. 475-492, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1948552 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1948552

Jorn Hendrich Block (Contact Author)

University of Trier - Faculty of Management ( email )

D-54296
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Marcus Wagner

Julius-Maximilians-University of Wuerzburg ( email )

Stephanstr. 1
Wuerzburg, D-97070
Germany

BETA ( email )

France

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