How Do Powerful CEOs View Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? An Empirical Note
14 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 5, 2013
We explore how powerful CEOs view investments in corporate social responsibility (CSR). The agency view suggests that CEOs invest in CSR to enhance their own private benefits. On the contrary, the conflict resolution view argues that CSR investments are made to resolve the conflicts among various stakeholders. Using Bebchuk, Cremers, and Peyer’s (2011) CEO Pay Slice (CPS) to measure CEO power, we show that the association between CEO power and CSR is non-monotonic. When the CEO is relatively less powerful, an increase in CEO power leads to more CSR engagement. However, as the CEO becomes substantially more powerful, he is more entrenched and no longer invests more in CSR. In fact, when CEO power goes beyond a certain threshold, more powerful CEOs significantly reduce CSR investments.
Keywords: CEO power, corporate social responsibility, CSR, agency theory, agency conflict
JEL Classification: G30, G34
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