Professors on the Board: Do They Contribute to Society Outside the Classroom?
37 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2015 Last revised: 6 Apr 2017
Date Written: March 1, 2017
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.
Keywords: academic, board of directors, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, professor
JEL Classification: M14, M40, G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation