Connecting the dots: An integrative framework of CSR antecedents, heterogeneous CSR approaches, and sustainable and financial performance

50 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2021 Last revised: 3 Jun 2022

See all articles by Dennis Bams

Dennis Bams

Maastricht University - Department of Finance; Open University Heerlen

Bram van der Kroft

Maastricht University: Finance; Open University: Accounting and Finance

Karen Maas

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Date Written: June 3, 2022

Abstract

We incorporate CSR into Olivers’ (1991) institutional pressure framework to unravel why, how, and to what avail firms adopt CSR. Our theoretical framework adopts CSR antecedents as drivers of institutional CSR pressure, which affect the heterogeneous ways firms approach CSR. These CSR approaches, in turn, determine firms’ sustainable and financial performance. We empirically verify this theoretical framework for firms in 75 countries and observe that 50%, 24%, and 26% of the firms approach strategic CSR, CSR-as-insurance, and corporate greenwashing. When institutional CSR pressure increases, firms transition from CSR-as-insurance and towards strategic CSR and corporate greenwashing to (superficially) comply with stakeholders’ need for sustainability. Strategic CSR firms systematically outperform CSR-as-insurance firms and especially corporate greenwashing firms in sustainable and financial performance. Our results imply that it is not whether but rather how firms approach CSR that determines the societal outcomes of CSR.

Keywords: Strategic CSR, CSR-as-insurance, corporate greenwashing, promised to realized sustainable performance, societal impact

JEL Classification: M14, Q56, G15

Suggested Citation

Bams, Dennis and van der Kroft, Bram and Maas, Karen, Connecting the dots: An integrative framework of CSR antecedents, heterogeneous CSR approaches, and sustainable and financial performance (June 3, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3906715 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3906715

Dennis Bams

Maastricht University - Department of Finance ( email )

Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands

Open University Heerlen ( email )

Netherlands

Bram Van der Kroft (Contact Author)

Maastricht University: Finance ( email )

Tongersestraat 53
Maastricht, Limburg 6211LM
Netherlands
0614812713 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/about-um/faculties/school-business-and-economics

Open University: Accounting and Finance ( email )

Valkenburgerweg 177
Heerlen, 6419 AT
Netherlands
0614812713 (Phone)

Karen Maas

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

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

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