The Nail that Sticks Out: Corporate Social Responsibility and Shareholder Proposals

Barnett, M.L., V. Dimitrov & F. Gao. The nail that sticks out: Corporate social responsibility and shareholder proposals. Review of Accounting Studies, Forthcoming

57 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2022

See all articles by Michael L. Barnett

Michael L. Barnett

Rutgers Business School, Newark & New Brunswick

Valentin Dimitrov

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Accounting & Information Systems

Feng Gao

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Business School at Newark & New Brunswick

Date Written: June 13, 2022

Abstract

We investigate whether shareholders consider CSR performance when submitting proxy proposals. We find that shareholders are more likely to propose governance changes when a firm has more CSR strengths and more CSR concerns. The results hold across popular proposal types, different sponsors, and different categories of CSR. We find similar results for social proposals. Although CSR strengths and concerns are not associated with the percentage of votes received in favor of a proposal, the higher likelihood of receiving shareholder proposals translates into a higher likelihood that at least one shareholder proposal receives majority support at the meeting. Our results suggest managers may avoid distinctively strong (and weak) CSR performance to reduce the costs of standing out.

Keywords: ESG, corporate social responsibility, shareholder activism, corporate governance

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Michael L. and Dimitrov, Valentin and Gao, Feng, The Nail that Sticks Out: Corporate Social Responsibility and Shareholder Proposals (June 13, 2022). Barnett, M.L., V. Dimitrov & F. Gao. The nail that sticks out: Corporate social responsibility and shareholder proposals. Review of Accounting Studies, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4137459 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4137459

Michael L. Barnett

Rutgers Business School, Newark & New Brunswick ( email )

NJ
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.rutgers.edu

Valentin Dimitrov

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Accounting & Information Systems ( email )

1 Washington Park
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

Feng Gao (Contact Author)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Business School at Newark & New Brunswick ( email )

Janice H. Levin Bldg., Room 121
94 Rockafeller Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8054
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
110
Abstract Views
400
Rank
368,243
PlumX Metrics