Community Isomorphism and Corporate Social Action

Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming

50 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2006

See all articles by Christopher Marquis

Christopher Marquis

Cornell University; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Mary Ann Glynn

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Gerald F. Davis

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Abstract

We present a model of how institutional pressures at the community level shape corporate social action within the metropolitan area in which firms are headquartered. We define corporate social action as behaviors and practices that extend beyond immediate profit maximization goals and are intended to increase social benefits or mitigate social problems for constituencies external to the firm. We conceptualize corporate social action in terms of its nature, including the focus or target of corporate efforts (e.g., arts, education or health services) and the form that it takes (e.g., cash, in-kind donations, volunteerism), and level (or amount) of corporate social action. We propose that community isomorphism, that is, the resemblance of a corporation's social practices to those of other corporations within its community, influences the nature and level of corporate social action and patterns of corporate social action within communities. We conclude by considering the theoretical implications of emphasizing community as the focal unit of analysis for understanding corporate social action.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, CSR, social change, community

JEL Classification: M14, O18

Suggested Citation

Marquis, Christopher and Glynn, Mary Ann and Davis, Gerald F., Community Isomorphism and Corporate Social Action. Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=858464

Christopher Marquis (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

363 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chrismarquis.com

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mary Ann Glynn

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Gerald F. Davis

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States
734-647-4737 (Phone)
734-936-0282 (Fax)

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