Doing well by doing good : the empirical relationship between corporate social responsibility and financial performance
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Building on 35-years of research, this paper explores the commercial merits of socially responsible business. More specifically, it analyzes the empirical link between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate financial performance (CFP) by asking this question: All else equal, do more socially responsible firms have better corporate financial performance than less socially responsible firms? Analyzing both marketing and accounting measures for financial performance, and using a series of control variables for company size, year, and industry, my research shows that, yes: there is a moderate statistically significant positive relationship between CSR and CFP.; The debate as to the normative role of the firm in society neither begins nor ends with this study. However, in the aftermath of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, this research sheds new light on the competitive advantages of corporate social responsibility. Accordingly, it carries implications for public policy and private sector leaders seeking to maximize social welfare, shareholder value and brand equity.
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