Responsabilit socitale et dveloppement durable

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The impact of corporate social performance on the cost of debt and access to debt financing for listed European non-financial firms

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Publication date: Available online 21 October 2017
Source:European Management Journal

Author(s): Fabio La Rosa, Giovanni Liberatore, Francesco Mazzi, Simone Terzani

This study addresses the controversial issue of how non-financial performance affects the cost of debt capital and access to it. The relationship between corporate social performance and two measures of debt cost (accounting-based and market-based) and the measure of debt access are analysed by means of a multi-theoretical framework combining economics with social theories. By observing a sample of listed European non-financial firms over an 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, we find a negative relationship between corporate social performance and interest rate. Consistent with this result, we find a positive relationship between corporate social performance and debt rating. Thus, corporate social performance has a positive role in reducing the cost of debt capital. Moreover, firms with better corporate social performance are more attractive to lenders in terms of leverage allowance. Overall, our findings provide deeper insight into the reasons why companies should improve their corporate social performance.






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Non-market Social and Political Strategies – New Integrative Approaches and Interdisciplinary Borrowings

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This paper introduces a special issue of the British Journal of Management on social and political strategies in the non-market environment. On the one hand, it reviews the extant research on the possible forms of interaction between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies and Corporate Political Activity (CPA): CSR-CPA complementarity, CSR-CPA substitution and mutual exclusion between CPA and CSR. On the other hand, the paper provides an overview of the recent contributions of non-business disciplines – psychology, sociology, economics, politics and history – to nonmarket scholarship and, above all, the potential future scholarly contributions of these disciplines.

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Reality or Illusion? The Efficacy of Non-market Strategy in Institutional Risk Reduction

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Non-market strategy researchers have postulated that political and social strategies reduce the exposure of firms to risk, but those arguments have received little empirical attention. In this paper, we integrate social capital and institutional theories to examine the efficacy of managerial political ties (MPTs) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in institutional risk reduction. Using survey data from 179 firms in Ghana we find that, whereas CSR reduces institutional risk exposure, MPTs do not. We also find that the effect of MPTs on risk exposure is moderated by public affairs functions. Contrary to extant literature, we do not find evidence of complementarity between MPTs and CSR. Altogether, the findings not only show that the proposed efficacy of MPTs in risk reduction is illusive, but they also signal the need for scrutinizing the harmony between non-market political and social strategies.

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Big Egos Can Be Green: A Study of CEO Hubris and Environmental Innovation

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This paper examines whether and to what extent CEO personal traits (hubris, in particular) affect firm environmental innovation. Using the overarching theoretical framework of upper-echelons theory, the paper builds on the insights from the corporate strategy, innovation, and corporate social responsibility literatures. We also examine the moderating role of firm-specific features (e.g. organizational slack) and the external environment (e.g. market uncertainty) in this context. Based on a sample of UK companies operating in sensitive industries, we find that CEO hubris facilitates the engagement in green innovative projects. We also find that CEO hubris does not have a uniform effect: its effect on environmental innovation increases with the organizational slack, but weakens with the extent of environmental uncertainty. Our findings suggest that availability of resources per se is not enough to produce environmental innovation. Instead, it requires a stable external environment that enables the CEO with a hubristic personality to make a correct use of them.

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