How Do Corporate Social Responsibility and Innovation Co-evolve with Organizational Forms? Evidence from A Transitional Economy

Article Abstract

How do corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure and innovation investment co-evolve with organizational forms to affect firm market value? To address this question, we draw on the co-evolutionary perspective and theorize that the contingency effect of CSR reporting is more pronounced for firms with high uncertainty and low legitimacy by comparing start-up firms vs. established firms and privately owned enterprises (POEs) versus state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Moreover, taking a dynamic approach, we propose that the effects of CSR and innovation investment on market value change when the organizational form transitions over time. Specifically, we argue that when start-up firms transitioned to established firms or when POEs were transformed from SOEs, the strengthening effects of CSR reporting become less pronounced. We test our theory using panel data on 2204 Chinese listed firms for the period of 2008–2017.

Journal of Business Ethics, May 2023 

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About the researcher

Helen Hu is a Professor in Strategy and International Business in the Department of Management and Marketing, the University of Melbourne. She is the Director of the Centre for Asian Business and Economics (CABE) in the University of Melbourne. Her research interests are corporate governance with focuses on boards of directors, ownership structure, IPO, and internationalization of Asian firms. Helen’s work has been nominated and awarded at leading international conferences and published in Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, among others. She has also been awarded Deans' Prize for Exceptional Distinction in Research and several Deans’ Certificates for Research Excellence and for Teaching Excellence at the University of Melbourne. In addition, Helen was appointed as an Honorary Research Fellow at Monash University, where she obtained her PhD in international business. She is also a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and a regular commentator on Sky News, SBS and China Radio International on issues relating to business in China and Asia.

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