Does it pay to be really good? addressing the shape of the relationship between social and financial performance

Michael Barnett, Robert M. Salomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

288 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Building on the theoretical argument that a firm's ability to profit from social responsibility depends upon its stakeholder influence capacity (SIC), we bring together contrasting literatures on the relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) to hypothesize that the CSP-CFP relationship is U-shaped. Our results support this hypothesis. We find that firms with low CSP have higher CFP than firms with moderate CSP, but firms with high CSP have the highest CFP. This supports the theoretical argument that SIC underlies the ability to transform social responsibility into profit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1304-1320
Number of pages17
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Volume33
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

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Social performance
Corporate social performance
Financial performance
Corporate financial performance
Social responsibility
Profit
Stakeholder influence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

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Does it pay to be really good? addressing the shape of the relationship between social and financial performance. / Barnett, Michael; Salomon, Robert M.

In: Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 33, No. 11, 01.11.2012, p. 1304-1320.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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