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Page 171 Academy of Strategic Management Journal, Volume 14, Number 2, 2015 AN EXAMINATION OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PRACTICES AND FIRM PERFORMANCE IN U.S. CORPORATIONS Sally Sledge, Norfolk State University ABSTRACT Today, firms are evaluated not only based on their profitability, but also based on a number of non-financial metrics. Many of these measures fall under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility. CSR is a successful business strategy that has become popular with many firm stakeholder groups in the last few decades, due to technology advances that allow these groups to track and monitor corporate activities. CSR measures the social performance of a business along several dimensions, just as financial ratio analysis measures the profitability of a business. In this paper, a sample of large U.S. firms will be analyzed to determine if links exist between performance and CSR practices. It is hypothesized that CSR can be seen to have positive effects and result in a competitive advantage for these companies. Directions for future research and managerial implications will be given. INTRODUCTION Corporate social responsibility has become a popular term among managers, government officials and academicians in recent years. The term covers many areas of the corporate domain. One definition is from the CSR Initiative at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and it is as follows: The term “corporate social responsibility” is often used interchangeably with corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, social enterprise, sustainability, sustainable development, triple- bottom line, corporate ethics, and in some cases corporate governance. Though these terms are different, they all point in the same direction: throughout the industrialized world and in many developing countries there has been a sharp escalation in the social roles corporations are expected to play. Companies are facing new demands to engage in public-private partnerships and are under growing pressure to be accountable not only to shareholders, but also to stakeholders such as employees, consumers, suppliers, local communities, policymakers, and society-at-large ( ). While these terms encompass different activities, they all share the same root: businesses responsibly using their resources to meet their current missions while at the same time considering the impacts on firm outsiders, the planet and future generations. They also refer to some sort of self-monitoring on the part of firms. In this way, companies must answer not only to their shareholders but also to many other stakeholder groups which have an interest in the business and what it does. Technology has allowed stakeholder groups from around the world to stay abreast of organizational happenings in real time. Therefore organizations must be cognizant of their corporate image and community reputation and act accordingly. Thus CSR has become a key strategic consideration and agenda item to be managed and promoted for nearly every organization in the business community.
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  • Fall '14
  • DeborahPembleton
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Strategic Management Journal

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