Do Share Plans, Profit Sharing Plans, and Stock Option Plans Matter for Corporate Social Reponsibility Performance?

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In response to demand from stakeholders to take into consideration societal and environmental well-being in the execution of business operations, firms are increasingly incorporating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into their strategy. This study explores whether the use of financial participation plans contributes to a better CSR performance. Using a sample of 2537 firm-year observations from 20 countries in Europe over the period 2013-2017, the results suggest that share plans and profit sharing plans are negatively related with the CSR performance of firms. However, the use of stock option plans has a positive impact on CSR performance. Moreover, the results show no association between broad-based share plans and CSR performance, indicating that firms that use broad-based share plans do not perform better on CSR compared to firms that use narrow-based share plans. The results also indicate that combinations of share plans and profit sharing plans result in synergy effects. This suggests that when firms use both of these plans simultaneously, it results in a higher CSR performance. Overall, this study suggests that variation indeed exists between the effects of the different types of financial participation plans on financial performance.
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