CSP and financial performance: does it matter to be proactive? A research about the effect of the degree of proactiveness of firms regarding CSR on financial performance

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The relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and financial performance has often been examined. However, the results are inconclusive. This inconclusiveness could possibly be explained by making a distinction between the different levels of proactiveness regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) of companies. CSP consists of CSR, corporate social responsiveness and issue management. Corporate social responsiveness provides the approaches of companies to realize CSR. However, not only in the field of CSR there is responsiveness. Also in the field of corporate political strategies (CPS) companies have approaches to realize their goals. In this thesis, the literature about CSP and CPS are combined to form a continuum of proactiveness regarding CSR. The objective of this thesis is to examine whether this degree of proactiveness regarding CSR has an effect on financial performance. The degree of proactiveness regarding CSR is closely linked to the level of voluntarism towards CSR. Therefore, the direct effect and moderating effect of voluntarism is examined as well. A questionnaire was conducted among 85 managers of Dutch companies. The data is analyzed by using a factor analysis and a multiple regression analysis. The results show a significant positive effect between the degree of proactiveness regarding CSR and financial performance. Also, the level of voluntarism as a moderator in this relationship shows a significant positive effect. However, a direct effect of the level of voluntarism on financial performance is not significant.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen