In today's commercial market, corporate corporation faces an ever-increasing
competitive and societal challenge. Using the mediating functions of corporate
governance to determine the effects of businesses' performance on CSR practices
is advantageous because this serves as a source of legitimacy for the practice.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a workable business
strategy over the past few decades, whether as a result of governmental
regulations, consumer demand, or market circumstances, all of which continue to
be crucial factors in the current global economic downturn.
The paper tries to
comprehend how profitability or performance affects business value. Businesses
are doing everything they can to stay afloat in today's cutthroat market by
reducing costs and boosting profits from their operations. The paper examines
the value and legal implications of CSR as it aided in corporate affairs.
Companies must put their attention on crucial aspects like performance,
governance, and social responsibility under pressure to maintain competitive
advantages in today's fiercely competitive market economy. In order to respond
to rapidly changing environments, a company must be able to combine, develop,
and reconfigure both internal and external expertise. Over the past few decades,
corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a viable corporate strategy,
whether as a result of governmental regulation, consumer demand, or market
conditions, which continue to be a major factor in the current global economic
downturn. Business organizations with a net worth over $5 billion are required
to engage in CSR activities by virtue of a special provision in the Indian
Companies Act 2013.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the business practices that integrate
social, economic, and environmental concerns into daily operations and
interactions with stakeholders. With the aim of promoting the health, welfare,
and sustainable development of society, CSR is generally understood to be a
mechanism through which businesses accept responsibility for the effects of
their choices and actions by holding themselves to a set of ethical, social, and
CSR has been one of the most controversial and crucial
issues since the 1950s, and it has only grown since then. Among practitioners
and academics, the CSR field is one of the most rigorous research topics.
Bowen mentioned CSR for the first time in business history in his important
book Social Responsibility of Businessmen in 1953. The key question in his work,
he contends, and continues to be discussed, is "what duties to society may
business people fairly be expected to assume?" Bowen also emphasizes the need of
understanding corporate ethics in order to achieve excellent long-term success.
CSR is broadly defined as a strategy for reducing the negative effects of
corporate production, operation, and social welfare, as well as compassionate
business practices when owners and shareholders are pressuring companies to
increase profitability rather than create or maintain organizations. CSR is a
crucial corporate activity that combines social and environmental concerns with
business objectives. The businesses that prefer CSR may go above and beyond the
minimal legal requirements. Business owners who believe that CSR improves or
pays off financially for their organizations will implement CSR initiatives or
publicly display their commitment to CSR.
There exist various schools of thought
regarding the relationship between corporate social responsibility, corporate
governance, and firm performance. One school of thought holds that corporate
social responsibility (CSR) is a continuation of corporate governance (CG),
which serves as an external mechanism that considers the concerns of broader
stakeholders, fulfilling the fundamental objective of businesses, which is to
maximize firm performance.
Others claim that corporate governance is a tool that
efficiently carries out corporate social responsibility. Both parties agree that
effective corporate governance could also signal a firm's commitment to
corporate social responsibility to a wide range of stakeholders, enhancing the
firm's reputation, to the extent that corporate governance determines
organizational systems, and procedures to align the incentives of managers with
those of stakeholders and thereby reduce agency problems.
Since April 1, 2014, India has made corporate social responsibility (CSR)
mandatory. As a gauge of corporate governance, CSR accounts for spending about
2% of the average net profit over the previous three years as CSR. The 2013
amendments to the Companies Act introduced a mandatory disclosure requirement
for CSR, making India the first nation to do so.
A number of changes have been
made, and now, under Subsection 1 of Section 135 of the Companies Act of 2013,
CSR is required for businesses with a net worth of at least 500 crores, a
turnover of at least 1000 crores, or a net profit of at least 5 crores per
fiscal year. Additionally, companies are required to form a CSR committee with
at least 3 other directors and 1 independent director.
In contrast to private,
unlisted, and foreign firms, which must have two directors on board but no
independent director, central and state government firms must follow the same
set of regulations. Although some researchers believe that CSR is primarily a
western phenomenon, it is also becoming more and more popular in developing
nations. According to a survey conducted by KPMG for Indian companies, 98 out of
the NIFTY 100 Index companies have a CSR strategy and publish reports about CSR
in their annual reports.
Moreover, despite receiving less attention, small and
privately held businesses have begun to support and allocate resources to CSR.
Only a few studies conducted in India have demonstrated the beneficial effects
of CSR on business profitability and the ability of managers to make wise CSR
decisions (Kapoor & Sandhu, 2010). CSR has a favorable impact on concurrent
profitability and stock returns, according to a panel regression analysis of the
Bombay Stock Exchange-BSE 100 Index for a nine-year period (2010-2018).
Similarly, CSR affects a company's future financial performance, and researchers
claim that CSR is significantly and positively impacted by lagged financial
The evolution and development of CSR
The Industrial Revolution served as the foundation for the history of corporate
social responsibility. When the perspective of artisan work changed to one of
mass production at the end of the 19th century as a result of the industrial
revolution, labor conflicts that arose exposed several social issues that
compelled businesses to take actions that could be seen as the foundation of
CSR. In the 1950s and 1960s, the capitalist model, which encouraged profit
maximization and market self-regulation, exposed careless behavior that led to
business violations of human and labor rights. As a result of this reality,
voices in society have begun to call for more socially progressive business
A severe economic crisis also impacted the 1970s, which sparked the
growth of social movements that were crucial in bringing environmental and civil
rights issues to the attention of businesses and corporations. Concern over the
effects of human behavior on the environment, human and labor issues, and
numerous international organization summits started to emerge in the 1980s and
1990s. Companies' CSR policies were employed at this time to promote their
social and environmental policies, practices, and performance as well as to
boost their reputation and social legitimacy.
A further move toward altering the
business model was made possible by the globalization of markets, more firm
freedom to operate in the 2000s, and the complexity of corporate relationships
with various social or interest groups. CSR, or corporate social responsibility,
has generally become a crucial component of how businesses respond to various
societal requirements, regarded as the way businesses take on social commitments
and responsibilities while considering the effects of their operations on
The growth of CSR in the new millennium shows that sustainability
is a concern. CSR has been viewed as an organization's dedication to maximizing
long-term beneficial outcomes and reducing detrimental consequences on society.
The triple bottom line emphasizes three problems from a development perspective:
social responsibilities (people), environmental responsibility (planet), and
economic responsibility (profit).
The triple bottom line holds that businesses
should focus just as much on social and environmental issues as they do on
profitability. A socially conscious business can also be seen as a force for
economic growth, social justice, and environmental preservation. Like this, the
three CSR pillars of economic, social, and ecological are frequently included in
definitions. Thus, in terms of growth, many academics have concluded that the
three aspects are connected and that teamwork supports CSR's long-term
Development of corporate social responsibility in India
Up to 1850, during the preindustrial era, wealthy merchants distributed a
portion of their income to the wider population by building temples dedicated to
a particular religion. Additionally, by giving food from their godown and money,
these merchants helped the society overcome periods of famine and epidemics,
gaining a position of importance in the community. In India, colonial rule began
in the 1850s, and this affected how CSR was approached. The industrial families
of the 19th century, including Tata, Godrej, Bajaj, Modi, Birla, and Singhania,
were very focused on both social and economic factors. But it has been noted
that their initiatives for both social and industrial development were not only
driven by selfless and religious motives but also influenced by caste groups and
Indian industrialists were put under more pressure to show their commitment to
the advancement of society during the independence movement. At this time,
Mahatma Gandhi popularised the idea of "trusteeship," which required corporate
leaders to handle their wealth in a way that benefited the average person. "I
want to abolish capitalism almost as much as the most accomplished socialist, if
not exactly. However, our approaches are different. My trusteeship theory is
neither improvised nor disguised.
I'm sure it will outlive all competing
hypotheses." Gandhi used these terms to emphasize his case for his concept of
"trusteeship." Gandhi's influence forced numerous industrialists to act for the
nation's construction and socioeconomic growth. Gandhi claimed that Indian
businesses should serve as the "temples of new India." Businesses created trusts
for universities and colleges under his influence, and they also assisted in
establishing training and research institutes. The trusts' operations primarily
followed Gandhi's reforms, which aimed to end untouchability, support women's
emancipation, and promote rural development.
During 1960�1980) the private sector was compelled to take a back seat during.
Development was viewed as being driven mostly by the public sector. The time was
referred to as an "age of command and control" because of the strict legislative
restrictions placed on private sector activity. Corporate malpractices were
caused by the policy of industrial licensing, hefty taxes, and restrictions on
the private sector. As a result, laws addressing labor, corporate governance,
and environmental issues were passed. PSUs were established by the government to
make sure that resources (such as money, food, etc.) were distributed to the
needy. However, the public sector's effectiveness was somewhat constrained.
private sector's active participation in the socio-economic growth of the nation
became important as a result of the shift in expectations from the public to the
private sector. Indian academics, legislators, and businesspeople organized a
national workshop on CSR with the goal of fostering reconciliation in 1965.
Transparency, social responsibility, and ongoing stakeholder conversations were
prioritized. Despite such efforts, CSR was unable to gain traction.
The relationship between CSR, CG and FP
Corporate Social Responsibility: A Concept
The term "corporate social responsibility" has several interpretations; the
discussion over CSR dates to the 1950s, and there is no commonly accepted
definition. CSR is regarded as a key concept in the study of the connection
between firms' social responsibilities and their business operations. The
definition of CSR and the concepts that make up CSR are not generally agreed
upon in the literature, but it has been noted that CSR should be defined in
light of philosophical, historical, contextual, and practical considerations
that are in line with the corporate goal in order to prevent CSR from turning
into a liability for the corporation.
CSR is described as legal measures that appear to serve some social good outside
the firm's interests and are required by law. CSR is concerned with the
interaction between businesses and their stakeholders. Furthermore, CSR
refers to firms' relationships with society and their obligation to match their
principles with public expectations. Businesses should go beyond their basic
economic and legal obligations. CSR is comprehensive and based on an awareness
of the company's role in society. It is described as the voluntary incorporation
of social and environmental issues into corporate activities, as well as their
engagement with stakeholders.
In addition, researchers conducted content
analyses of several definitions of CSR and concluded that the term comprises
five dimensions: stakeholder, social, economic, voluntariness, and
environmental. The environmental component focuses on issues related to the
environment, including a clean environment The social component is focused on
how businesses interact with social issues to improve societies. The economic
component is concerned with money matters and economic growth. The stakeholder
dimension puts a focus on how businesses interact with their stakeholders,
including clients, workers, suppliers, and communities. The voluntary dimension
is CSR participation which is motivated freely by moral and ethical principles.
According to Brinkmann and Peattie, CSR is a process that integrates social,
environmental, ethical, human rights, and consumer issues into company
operations and core strategy in close collaboration with the multi-stakeholders
of the firm. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can refer to the operation of
a business, social success, corporate citizenship, or sustainable and
CSR requires businesses to maximize their beneficial
influence on stakeholders while minimizing their negative social impact.
Companies should not restrict their social contributions to humanitarian costs
converted into investments in long-term societal contributions, but should also
carry out their economic operations; as a result, CSR integration leads to
profit maximization allocated to value creation. According to stakeholder
theories, CSR was designed to shift the company's attention toward reducing
negative operational outcomes and increasing societal well-being.
might overstate CSR actions in order to fool customers and build credibility and
trust by misrepresenting the environment in order to maximize profits rather
than improve society. CSR has a favorable impact on company performance, but
social irresponsibility has a negative impact on firm performance.
all of the CSR economic, social, and environmental factors have a favorable
impact on corporate performance. CSR from a resource-based standpoint, as well
as CSR programme execution, can result in lower operating costs and greater
revenue through grants and incentives. Companies that implement environmental
measures to decrease waste, reuse materials, recycle, and preserve water and
power, for example, are typically eligible for grants and incentives. CSR
involvement, on the other hand, builds management capabilities. Social
responsibility management competencies may also contribute to better management.
Firms' Performance and CSR
To study the effects and connections between company performance and CSR,
numerous research has examined CSR and firm performance using various
methodologies. The conceptual approach for this study included the mediation of
corporate governance and CSR effects on business performance. The company's
vision is positively and profoundly impacted by CSR's aspects. When the
performance measures for growth, total assets, corporate soundness, and social
contribution are favorable, CSR performance has a positive association with firm
performance, which will lead to an increase in the usage of improved CSR.
Companies use creativity to inspire and improve corporate social performance
through CSR and green business practices.
A strong correlation between corporate
social responsibility (CSR) and performance demonstrates that business expenses
are not hidden from stakeholders. It demonstrates the beneficial relationship
between company performance and CSR. In contrast, the cost of CSR activities
utilized by the company will be significantly lower than the CSR benefits if the
interests of the stakeholders and their social expectations (the environment,
consumers, and employees) are taken into consideration. As a result, if
companies take CSR seriously, competition drives up expenses while driving down
prices that are hidden from stakeholders.
Companies use creativity to inspire and improve corporate social performance
through CSR and green business practices. A strong correlation between
corporate social responsibility (CSR) and performance demonstrates that business
expenses are not hidden from stakeholders. It demonstrates the beneficial
relationship between company performance and CSR. In contrast, the cost of CSR
activities utilized by the company will be significantly lower than the CSR
benefits if the interests of the stakeholders and their social expectations (the
environment, consumers, and employees) are taken into consideration. As a
result, if companies take CSR seriously, competition drives up expenses while
driving down prices that are hidden from stakeholders.
The relationship between
CSR and a firm's performance has also been investigated using accounting-based
metrics, such as return on assets (ROA), total assets, and sales growth, and it
has been found that there is a positive correlation between the two. The
performance of businesses is impacted by return on assets (ROA), return on
equity (ROE), and return on sales (ROS). Corporate financial performance
improves with more corporate social awareness.
In contrast, Selcuk and Kiymaz
investigated a negative association between CSR and financial success, finding
that return on assets is lower for businesses that publish more information
about their CSR efforts. According to the study's findings, highly leveraged
organizations are less lucrative than larger corporations after accounting for
debt and size.
The return on an asset was negatively impacted by a business's
capital structure, short-term debt, long-term debt, and company leverage.
Although the return on equity (ROE) and capital structure variables have a
negative association, long-term debt and firm leverage are more important
factors to consider. The amount of obligation on the capital structure has a
detrimental impact on the company's performance. Enumerating all aspects of the
result and predictor variable indicators, this study aimed to evaluate and
pinpoint the effects of company performance on CSR.
Corporate Governance and Firm Performance
Corporate governance has got attention and developed as an important mechanism
over the last decades. The recent financial crises, the fast growth of
privatizations, and financial institutions have reinforced the improvement of
corporate governance practices in numerous institutions of different countries.
Well-managed corporate governance mechanisms play an important role in improving
corporate performance. Good corporate governance is fundamental for a firm in
different ways; it improves company image, increases shareholders' confidence,
and reduces the risk of fraudulent activities.
Furthermore, good corporate
governance develops a number of consistent mechanisms, internal control systems,
and external environments that contribute to the business corporations' increase
effectively as a whole to bring about good corporate governance. The basic
rationale of corporate governance is to increase the performance of firms by
structuring and sustaining initiatives that motivate corporate insiders to
maximize the firm's operational and market efficiency, and long-term firm growth
by limiting insiders' power that can abuse corporate resources.
There are various types of research done on CSR in order to examine the
characteristics of CSR and the impact of participating in CSR activities on a
company's financial performance. Some emphasize that businesses should be
socially responsible because their actions and policies have an impact on the
Other experts, on the other hand, believe that committing
resources to social and environmental goals increases expenses and undermines
the firm's profitability and competitive spirit. As a result, the connection
between CSR and corporate performance is one of the most heavily debated in the
CSR literature, with many theoretical justifications and empirical findings
portraying the connection as either positive, negative, or neutral.
CSR's positive effects on business performance
Researchers that support the Corporate social responsibility and Firm
performance relationship claim that when a firm undertakes CSR operations, it
develops a favorable image in the minds of stakeholders; hence, the more a
company satisfies its stakeholders, the better the company's financial
performance. Businesses may increase their financial performance by meeting
the needs of stakeholders.
For instance, putting the needs of the employees
first increases employee productivity, boosts the company's reputation and
public trust, and strengthens the firm's competitive edge. As a result, CSR
activities increase corporate value by providing advantages that outweigh their
costs and contribute to the sustainable development aim.
Similarly, other supporters of this relationship argue that serving the
interests of stakeholders and being more accountable to them can have a
favourable impact on the company's financial success. According to the
stakeholder theory and the social impact hypothesis, business commitments to
society are what motivate CSR. Thus, these organizations frequently consider
both the interests of agents and the advantages of various stakeholders when
adopting their plans. The many CSR initiatives and charitable activities that
businesses take part in then reflect their principles and have an impact on
their reputation with stakeholders. This proves that businesses' commitments to
CSR are motivated by their moral, ethical, and social obligations rather than by
a need to comply with the law. The businesses through, CSR seeks to create
strong ties between businesses and their stakeholders.
To elaborate, one area of research contends that charity has a favorable
influence on market return and business profitability. Furthermore, engaging in
CSR activities leads in lower financial risk, improved reputation, higher market
returns, and competitive advantage. Furthermore, organizations that practice CSR
through improving transparency and stakeholder participation have reduced
capital restrictions and have stronger financing options.
Several research studies have been conducted on the relationship between CSR and
corporate performance. A recent research study looked at the influence of
sustainable investments on the performance of G20 firms during COVID-19 and
discovered that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) returns improved
during a crisis. This outcome, however, was influenced by firm-specific factors,
income level, and ESG pillars.
A favorable link, for example, was discovered
between ESG and accounting performance measures, whereas an insignificant or
negative association was discovered between ESG and market performance
measurements. Furthermore, it was stressed that ESG practices are highly
dependent on country-level mandatory or voluntary standards, environmental
obligations, and integrated sustainability reporting. Broadstock's authors
found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, high environmental, social, and
governance portfolios outperformed low environmental, social, and governance
portfolios as environmental, social, and governance performance reduced
financial risk. According to their findings, during the pandemic, environmental,
social, and governance performance was favorably associated to short-term stock
Similarly, Albuquerque examined all U.S. stocks on their environmental and
social policies using Thomson Reuters' ESG Database. They discovered that
companies with high environmental and social ratings had low stock return as
well as good operational profit margins and returns. Similarly, during the early
months of 2020, Ding did cross-country research of 6700 enterprises from 61
nations to assess the association between CSR efforts and stock prices following
the COVID-19 epidemic.
They concluded that enterprises that were heavily
involved in CSR prior to the pandemic had a higher stock performance during the
pandemic's onset, implying that CSR increases loyalty and stakeholder ties,
which results in stakeholders supporting the firm during times of crisis.
Furthermore, it was discovered that CSR enterprises were less affected by the
pandemic breakout than other industries.
CSR's Negative Impact on Business Performance:
Some believe that engaging in CSR practices directs a firm's attention to
environmental activities, employee relations, or societal welfare, and results
in a shift of focus toward practices that do not increase shareholder value but
increase costs. As a result, CSR has a detrimental influence on business
performance and competitive advantage. Others believe that managers
participate in CSR to divert attention away from the firm's faults. As a result,
the shift of emphasis hypothesis suggests that addressing the requirements of
many stakeholders has a detrimental impact on corporate performance.
Furthermore, supporters of the traditionalist viewpoint say that there is a
negative association between CSR and company performance because of the
significant expenses associated with social and environmental initiatives, which
impair competitive advantage and firm profitability. Furthermore, CSR may be
included in a company strategy for social legitimacy and control. Part of the
empirical research has shown evidence of negative consequences, emphasizing that
CSR expenditures impose extra costs and expenses, which have an adverse effect
on company performance.
Between 2009 and 2010, 329 publicly traded firms in the
United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific were analyzed to assess the link between
CSR and financial success. Using the Granger causality test and linear
regression analysis, they discovered that CSR does not result in high financial
performance and that financial performance has a negative impact on CSR.
According to Vance's support proposition, being socially responsible has
no economic benefits for the corporation; rather, it diminishes corporate stock
returns. Furthermore, this has been proven by those who demonstrated that the
firm's degree of social responsibility hampers Firms performance when compared
to competitors. Similarly, claimed that participation in CSR activities wastes
companies' resources that may be used in more profitable opportunities for the
firms. Furthermore, they suggest that firm executives may engage in CSR to
achieve personal gains rather than improve shareowner value.
Neutral Effects of CSR on Business Performance:
According to practitioners of a neutral relationship, being socially responsible
has no impact on firm profitability. In this regard, conducted an empirical
research study between 2005 and 2007 to investigate the relationship between CSR
and firm financial performance by examining the financial indicators and social
responsibility policies of companies listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
Although the researchers discovered a link between firm size and CSR, there was
no link between CSR and firm financial performance.
Furthermore, after data from
599 companies in 28 countries, it was discovered that there is no direct
correlation between CSR and financial performance; only an indirect one that is
dependent on the mediating impact of a firm's intangible resources was
discovered. During COVID-19, discovered little evidence that highly rated
environmental, social, and governance corporations outperform the stock market.
In support, investigated the relationship between CSR and market returns in 1750
U.S. firms during COVID-19 and concluded that there was no evidence that CSR
influenced stock returns, indicating that CSR prior to the pandemic was
ineffective in protecting shareholder wealth from an unanticipated crisis such
Companies have societal responsibilities based on their location and activity.
As a result, corporate social responsibility (CSR) integrates social, economic,
and environmental implications into operations and interactions with expected
stakeholders. Some analysts believe that CSR improves corporate image and
attracts new resources, resulting in improved operational performance.
CSR has a
positive impact on a company's value from this vantage point. Other studies, on
the other hand, show that CSR increases expenditures while decreasing
operational performance, reducing competitiveness and, as a result, firm value.
Firms participate in CSR because they believe it will give them a competitive
As a result, resource-based approaches can help companies understand
why they engage in or do not engage in CSR activities and disclosure. CSR can be
viewed as generating both internal and external resource benefits. Companies
that practice corporate social responsibility strengthen their external
When businesses practice excellent social
responsibility, their external stakeholder connections improve, as do their
employees' motivation, morale, dedication, and loyalty. Investments in socially
responsible activities can help organizations develop new resources and
capabilities for internal use. According to this viewpoint, it is difficult to
analyze CSR activities involving commercial organizations without also taking
firm performance and corporate social responsibility into account.
As a result,
corporations must freely engage in CSR activities to address stakeholder
concerns about social and environmental issues, thereby improving their
corporate image. CSR activities must also legitimize the firm's operations in
society in order to ensure the firm's long-term survival. According to the
study's findings, the outcome variable CSR is influenced by firm performance,
corporate governance influences firm performance, and CSR influences the
function of corporate governance.
Board, ownership, audit, and transparency are
all indicator variables that have a positive and significant impact on corporate
governance. Despite the various effects of CSR on business performance, there is
little empirical evidence that corporate image mediates the relationship between
CSR and firm performance. Companies have a social responsibility based on their
corporate location and activities. As a result, corporate social responsibility
(CSR) considers a variety of factors when conducting business and communicating
with prospective stakeholders, giving them a competitive advantage.
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316347087_The_Mediating_Role_of_Corporate_Governance_and_Corporate_Image_on_the_CSR FP_Link_Evidence_from_a_developing_country
Written By: Aditi
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