Title: Explaining firm approaches to corporate social responsibility: institutional environment and firm size

Authors: David Finegold, Andreas Klossek, Michael Nippa, Anne-Laure Winkler

Addresses: School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, Janice H. Levin Building, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA. ' Faculty of Business Administration, Freiberg University, D-09596 Freiberg, Germany. ' Faculty of Business Administration, Freiberg University, D-09596 Freiberg, Germany. ' School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, Janice H. Levin Building, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

Abstract: Only a few studies so far have dealt with a comparison of different national institutional systems and the consequences for how firms approach Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Even fewer studies have focused specifically on how the country in which a firm is headquartered and firm size affect the way a company addresses different stakeholder interests and communicates its CSR efforts. This study compares firm approaches to communicating CSR using company samples from Germany, an archetypal Coordinated Market Economy (CME), and the USA, the largest Liberal Market Economy (LME), finding major differences in how CSR is presented on firm websites. The data support two of our three hypotheses. Firms in LMEs tend to communicate more on CSR than those in CMEs, and large firms communicate more about CSR-related issues than mid-size firms, whether located in an LME or a CME.

Keywords: communication; CME; coordinated market economies; CSR; corporate social responsibility; firm size; Germany; institutional environment; LME; liberal market economies; USA; United States; web-based analysis; firm websites; internet.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2010.033001

European Journal of International Management, 2010 Vol.4 No.3, pp.213 - 233

Published online: 06 May 2010 *

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