Unpacking social responsibility: The curvilinear relationship between social and financial performance

Barnett, Michael L. (2002) Unpacking social responsibility: The curvilinear relationship between social and financial performance. In: Academy of Management Conference (SIM Division), August 2002, Denver, Colorado. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Are financial and social performance negatively associated, positively associated, or are they simply unrelated? Common sense, theory, and a growing body of empirics have supported all of the above contradictory positions. Despite the importance of this body of research and the intensity of study directed at it, in the end, the relationship between social performance and financial performance remains in dispute. In this paper, we attempt to reconcile these divergent views through an empirical study of socially responsible investing (SRI) mutual funds. Many scholars have compared the financial performance of SRI mutual funds to those of funds that do not screen their holdings based on social criteria. The results have been mixed. Rather than comparing socially screened to unscreened mutual funds, we examine differences within socially screened funds. SRI funds vary greatly in the type and intensity of social screens they choose, as well as in the financial performance they achieve. Previous research has not accounted for this heterogeneity within social screening criteria.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Socially responsible investing; corporate social responsibility
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Centre: Faculty of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2012 18:49
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/2349

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