|Antecedents and outcomes of CSR strategies : three empirical studies in China
|Lo, Wing-hung Carlos (MM)
Ni, Na (MM)
|Social responsibility of business.
Social responsibility of business -- China.
Strategic planning -- China.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|Department of Management and Marketing
|202 pages : color illustrations
|Over the past century there has been a rapid increase in the awareness of corporate social responsibility (CSR); however, until now little consensus has been made about the antecedents and outcomes of individual CSR strategy. This thesis aims to enhance our understating about the framework of CSR strategies in terms of strategic CSR and altruistic CSR from a normative perspective. Specifically, there are three research questions raised in this thesis. The first research question is why do firms adopt CSR strategies, and what are the causes of the heterogeneity of CSR strategies. I aim to answer this question from a behavioral strategy approach given the importance of behavioral factors of managers in fostering CSR strategies. The second question is about the financial and policy implications of each individual CSR strategy. Third, we want to investigate the application of CSR strategies by Chinese firms in order to cope with its business environment. In an attempt to answer these research questions, a mixed methodology is adopted in this thesis, which included a pilot study of 833 small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong performed from 2010 to 2012, a main survey of 562 SMEs in China administered between 2012 and 2013, and in-depth case studies of a selection of SMEs in undertaken 2013 in the completion of the questionnaire survey. This mixed methodology approach allows us to triangulate of data analysis from multiple sources to strengthen the validity of findings in answering our research questions.
Specifically, this thesis suggests that CSR practices are largely the outcome of the cognitive motives of managers and further demonstrates that firms' temporal orientation mediates the relationship between cognitive moral motive of manager and CSR practices. This thesis then explains how the business environment (munificence, uncertainty) in which firms are embedded shapes their CSR strategies. We further suggest that the outcomes of CSR strategies could be reversed in China's transition economy, given the dysfunctional competitive environment and the relationship-based market mechanism. This thesis makes several important contributions to theory and practice in regard to CSR strategies. First of all, it contributes to behavioral strategy literature by showing that the temporal orientation of a firm can bridge the gap between the assumptions of behavioral factors of manager and CSR strategy of firm. Secondly, the reasons for the heterogeneity of CSR strategies are explained in the business environment level. Thirdly, a reversed effect of strategic CSR and altruistic CSR is demonstrated in the business environment of China. Taken together, the findings not only contribute to scholarly understanding of the framework of CSR strategies, but also have managerial implications for firm managers in China.
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