How are Organizational Architectures of Corporate Social Responsibility Related to Corporate Performance? The case of Japanese listed companies

Author Name AMBASHI Masahito (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2023 23-E-030
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This study examines the relationship between organizational architectures of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate performance (“strategic CSR theory”), using survey and financial data from Japanese listed companies. Specifically, this study highlights the establishment of departments and executives dedicated to CSR activities, and their interactions with various performance indicators, including profitability, value, and productivity. Our empirical results are dependent not only on the variances in such organizational architectures but also on performance indicators, industrial classifications, and time lags since their inception. The main finding is that strategic CSR theory is only partially supported. However, even when departments and executives are not related or negatively related to corporate performance in the short term (1–2 years), they may have positive relationships in the medium term (3–4 years). Thus, although the results of this study cannot be interpreted as a strict causal relationship, they do provide useful implications for the organizational architectures of companies that engage in CSR activities.