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Authors: Nyeadi, Joseph Dery
Ibrahim, Muazu
Sare, Yakubu Awudu
Keywords: Governance
Financial performance
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Series/Report no.: Vol. 9;Issue 3
Abstract: Purpose – The paper aims to investigate empirically the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on financial performance in South African listed firms. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses panel corrected standard errors to estimate the effect of CSR on firm financial performance and thus addresses contemporaneous cross-correlations across the panel cross sections. The study uses a broad base measure of CSR created by the Public Investment Corporation data set and the combination of accounting and economic means of measuring firm financial performance. Findings – CSR is found to have a strong positive impact on firm financial performance in South Africa. When CSR is decomposed further into its major components, governance performance positively impacts a firm’s financial performance with no evidence of any relationship between social components and firm performance and between environmental components and firm performance. The positive impact of CSR on firmperformanceisgreaterinbig firms.At the industry level,CSR is noticed to impact positively on financial performance in the extractive industry via good governance and responsible environmental behaviors. It however has no impact on firm performance in the financial sector. Research limitations/implications – The results should be interpreted with caution and some limitations. Due to the limiting nature of the Public Investment Corporation data set (the survey was carried out on selected firms on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for three years spanning from 2011 to 2013).This resulted in a sample of 56 firms. It is therefore very problematic to generalize the findings to a larger population over a long period of time. This is more limiting especially on individual sector studies where the sample has further shrunk to a smaller sample.As a result of the smaller sample size,the authors were unable to explore some other sectors which could have given more revealing findings. The authors recommend that future research should explore other data sets or use primary data approach that can allow for more sample size and elongated time period for a more holistic view and for easy generalization of the findings. The authors also identify an important lacuna necessitating further research effort. It would be interesting to empirically examine the threshold point of firms’ size beyond which CSR damages firms’ performance. Knowledge of this will guide managers of firms in their strategic CSR decision. Practical implications – This study does not only serve as a reference work for subsequent investigations into the impact of CSR on firm performance in sub-Saharan Africa but also serves as a guide to policymakers on the financial impact of CSR adoption. Originality/value – This study is one of the pioneering works that comprehensively examines the effect of CSR on financial performance amongst South African firms via size and sector and also controls for contemporaneous cross-correlation effects from the firms in the panelset.
Appears in Collections:School of Business and Law

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