This paper investigates the corporate social responsibility (CSR) structures of U.S. listed firms. We find evidence of a general tendency towards CSR specialization with almost three-quarters (73.91%) of these firms focusing on a single CSR dimension. The degree of specialization varies across industries and the single CSR dimension focused on also varies for industries with similar degrees of specialization. We find that firms with higher exposures to CSR concerns, international activities, larger size and higher financial slack tend to diversify across multiple CSR dimensions. More importantly, we find evidence that diversified CSR structures positively affect a firm’s value relative to a control group before and during the 2008 financial crisis. Our findings have important implications for corporate and portfolio managers, investors and policy makers.
- Corporate social responsibility
- CSR structures
- CSR specialization
- Stakeholder management