Determinants and consequences of corporate social responsibility decoupling—Status quo and limitations of recent empirical quantitative research

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This study reviews recent empirical quantitative research on firm- and country-related determinants of corporate social responsibility (CSR) decoupling and the consequences on firm value. Based on legitimacy theory and agency theory, top managers use CSR decoupling for self-impression management and stakeholder attraction. Our review indicates that low (high) corporate governance quality increases (decreases) CSR decoupling and it has negative financial consequences for firms. We identify major research gaps and stress research recommendations for future CSR decoupling studies. Solid measures of CSR decoupling should compare quantitative performance measures and qualitative descriptions on CSR reports on strategies and processes. There is a great need to include automated text analyses of sustainability reports for future research designs. Due to extended regulations on CSR reporting from an international perspective, CSR decoupling remains a hot topic for researchers, business practice, and standard setters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCorporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2695-2717
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 11.2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.