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Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility

Abstract : According to the stakeholders’ theory, Corporate Social Responsibly is the firm’s response to increasing pressure from employees, shareholders, communities, environmental NGOs or regulators to consider the social and environmental consequences of their business activity. What is at stake, is not only a compensation of negative externalities but the adaptation and the participation of firms to a sustainable growth. In that sense, CSR is not just about being efficient but being the best and push firms to be proactive and go beyond legal requirements. But how manage objectives so various and even opposite? While firms start to integrate CSR into their global business strategy, at the top of the decision-making process, corporate governance appears to be the missing link to join economic, environmental and social objectives. This dissertation provides empirical and theoretical evidences of the determining factors involved at the high level of firms’ governance, from the board of directors to the CEO. After an introduction chapter, chapter 2 investigates the link between board composition and integrated CSR strategies. Adopted in 2011, the law targets listed firms and brought about the entrance of new directors, more likely to be women and younger than prior directors. However, we do not find evidence that this diversity is correlated to financial or extra-financial performance. For this chapter, we use a panel composed of French listed companies (SBF120 index) over the 2009-2015 period. If director’s characteristics are involved at the top of the decision making-process, the execution of the strategy and management of the firm is delegated to the CEO. Using variable pay, compensation part determined by performance objectives, the board aligns the CEO’s interests with his own interests. Chapter 3 shows evidence of the effectiveness of CSR based compensation part, labelled under the term “CSR contracting”. We show that the impact of such compensation depends on the governance structure. For firms who focus on shareholder, CSR contracting is more likely to have a negative impact on financial performance and no impact on extra-financial performance. On the contrary, for firms with a stakeholder model of governance, we show that CSR contracting is effective and have a positive impact on the environmental and social performance without impacting the economic results. This empirical work is conducted on a worldwide dataset with 3500 firms over the 2006-2015 period. Chapter 4 provides a theoretical framework to understand the role of governance factor on the efficiency of incentives. We develop a model based on Che et Yoo (2001) model to study the influence of compensation among a team of two managers who have to work on a CSR task. We determine the optimal compensation between three compensation mixes: both agents receive monetary compensations, both agents receive external rewards from their environment, one agent receives monetary compensation and the other receives an external reward. We show that the choice of the optimal compensation scheme depends on the environment outside the firm, i.e. the level of the exogenous reward, and the environment inside the firm through the level of the interdependence between the managers' decisions which corresponds to the capacity of the firm to create cooperation between the agents. Then, using evidence from executive compensation, we apply this model to the relationship between the CEO and the board of directors and find that the adoption of monetary incentives for CSR tasks is more suitable for firms with a high decisional interdependence than for firms with a lower interdependence. In conclusion, from directors’ characteristics to the overall governance organisation, we retrace the link between corporate governance and CSR integrated strategies; a link who could go beyond firm frontiers and include industry ties and peer effects.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02063292, version 1


Aymeric Guidoux. Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility. Economics and Finance. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX122⟩. ⟨tel-02063292⟩



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