Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance, And Managerial Risk-Taking
This dissertation investigates the association between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and managerial risk-taking, as well as the differences in governance structure that affect this association. Using a sample of US public firms from 1995 to 2009, we find that firms with strong CSR records engage in higher risk-taking. Furthermore, we find that this relationship is robust when accounting for differences in governance structure and correcting for endogeneity via simultaneous equations modeling. Additional testing indicates that performance in the employee relations dimension of CSR in particular increases with risk-taking, while high firm visibility dampens the association between CSR and the accounting-based measures of risk-taking. Prior literature establishes that high managerial risk-tolerance is necessary for the undertaking of risky yet value-enhancing investment decisions. Thus, the main findings suggest that CSR, rather than being a waste of scarce corporate resources, is instead an important aspect of shareholder value creation. They contribute to the debate on CSR by documenting that corporate risk-taking is one mechanism among others through which CSR maps into higher firm value.