The impact of corporate social responsibility on short-term profitability

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Abstract: Every actor of the society has its own expectations about the companies. Shareholders are interested in the maximization of the profitability, managers are interested in sustainability, and partners are interested in fulfilment of the business ethics. And the company with well-structured CSR policy should be able to meet expectations of all stakeholders. This can cost large part of the company's resources. It can potentially impact on company’s profitability whether positively or negatively. Using the quantitative research method we tried to explore the impact of CSR policy on the short-term profitability. Our research question is composed as:What is the relationship between CSR and short-term profitability?The main purpose of this study is to analyze and present positive or negative links between CSR policy and corporate financial performance (CFP) using different profitability indicators. We analyzed impact of weighted average CSR score and environmental rank on the short-term profitability.The theoretical framework of the thesis consists of different theories, such as stakeholder theory, shareholder theory, agency theory, legitimacy theory and etc.The research conducted in accordance with the functionalist research paradigm, the objectivist ontological and positivist epistemic research philosophies using the deductive approach. Our result indicates that there negative relationship between CSR performance and short-term profitability. Also we found that CSR policy can negatively impact on return on assets. This in turn could have negative implications on shareholders and stakeholders. No positive correlation between CSR policy and profitability observed. All in all, the expenses on CSR policy have a negative impact on indicators of financial performance.

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