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A quantitative study of the role of corporations in managing corporate social responsibility

Dissertation
Author: Lawrence Dembo Sekajipo
Abstract:
The controversy surrounding corporate social responsibility (CSR) is based on two opposing viewpoints, namely the view that business must not only maximize shareholder value but also respond to social issues and the view that businesses have a social responsibility to society and must fulfill that responsibility. There are missing arguments for CSR motives and management in the discussion of CSR determinants from business policy makers' perspectives. The present study attempts to fill the gap in the CSR literature by providing analysis of the factors that contribute to the role of corporations in managing CSR. This quantitative, correlational study allowed for the distribution of survey questionnaires to selected industrial and nonindustrial corporations within the Tampa Bay, FL, area so that the impact of the independent variables on a corporation's role in managing CSR could be reported. The purpose of the study was to examine the possible relationship between CSR (the dependent variable) and corporate size, corporate structure or span of control, and nature of the corporation (independent variables) and their effect on the role of corporations in managing CSR. Results of the study have implications for consumers, corporate policy makers, and community policy makers. It is suggested that the results of the present study could assist in enabling leaders to understand the role of corporation leadership in managing CSR. Future qualitative studies using interview questions could be designed to probe the feelings, opinions, and experiences of participants to determine whether there are similarities related to the findings of this study.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES .................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .............................................................................. 1

Background of the Problem ....................................................................................... 2

Statement of the Problem ........................................................................................... 7

Purpose of the Study .................................................................................................. 8

Significance of the Problem ....................................................................................... 9

Significance of the Study .................................................................................... 9

Significance of the Study to Leadership ........................................................... 10

Nature of the Study .................................................................................................. 11

Overview of the Research Method ................................................................... 11

Overview of the Design Appropriateness ......................................................... 11

Research Questions .................................................................................................. 12

Hypotheses ............................................................................................................... 13

Nature of the Corporation and CSR .................................................................. 14

Corporate Size and CSR ................................................................................... 14

Corporate Structure and CSR ........................................................................... 15

Simultaneous Effects of Independent Variables on CSR ................................. 15

Relationship Between Corporate Attitudes Toward CSR and Decisions to Engage in CSR .................................................................................................. 15

Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................ 16

Definition of Terms.................................................................................................. 17

Assumptions ............................................................................................................. 18

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Scope and Limitations.............................................................................................. 19

Delimitations ............................................................................................................ 19

Summary .................................................................................................................. 20 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .................................................. 22

Historical Perspective on CSR ................................................................................. 23

CSR: Definition and Nature ..................................................................................... 24

Controversial Issues Related to CSR ....................................................................... 29

Underlying Benefits of CSR .................................................................................... 32

Enhanced Reputation ........................................................................................ 32

Competitive Advantage .................................................................................... 34

Corporate Size Advantage ................................................................................ 35

Profitability ....................................................................................................... 37

Corporate Span of Control and CSR ........................................................................ 39

Critical Views of CSR ............................................................................................. 40

Conclusions .............................................................................................................. 42

Summary .................................................................................................................. 43 CHAPTER 3: METHOD ......................................................................................... 45

Research Method and Design Appropriateness ....................................................... 46

Research Questions .................................................................................................. 47

Hypotheses ............................................................................................................... 48

Nature of the Corporation and CSR .................................................................. 49

Corporate Size and CSR ................................................................................... 49

Corporate Structure and CSR ........................................................................... 50

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Simultaneous Effects of Independent Variables on CSR ................................. 50

Relationship Between Corporate Attitudes Toward CSR and Decisions to Engage in CSR .................................................................................................. 51

Population ................................................................................................................ 51

Sampling Frame ....................................................................................................... 51

Informed Consent ............................................................................................. 53

Confidentiality .................................................................................................. 54

Geographic Location ........................................................................................ 54

Data Collection ........................................................................................................ 54

Research Questions and Operationalization of Variables ........................................ 54

Instrumentation ........................................................................................................ 56

Validity and Reliability ............................................................................................ 57

Internal Validity ................................................................................................ 57

External Validity ............................................................................................... 58

Reliability ......................................................................................................... 58

Pilot Study ........................................................................................................ 58

Data Analysis ........................................................................................................... 59

Summary .................................................................................................................. 60 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS ......................................................................................... 62

Sample Demographics ............................................................................................. 64

Research Questions and Operationalization of Variables ........................................ 67

Pilot Study Results ................................................................................................... 68 Data Collection ........................................................................................................ 69

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Data Analysis ........................................................................................................... 69

Nature of the Corporation and CSR .................................................................. 77

Corporate Size and CSR ................................................................................... 78

Corporate Structure and CSR ........................................................................... 79

Simultaneous Effects of Independent Variables on CSR ................................. 81

Relationship Between Corporate Attitudes Toward CSR and Decisions to Engage in CSR .................................................................................................. 81

Summary .................................................................................................................. 87 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........................... 92

Conclusions .............................................................................................................. 95

Implications............................................................................................................ 102

Limitations ............................................................................................................. 104

Recommendations .................................................................................................. 105

Summary ................................................................................................................ 110

REFERENCES ...................................................................................................... 115

APPENDIX A: CODE BOOK 1............................................................................ 128

APPENDIX B: INFORMED CONSENT FORM ................................................. 134

APPENDIX C: SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE ..................................................... 137

APPENDIX D: ATTITUDE TOWARDS CSR ..................................................... 144

APPENDIX E: MEANS ........................................................................................ 149

APPENDIX F: MULTIPLE REGRESSION ANALYSIS - COMBINED IMPACT OF INDEPENDENT VARIABLES ON CSR ....................................................... 156

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APPENDIX G: ANOVA: ATTITUDES OF CORPORATE EXECUTIVES

TOWARD CSR AND CORPORATE DECISIONS TO ENGAGE IN CSR ....... 160

APPENDIX H: ANOVA: ATTITUDES OF CORPORATE EXECUTIVES

TOWARD CSR AND CORPORATE DECISION TO ENGAGE IN CSR .......... 162

APPENDIX I: POST HOC POWER ANALYSIS................................................164

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LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Distribution of Participants by Current Job Title ..................................... 65 Table 2 Distribution of Participants by Nature of the Corporation ....................... 65 Table 3 Distribution of Participants by Size of the Corporation ............................ 66 Table 4 Distribution of Participants by Structure of the Corporation ................... 66 Table 5 Frequency of CSR Engagement by Nature of the Corporation (Percentages in Parentheses .............................................................................................................. 70 Table 6 Frequency of CSR Engagement by Size of the Corporation (Percentages in Parentheses) ............................................................................................................. 70 Table 7 Frequency of CSR Engagement by Structure of the Organization (Percentages in Parentheses) ............................................................................................................. 71 Table 8 Responses to “CSR Should Be Part of Corporate Culture of a Large Corporation” ........................................................................................................... 72 Table 9 Responses to “Public Corporations Should Engage in CSR” ................... 72 Table 10 Responses to “Corporations Have a Social Responsibility to Respond to Societal Issues” ....................................................................................................... 73 Table 11 Responses to “CSR” Should be a Part of Business Practice and Operationalized” .................................................................................................... .73 Table 12 Responses to “CSR Should Be Part of Corporate Culture of Small Corporations ............................................................................................................ 74 Table 13 Responses to “CSR Should Be Part of Corporate Culture of Medium-Sized Corporations ............................................................................................................ 74

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Table 14 Responses to “CSR Should Be Part of Corporate Culture of Large Corporations ............................................................................................................ 74 Table 15 Responses to “Private Corporations Should Engage in CSR” ............... 75 Table 16 Responses to “Public Corporations Should Engage in CSR” ................. 75 Table 17 Responses to “Company Should Carry Out CSR if Mandated by CEO/President” ....................................................................................................... 75 Table 18 Responses to “Company Should Carry Out CSR if Mandated by Board of Directors” ............................................................................................................... 76 Table 19 Responses to “Company Should Carry Out CSR if Mandated by Shareholders” ................................................................................................................................. 76 Table 20 Responses to “Corporations Have a Role in Managing CSR” ............... 76 Table 21 Responses to “Corporations Should Contribute to Preserve the Environment” .................................................................................................................................. 77 Table 22 Nature of the Corporation and CSR: Chi-Square Tests of Significance (N = 116) .......................................................................................................................... 78 Table 23 Corporate Size and CSR: Chi-Square Tests of Significance (N = 116) .. 79 Table 24 Corporate Structure and CSR: Chi-Square Tests of Significance (N = 116) .................................................................................................................................. 80 Table 25 Distributions of Participants by Job Title (CEO/President vs. Others) .. 80 Table 26 Crosstabulation of Structure of Corporation and CSR ............................ 80 Table 27 Structure of the Corporation and CSR: Chi-Square Tests of Significance (N = 115) .......................................................................................................................... 81 Table 28 T Test for Equality of Means.................................................................... 84

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Table 29 T Test for Equality of Means.................................................................... 85 Table 30 T Test for Equality of Means.................................................................... 86 Table 31 Responses to Corporations have Social Responsibility to Societal

Issues ...................................................................................................................... 145

Table 32 Responses to CSR Should be Part of Business Practice and

Operationalized...................................................................................................... 145

Table 33 Responses to CSR Should be Part of Corporate Culture of

Small Corporation ................................................................................................. 146

Table 34 Responses to CSR Should be Part of Corporate Culture and

Performance of Medium-sized Corporation .......................................................... 146

Table 35 Responses to Private Corporations Should Engage in CSR .................. 147

Table 36 Responses to a Company Should Carry out CSR if Mandated by the

CEO/President ....................................................................................................... 147

Table 37 Responses to a Company Should Carry out CSR if Mandated by the

Board of Directors ................................................................................................. 148

Table 38 Responses to a Company Should Carry out CSR if Mandated by the

Shareholders .......................................................................................................... 148

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Chapter 1: Introduction

Many corporations today have to not only juggle profits and losses but also include programs and activities designed to go beyond profit motive and provide lasting benefit for both their employees and the larger community in which they are located. Practices promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) can include actions external to the corporation, such as assisting with community development and supporting environmentally friendly issues. Other practices may include more internally focused efforts to improve the quality of the employees’ work life (e.g., promoting better health care and education). The concept of CSR has existed since the 1950s in the United States (Cordoba & Campbell, 2007) and has gained more traction in the last 10 years (Thompson, 2009). The present study examined the nature of CSR as it relates to several demographic characteristics of the corporation, including corporate size, corporate structure or span of control, and the nature of the corporation. More specifically, the study evaluated how those variables impact the magnitude and type of activities related to CSR as well as the role of corporations in managing CSR. Chapter 1 includes a discussion of the background of the problem, the statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the significance of the problem, and the study’s theoretical framework, research methods, design appropriateness, research questions, assumptions, definition of terms, and limitations.

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Background of the Problem Lloyd, Heinfeldt, and Wolf (2008) posited that the term CSR was introduced by Bowen in 1953, followed by Heald in 1957, and Davis in 1960. Frederick (1960, as cited in Lloyd et al., 2008) reiterated the need for businesses to use their resources to address social needs. The concept of CSR has steadily evolved since its introduction (Lee, 2008). Currently, CSR activities have been vehemently opposed by critics who view CSR in terms of costs borne by shareholders (Lee, 2008). The concept of CSR is embedded in the idea that corporations must integrate public interest in their business operations. This idea has been referred to as the “triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit—the idea that companies can simultaneously serve social and environmental goals as well as earn profits” (I. Davis, 2005, p. 06). Business is portrayed as caring about social issues and having a moral responsibility to contribute to the society in which it operates (Paton, 2007). The idea of CSR is that corporations should not only focus on corporate profits and corporate interests but also engage in activities that support the communities in which they conduct business (Lindgreen, Swaen, & Johnston, 2009). K. Davis (1976) proposed a model of CSR in which social responsibility ascends from social power and in which business has a significant amount of influence or power over critical issues facing society. Consequently, business must be held liable for social conditions that result from the exercise of this power (K. Davis, 1976). The legal systems of societies do not expect more of business than of each individual citizen exercising his or own personal power (K. Davis, 1976).

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CSR is a controversial issue that encompasses two points of view: (a) businesses must not only maximize shareholder value but also respond to social issues, and (b) businesses have a social responsibility to society and must therefore fulfill that responsibility (Den Hond, De Bakker, & Neergaard, 2007). Critics of CSR support the view that the only social responsibility of business should be to maximize shareholder value (e.g., Bird, Hall, Momente, & Reggiani, 2007). Neoclassic theorists also support the view that corporations have a social responsibility to act in the interests of shareholders and that government has the responsibility to respond to the social needs of society (e.g., Bird et al., 2007). Advocates of CSR contend that businesses must take a proactive approach to CSR as they seek to maximize profits and mitigate other risk factors (Grossman, 2005). On the contrary, critics of CSR argue that the primary commitment of business is to maximize profits and shareholder wealth. Accordingly, managers should not interfere in corporate business operations by engaging in CSR (Grossman, 2005). On the other hand, proponents of CSR argue that corporate managers have the fiduciary responsibility to protect societal interests as well as the interests of shareholders; business must provide a social service that best serves the interests of employers, consumers, and the community (Grossman, 2005). Current literature does not provide a clear definition of CSR, contributing to confusion and inconsistency in the application of CSR (Wan-Jan, 2006). Whereas corporate, government, community, and academic leaders recognize the need for business to serve public interests, business must preserve and enhance its core assets of creativity, innovation, and competitiveness for long-term survival (Erbschloe, 2008). Corporation

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2020, a long-term project established by business, government, and community leaders, was designed to address the corporation’s ability to sustain long-term common good as opposed to short-term interests (Erbschloe, 2008). The objective of the project was to seek answers to the question, “In a just society, how should the future corporation be constituted to ensure that it serves the long-term good, rather than short-term interests?” (Erbschloe, 2008, p. 2). Many corporations are now incorporating social responsibility into their organizational culture as good business practice (Erbschloe, 2008). Gill (2008) wrote that corporations incorporate CSR into their decision-making process in a way that benefits their financial investors and other stakeholders. Corporate managers have the fiduciary responsibility to protect societal interests as well as the interests of shareholders; business must provide a social service that serves the interests of employers, consumers, and the community (Grossman, 2005). Some corporations have done just that. Nonetheless, some questions remain to be addressed. For example, what role do corporations play in managing CSR as they endeavor to understand the dynamics of CSR in the production of products and services? Henry A. Mckinnel, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Pfizer, has stated that corporations have the capability to assist society in many ways and that they have the moral obligation to do so (Nussbaum, 2009). Therefore, a managerial obligation exists for corporations to protect and improve societal and corporate welfare. In response to this ideal, many corporations have realized that they can no longer ignore the moral expectations that society places on them (Den Hond et al., 2007). As companies struggle to define their role as good corporate citizens, they respond to societal demands by

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endorsing standards or adopting a code of conduct (Den Hond et al., 2007). Corporations have economic power in society; as such, they must play a vital role in social and public issues (Burger, 2007). The concept of CSR calls for caring for employees, communities, and the environment as well as for maintaining corporate continuity and profitability (Gupta & Sharma, 2009). However, van Marrewijk (2003) pointed out that CSR should not be viewed as a cure for global poverty, social exclusion, and environmental degradation. Rather, corporations must use CSR as a management tool that will allow the corporations to take those issues into account in a rational and legitimate way (Corbett, 2008). To avoid public perceptions of hypocrisy and insincerity, corporations must critically examine the factors that determine corporate decisions to undertake CSR. Whether or how a company engages in CSR activities depends partly on its corporate structure. Managerial commitment to CSR activities and strategies are significantly influenced by organizational structure (Detomasi, 2008). Depending on the ownership structure of the corporation, an organization may integrate CSR into its company strategy. The commitment to CSR initiatives is dependent on the beliefs of the corporate executive (Detomasi, 2008). Studies show that in an organization with a highly centralized decision-making authority, the decision to engage in CSR activities is dependent on the chief executive or top management (Detomasi, 2008). A corporate executive may advocate for CSR activities if he or she believes CSR will provide the organization a competitive edge in the business environment. Corporate reputation, employee recruitment and retention, and customer loyalty are examples of factors that may motivate a corporate manager to engage in CSR.

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Prior studies have focused on the nature of CSR and its impact on corporate performance (Qu, 2007). In addition, these studies have suggested that CSR could be an effective marketing tool for organizations. The body of current literature has provided limited knowledge of the corporation’s role in managing CSR. The present study was designed to fill this gap in the literature by providing analysis of the factors that contribute to the role of corporations in managing CSR. Corporate structure is fundamental to the success of a business and determines how work is done within the organization. Corporate structure defines the lines of authority and provides channels for communication among the ranks in the corporation (Tippins & Su, 2004). Aspects of corporate structure include the size of the organization, span of control, and the type of hierarchy present (Tippins & Su, 2004). The size of the company generally refers to the number of employees. Span of control determines how many levels of management a corporation will have (Meijer, 2009). Effective corporate structure enables managers to achieve corporate objectives by implementing corporate strategies successfully (Jenkins, 2004). Whether the strategy determines which type of structure to adopt or the structure defines what strategies one can pursue, it is important for the corporation to align its corporate structure with its strategy (Jenkins, 2004). Studies conducted by Brammer and Millington (2003) showed that corporate structure influences an organization’s involvement in CSR activities. These studies suggest that in a centralized corporate structure, the decision to allocate resources to CSR activities are made by the CEO or senior management.

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Statement of the Problem In this study, CSR refers to a combination of activities by the corporation that goes beyond corporate profit motives. Proponents of CSR argue that businesses have an interest in the improvement of society and therefore have a corporate responsibility to engage in CSR practices. CSR proponents believe that CSR is essential to business interests, in that corporations benefit tremendously from broadening their corporate goals to exceed the pursuit of immediate short-term profits. Critics of CSR argue that social issues present challenges to corporate management (I. Davis, 2005). Proponents point out that social issues affect the core drivers of a business, such as regulatory influences and patterns of consumer consumption (I. Davis, 2005). Both views conceal the importance of social issues to business success (I. Davis, 2005). That is, corporations must pay particular attention to social pressures that fundamentally affect their long-term strategic future. What is missing in the arguments for CSR motives is the discussion of the determinants of CSR from the perspective of business policy makers and their role in managing that responsibility. The study examined several variables, namely corporate size, corporate structure or span of control, and nature of the corporation, as they relate to corporate decision-making and evaluated their effects on the role of corporations in managing CSR. A questionnaire survey was distributed to 500 corporate decision makers in the Tampa Bay, FL, area. The correlational study used descriptive statistics to obtain an accurate understanding of the corporations and their demographic characteristics as well as their self-supported CSR activities and decisions. Inferential statistics (including

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regression analysis and chi-square analysis) were completed to examine the hypothesized relationships between corporation demographics and CSR. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to examine the possible relationships between CSR (i.e., the dependent variable) and corporate size, corporate structure or span of control, and nature of the corporation (i.e., the independent variables) and their effect on the role of corporations in managing corporate social responsibility. The research questions were analyzed by means of descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics (i.e., frequency, mean, mode, median, and standard deviation) were calculated to examine the nature of the corporation in terms of the variables discussed above. Mean, mode, median, and standard deviation calculations were performed to further understand the distribution of the variables in the sample. Multiple regression analysis and chi-square analysis of the questionnaire survey data were conducted to determine whether the nature of the corporation (i.e., whether it is a publicly or privately held corporation) is related to the decision of the corporation to participate in CSR activities and what variables, if any, simultaneously determine a corporation’s role in managing CSR. The study used a quantitative, correlational design to examine the relationships among the variables. This design allows for the distribution of survey questionnaires to a population of industrial and nonindustrial corporations within the Tampa Bay area so that the impact of the independent variables on a corporation’s role in managing CSR may be ascertained. This study did not attempt to manipulate the levels of the independent variables; rather, responses were examined in terms of their existing categories. For example, corporations cannot be randomly assigned to a specific size. Instead, their

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current sizes were assessed, and those responses determined the levels of that independent variable. Quantitative methodology “asks specific, narrow questions to obtain measurable and observable data on variables” (Creswell, 2005, p. 5). In contrast, the qualitative method explores broad, general questions related to a central phenomenon and requires scrutiny of the data for descriptions and themes (Creswell, 2005). The quantitative method was selected because the study was designed to ask specific, narrow questions to measure the dependent and independent variables. By examining these questions and using the quantitative approach to determine their relationship, individual consumers, community policy leaders, and corporate policy makers will understand the role of corporations in managing social issues in the society in which they operate. The study adds to the literature by providing quantitative analysis of the factors that influence a corporation’s role in managing CSR. Significance of the Problem Significance of the study. Previous studies have conceptualized and empirically assessed CSR and its impact on business performance (e.g., Qu, 2007). Some studies have dealt with the influence of corporate profitability motives on CSR (e.g., Vogel, 2005). Whereas these studies have indicated that corporations are responding to social issues, little is known about determinants of the extent to which corporations respond to social responsibility activities and their role in managing CSR practices. Studies have shown that corporations have taken action to incorporate CSR into their decision-making process in a way that benefits their financial investors and other stakeholders (e.g., Gill, 2008). Many corporations have also incorporated social

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responsibility into their organizational culture as good business practice (Erbschloe, 2008). The literature has demonstrated that managerial obligation exists for corporations to protect and improve societal and corporate welfare. As such, many corporations have realized that they can no longer ignore the moral expectations of society (Den Hond et al., 2007). Nussbaum (2009) wrote that corporations need to understand their responsibilities toward society, the degree of perceptions of societal expectations, and the changing needs of society. As corporations continue to develop their understanding of the dynamics of CSR in the production of goods and services, corporate managers need to understand their role in managing such a responsibility. Current literature has not addressed the role of corporations in managing CSR. Instead, empirical studies have emphasized cause-related issues and philanthropy (Lindgreen et al., 2009). Significance of the study to leadership. This study differs from past studies on this topic in that the study examined the factors that determine a corporation’s role in managing CSR. These findings are expected to increase public awareness of the corporate role in managing CSR and enable corporate managers to allocate effectively resources to their social responsibility programs and initiatives. The study examined corporate leaders’ views on CSR and the corporation’s role in managing CSR. The respondents provided information about the company in terms of CSR activities as well, to provide a glimpse into attitudes about CSR from the top executives in the companies. In addition, results of the study will enable consumers, corporate policy makers, and community policy leaders to understand the role of corporations in managing CSR in the society in which the corporations operate.

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Nature of the Study Overview of the research method. The study is a quantitative, correlational study designed to examine the role of selected independent variables (i.e., corporate size, corporate structure or span of control, and nature of the corporation) in corporations’ decisions to engage in CSR practices. A questionnaire survey instrument was designed to capture such relationships. The unit of analysis in this study is selected corporations in the Tampa Bay, FL, area. Overview of the design appropriateness. The quantitative research method and correlational design selected for this study were appropriate, as they related to the purpose of the study and problems addressed by the study. Survey instruments were distributed to a population of industrial and nonindustrial corporations within the Tampa Bay area to determine the extent of corporate involvement in social responsibility activities by examining determinants such as corporate size, corporate structure or span of control, and nature of the corporation. Telephone survey instruments were not selected because of cost and time factors. The validity and reliability of the survey questionnaire were tested by means of a pilot study that surveyed managers of at least 20 selected companies and industry associations in the Tampa Bay area to determine whether the survey questions were realistic, could be generalized across firms, and could be understood in the general context of the overall study (Buehler & Shetty, 1976). The final survey questionnaires were sent to 500 industrial and nonindustrial corporations within the Tampa Bay area. A 20% response rate was expected to yield a representative sample of the industrial and

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non-industrial population of the Tampa Bay area. The survey questionnaire was addressed to the presidents and CEOs of the selected companies. Because the variables of interest cannot be randomly assigned, the present study is correlational in nature. Corporations were asked questions about their size, the nature of their corporation, and their corporate structure. Corporations were categorized with regard to the independent variables on the basis of their responses, and analyses were conducted to determine relationships to the dependent variable. Research Questions A review of the literature generated several research questions regarding the relationship between the factors that determine whether a company engages in CSR activities and the role of corporations in managing social responsibility. Study conducted by Buehler and Shetty (1976) suggests that the corporation’s response to social demands is influenced by size, industry, profitability, and ownership. Their study demonstrated that these variables also affect the kinds of problems experienced by corporations in carrying out social programs. The study revealed that the response of a given company to social demands depends on social issues of particular relevance to its business as well as on its own organizational resources and skills. The following questions and hypotheses reflect the relationship between determinants of a corporation’s decision to engage in CSR: Research Question 1: What is the impact of the nature of the corporation (publicly or privately held) on the decision of the corporation to engage in CSR? Research Question 2: What is the impact of corporate size on a corporation’s decision to carry out social responsibility activities?

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Research Question 3: What is the impact of corporate structure or span of control on a corporation’s decision to carry out social responsibility activities? Research Question 4: What variables, if any, simultaneously determine a corporation’s role in managing CSR? Research Question 5: How do the attitudes of corporate executives affect the corporation’s decision to engage in CSR? Hypotheses There were five hypotheses in the study that were expressed as follows: H10: There is no significant relationship between the nature of the corporation and the corporation’s decision to engage in CSR practices. H1a: There is a significant relationship between the nature of the corporation and the corporation’s decision to engage in CSR practices. H20: There is no significant relationship between corporate size and a corporation’s decision to engage in CSR practices. H2a: There is a significant relationship between corporate size and a corporation’s decision to engage in CSR practices. H30: There is no significant relationship between corporate structure (span of control) and CSR. H3a: There is a significant relationship between corporate structure (span of control) and CSR. H40: A combination of variables (nature of the corporation, corporate size, and corporate structure or span of control) does not influence CSR.

Full document contains 181 pages
Abstract: The controversy surrounding corporate social responsibility (CSR) is based on two opposing viewpoints, namely the view that business must not only maximize shareholder value but also respond to social issues and the view that businesses have a social responsibility to society and must fulfill that responsibility. There are missing arguments for CSR motives and management in the discussion of CSR determinants from business policy makers' perspectives. The present study attempts to fill the gap in the CSR literature by providing analysis of the factors that contribute to the role of corporations in managing CSR. This quantitative, correlational study allowed for the distribution of survey questionnaires to selected industrial and nonindustrial corporations within the Tampa Bay, FL, area so that the impact of the independent variables on a corporation's role in managing CSR could be reported. The purpose of the study was to examine the possible relationship between CSR (the dependent variable) and corporate size, corporate structure or span of control, and nature of the corporation (independent variables) and their effect on the role of corporations in managing CSR. Results of the study have implications for consumers, corporate policy makers, and community policy makers. It is suggested that the results of the present study could assist in enabling leaders to understand the role of corporation leadership in managing CSR. Future qualitative studies using interview questions could be designed to probe the feelings, opinions, and experiences of participants to determine whether there are similarities related to the findings of this study.