Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Promotion and Improvement in Greater China
In light of the emphasis on corporate sustainability in recent decades, research has been carried out to study and examine one of its very notions – corporate social responsibility (CSR). This research on CSR highlights the importance of managerial incentives in fostering CSR performance and the benefits of good CSR practices in both product and capital markets.
Interrelated research areas were covered by the research projects. The first area focuses on the importance of good CSR practices to the internationalisation of firms in emerging economies, suggesting that the development of CSR strategies indeed helps expand business with customers in developed countries. The second area aims at identifying the importance of informal institutional environments in determining the economic consequences of CSR investment by firms in the debt market, and the research findings suggest that CSR-friendly environments should be nurtured and promoted as they benefit corporate value creation. The third area explores the importance of CSR disclosure in debt markets, providing empirical evidence to support the idea that better CSR disclosure improves firms’ access to public bond markets and enables firms to issue bonds on favourable terms. Another research area is about how incentives for top managers facilitates CSR practices, and the research findings provide empirical evidence which indicates that market participants should embed managerial incentives to promote and evaluate CSR practices. The last research area examines the development of CSR in Asia by investigating aspects of CSR practices in 12 Asian countries, providing valuable insights for both practitioners and regulatory bodies on how to deal with CSR-related issues.
Apart from the provision of valuable knowledge and resources for practitioners from various sectors related to CSR and business sustainability, this research is also quite successful in terms of its non-academic impact. Research on the effects of CSR performance informs financial institutions about the necessity of incorporating the firm’s CSR practices into the assessment of its credit quality. For example, it helped banking financial institutions, including a factoring company in Shanghai, reduce the occurrence of non-performing loans and improve profitability. It also helped credit rating agencies, such as a leading credit rating agency in mainland China, improve its environmental, social and governance evaluation by incorporating different CSR practices. This research also provided insights and support for firms in various manufacturing industries, enabling them to develop CSR practices and increase CSR engagement. As an example, an exporting company in Dongguan has in return passed the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA), anticipating that 40% sales growth could be achieved.
- Best paper award at the 7th World Business Ethics Forum, Macau, 2018 Cheung, Y., Tan, W., & Wang, W. Where do Banks Value Corporate Social Responsibility More? Evidence from the Role of National Culture
- Cheung, Y., Kong, D., Tan, W., & Wang, W. (2015). Being Good When Being International in Emerging Economy: The Case in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 130 (4), 805 – 817.
- Cheung, Y., Tan, W., & Wang, W. (2018). National Stakeholder Orientation, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Bank Loan Cost. Journal of Business Ethics, 150(2), 505-524.
- Tan, W., Tsang, A., Wang, W., & Zhang, W. (2019). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Disclosure and the Choice between Bank Debt and Public Debt. Accounting Horizons (forthcoming).