Corporate Sustainability Practices and Commitment in Times of Crisis: A Case Study on the Covid-19 Pandemic
Sammanfattning: Corporate Social Responsibility is considered to be an integral part of modern business life. However, the explanatory value of CSR ratings can be discussed. As a consequence of Covid-19, a truly exogenous shock, firms' CSR commitment can be explored. This study aims to exploit this and scrutinize whether changes in CSR ratings during the pandemic relates to financial performance. Moreover, market participants recognise that CSR issues are unlikely to be equally important for firms across sectors, implying material and immaterial CSR issues. Therefore, we use materiality as a moderator for CSR engagement. The study uses a quantitative method to test the relation between CSR activities and financial performance. The results show a positive, however, insignificant relation between these two variables. Apart from contributing with additional insight on CSR benefits we suggest that the uncertainty of the CSR ratings could contribute to window dressing activities and also explain the insignificant results. Besides, we propose that materiality may be important when exploring the relation between CSR scores and financial performance.
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