The Effects of Top Management Team National Diversity and Institutional Uncertainty on Subsidiary CSR Focus

Abstract

This research investigates how top management team national diversity (TMTND) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) institutional uncertainty affect strategic CSR focus in foreign-owned subsidiaries. The paper develops a theoretical framework based on institutional theory and upper echelon perspectives to test a sample of MNE subsidiaries. Survey data were collected from subsidiaries in Thailand and Taiwan. Non-symmetric analysis suggests that while TMTND plays an important role in establishing a CSR focus, it is not conducive in itself to high-performance outcomes. Performance is measured by market share, sales growth, and profitability for each subsidiary. The results also show that there are notable differences between the subsidiaries located in Thailand and Taiwan as to what extent CSR strategic focus and top management team national diversity are relevant for high-performance outcomes. The study demonstrates that the links between CSR, TMTND, and subsidiary performance are much more complex than previously assumed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    While diversity in gender, age, race, religion, and other, we follow the arguments by Gong (2006), Hambrick et al. (1998), Salk and Shenkar (2001) who argue that in multinational teams, the nationality is a trait of exalted importance.

  2. 2.

    Contrarian case analysis is undertaken to show that there are cases in the sample that are counter to linear or theoretical assumptions. For instance, Table 5 shows that there are some subsidiaries that perform high, even though they report little CSR. Contrarian case analysis is often done before fsQCA is conducted to show that fsQCA is relevant.

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Acknowledgements

Preparation of this paper is supported in part by The Open University of Hong Kong, University, Thammasat University, and Bucknell University. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the James & Elizabeth Freeman Chair in Management at Bucknell University.

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Appendix 1: Structural model and model fit

Appendix 1: Structural model and model fit

  Path coefficient P-Value
Top management team national diversity and strategic CSR focus 0.102 0.069
CSR uncertainty and strategic CSR focus − 0.153 0.013
Intra-organizational network strength and strategic CSR focus 0.045 0.260
Inter-organizational network strength and strategic CSR focus 0.316  < 0.001
A strategic CSR focus and subsidiary performance 0.308  < 0.001
  Baseline model Range
Average path coefficient (APC) 0.136, P = 0.012 P <  = 0.05
Average R2 (ARS) 0.330, P < 0.001 P <  = 0.05
Average adjusted R2 (AARS) 0.293, P < 0.001 P <  = 0.05
Average block VIF (AVIF) 1.38 Acceptable if <  = 5, ideally <  = 3.3
Average full collinearity VIF (AFVIF) 1.519 Acceptable if <  = 5, ideally <  = 3.3
Tenenhaus GoF (GoF) 0.528 Small >  = 0.1, medium >  = 0.25, large >  = 0.36
Simpson's paradox ratio (SPR) 0.857 Acceptable if >  = 0.7, ideally = 1
R2 contribution ratio (RSCR) 0.973 Acceptable if >  = 0.9, ideally = 1
Statistical suppression ratio (SSR) 0.762 Acceptable if >  = 0.7
Nonlinear bivariate causality direction ratio
(NLBCDR)
1.000 Acceptable if >  = 0.7
Standardized root mean squared residual
(SRMR)
0.079 acceptable if <  = 0.1
Standardized mean absolute residual (SMAR) 0.062 acceptable if <  = 0.1
Standardized chi-squared with 702 degrees
of freedom (SChS)
15.607 P < 0.001
Standardized threshold difference count ratio
(STDCR)
0.982 Acceptable if >  = 0.7, ideally = 1
Standardized threshold difference sum ratio
(STDSR)
0.931 Acceptable if >  = 0.7, ideally = 1

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Dahms, S., Kingkaew, S. & S. Ng, E. The Effects of Top Management Team National Diversity and Institutional Uncertainty on Subsidiary CSR Focus. J Bus Ethics (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-020-04721-z

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Keywords

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Top management team national diversity
  • Institutional theory
  • Upper echelon theory
  • Foreign-owned subsidiaries