Shareholders and managers: Who care more about corporate diversity and employee benefits?
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We test two competing theories that explain a firm’s engagement in corporate diversity and employee benefits: socially responsible investment theory and management overinvestment theory. We find that publicly-traded companies with strong shareholder rights are more likely to promote women and/or minorities to the positions of CEO and board of directors in their organizations, conduct business with women- and/or minority-owned operations, and provide better family benefits to their employees than firms with strong management power. These findings indicate that the companies with strong shareholder rights engage more actively in internal aspects of CSR activities, which supports the socially responsible investment theory rather than the management overinvestment theory. Shareholders (i.e. institutional investors) tend to integrate their social goals (i.e. internal CSR issues) and financial goals into their investments. In response to these changes, managers should engage in the internal aspects of corporate social issues more aggressively as the agents of shareholders.
KeywordsCorporate social responsibility (CSR) Socially responsible investment (SRI) Corporate diversity Employee benefits Shareholder rights Management power
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