Churchgoers mostly favor socially responsible companies, study finds

Oct 03, 2013

Company managers wondering if they should disclose their involvement in environmentally and socially responsible ventures might first want to observe how many people near their headquarters attend church.

Paul Griffin, a professor at the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management, and Yuan Sun, a professor at Boston University, School of Management, find in a new paper that there is a reliable association between religious adherence and affiliation, and voluntary , or CSR, disclosures.

The research showed that companies in areas of high concentrations of people who practice religion engage in more environmental disclosure as opposed to social welfare disclosure. Companies also disclose more CSR information when the population near the corporate headquarters has more nonevangelical Christians than evangelicals. The authors reasoned that this might be because some evangelical organizations promote skepticism of science and embrace more conservative social and political values than their nonevangelical counterparts.

"Most identify climate change and social welfare as critical contemporary concerns, and many religious groups actively adopt policies and actions to remedy the perceived social and economic injustices that result therefrom," said Griffin. "But we did notice that companies' CSR practices seemed to depend on whether more evangelical Christians versus nonevangelical Christians lived near the headquarters."

Further, the study finds that stock portfolios reflecting more investment in environmental interests and less investment in social welfare interests generate significantly positive excess returns during the one to three months following such disclosures.

The research was conducted primarily using data found in disclosures reported by the CSRwire news service and other public records.

Griffin explained one main message of the research. "Churches and other religious organizations might consider promoting voluntary CSR disclosure as a means to better align corporations' actions with communities' beliefs about environmental protection and ," he said.

"We simply do not know whether religious communities' efforts to increase corporate might have the desired effects on corporate behavior. But if religious communities' resources are to be well spent, that knowledge is crucial."

The paper is titled "Voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure and Religion."

Explore further: Gypsies and travellers on the English Green Belt

More information: papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf… ?abstract_id=2329223

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Are Christians becoming more 'green'?

Jul 24, 2013

Despite the wide-held perception that Christians have become more concerned about the environment, new research finds this so-called "greening of Christianity" is not evident among the religious rank-and-file.

Recommended for you

Gypsies and travellers on the English Green Belt

Oct 17, 2014

The battle between Gypsies, Travellers and the settled community over how land can be used has moved to the Green Belt, observes Peter Kabachnik of the City University of New York.

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy

Oct 16, 2014

Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research that has implications ...

Mongolian women 'want status over big families'

Oct 16, 2014

A new study suggests the aspirations of women in Mongolia have rapidly shifted. Before the rapid economic transition of the 1990s, the wealthiest women in the Communist-style era had big families. However, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2013
I think they feel guilty subconsciously for promoting bigotry and the belief in superstitious nonsense and wish to compensate.