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: Poll surveys residents of two war-torn African nations

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

When rulers can't understand the ruled

9 hours ago

Johns Hopkins University political scientists wanted to know if America's unelected officials have enough in common with the people they govern to understand them.

When casualties increased, war coverage became more negative

13 hours ago

As the number of U.S. casualties rose in Afghanistan, reporters filed more stories about the conflict and those articles grew increasingly negative about both the war effort and the military, according to a Penn State researcher. ...

Poll surveys residents of two war-torn African nations

18 hours ago

Researchers fanned out in one of the most dangerous corners of the globe late last year, asking residents of a brutalized part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) their thoughts on violence, security, ...

Drunk driving women treated differently than men

18 hours ago

A study by Victoria University of Wellington's Health Services Research Centre explores attitudes and behaviours surrounding women and drink-driving, and the extent to which they have changed over the past decade.

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.