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: Big miners' community engagement doing more harm than good?

More information: papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?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

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

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.

More news stories

Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I's government came up with a series of measures to deter "divers evil persons" ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.