Title

Value-Enhancing Social Responsibility: Market Reaction to Donations by Family vs. Non-family Firms with Religious CEOs

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

5-1-2020

Abstract

Using a signaling framework, we argue that ethical behavior as evidenced by charitable donations is viewed more positively by investors when seen not to be based on self-serving motives but rather on authentic generosity that builds moral capital. The affirmed religiosity of CEOs may make their ethical position more credible, while their embeddedness within a family business suggests that CEOs are backed by powerful owners with long-time horizons and a desire to build moral capital with stakeholders. We find in a study of market responses to 1572 corporate donations by S&P 1500 firms that financial markets react more positively to charitable initiatives from firms with religion-declared CEOs, but only if these are family businesses.

Publication Title

Journal of Business Ethics

Volume

163

Issue

4

Share

COinS