Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration




Some business owners lack experience balancing corporate social responsibility (CSR) and shareholder profitability. Grounded in stakeholder theory, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore business owners' experiences regarding balancing corporate social responsibility of hiring ex-inmates and shareholder profitability. The target population included 20 business owners in Newark, New Jersey who integrated CSR as part of their firms' formal business plans, were committed to hiring ex-inmates, and feared the consequential loss of profit such engagement might incur. Data were collected using in-depth semistructured interviews and analyzed using the modified van Kaam method. Three prominent themes included social perceptions of ex-inmate integrity, impact of business sector on the feasibility of hiring ex-inmates, and responsibility to shareholders and customers as stakeholders. Employers, ex-inmates, and communities benefit from business leaders who implement programs that educate communities about the benefits of welcoming ex-inmates into the workforce. Members of communities can be informed by seminars, advertisements, and distribution of literature that ex-inmates who find employment are less likely to recidivate or become (along with their families) burdens on public resources. Employment is a means of reintegrating ex-inmates into society such that an assumed destructive enemy of the community is converted into a productive member of the society. Social implications include the potential to assist ex-inmates to search for employment, reduce the likelihood of ex-inmate recidivism and become resourceful to the community, assist employers to perform CSR, and take advantage of tax incentives.