Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Seventy percent of small and medium-sized U.S. companies experience negative performance because of leaders' lack of knowledge of corporate social responsibility (CSR) program implementation. CSR implementation is complex and requires organizational resources such as expertise, personnel, time, and money. Implementing CSR programs is challenging for many leaders. Research on CSR implementation in the U.S. financial services industry is scarce, and leaders of financial services firms do not have a clear understanding of how to make CSR implementation successful. The purpose of this study was to explore optimal strategies for making corporate social responsibility program implementation effective. The central research question that drove this study was determining how leaders can make CSR program implementation effective. Data collected from a purposeful sample of 10 face-to-face interviews, direct observations, and document review were coded and analyzed. One of the emergent themes suggests that leaders lack the knowledge to understand how CSR activities contribute to a better world. The lack of knowledge for successful CSR implementation causes 60% of leaders to treat CSR programs as side projects. Another theme for successful CSR programs was the leaders' commitment to transparency. Without trust, leaders cannot align stakeholders' interests with CSR activities. Implications for positive social change included opportunities for leaders to define key CSR stakeholders, establish CSR goals, and select CSR activities to meet the CSR goals. This could lead some leaders to gain the knowledge of how to integrate CSR into their firms' daily operations.