Date of Conferral







Jean Gordon


Many managers are failing to predict and respond to the evolutionary changes within their firm’s business environment. Some experts believe that any company not utilizing a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy will lose customers, which will have a direct impact on the firm’s financial performance. Managers lack a clear understanding of the impacts of CSR strategies on corporate financial performance. The purpose of this quantitative multiple regression-based study was to examine what relationship existed between an organization’s CSR strategy and its financial performance. The conceptual frameworks for this research were stakeholder and triple bottom line theories. These frameworks were selected because of their emphasis on CSR implementation. The completed multiple regression analyses focused on S&P 500 companies’ relationship of debt to equity, return on assets, and net profit margins with CSR scores to determine if any association existed. Four CSR categories were utilized as independent variables based on CSRHub’s reporting: (a) community, (b) employee, (c) environment, and (d) governance. Results from this study found a nonsignificant relationship between CSR and the dependent variables of return on assets and net profit margin. Debt to equity provided a mixed significance level with the independent variables of employees and governance proving insignificant, while community and environment represented a significant relationship. This research has forwarded the understanding of both stakeholder and triple bottom line theory by focusing new CSR research into the direction of the positive relationships and away from those that show no significance. Organizations that focus their CSR policies towards community engagement will benefit from a reduction in debt to equity and will promote social change through increased community improvement.