The purpose of this paper is to extend our understanding of corporate governance, social issues and capital markets by distinguishing between the socially responsible investing phenomenon and mainstream investing with respect to social issues. It attempts to clarify the domain by casting it in the theoretical frame of prospect theory and mental modeling. With a qualitative study done among large institutional investors in the Canadian securities industry, the article derives a proposed mental model of these institutional investors' cognitive model of social issues as they impact investments.
The institutional investors in this study know exactly where value is derived from social investments suggesting that there may be more alignment between directors, investors and societal expectations than has been previously suggested.
The limited number of organizations in the study reduces the generalizability of the findings.
Managers and directors must have an understanding of how shareholder value and responsibilities intersect. In our research, we have found that these executives positioned their firms as leaders on the social responsibility front. Interestingly, their major shareholders also understood how responsibility and shareholder value intersected and as a result, financial performance was not sacrificed.
The findings from this research shed light on previous scholars' questions regarding the alignment of interests between managers, directors and social expectations. The firms analyzed make strategic investments that are considered to meet social expectations but that are also perceived to add value to the organization making the firm more attractive to institutional investors.
Petersen, H. and Vredenburg, H. (2009), "Corporate governance, social responsibility and capital markets: exploring the institutional investor mental model", Corporate Governance, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 610-622. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720700910998175Download as .RIS
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