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Do sustainability committee characteristics affect CSR performance? Evidence from India

Anis Jarboui (University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia)
Nada Dammak Ben Hlima (University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia)
Dhouha Bouaziz (University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 12 April 2022

Issue publication date: 14 February 2023




This study aimed to investigate the effect of sustainability committee (SC) characteristics (size, independence, the number of meetings, and expertise) on corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance in the Indian context.


This research measures the CSR performance of 60 Indian non-financial firms listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) over the period 2014 to 2019 using the ASSET4 environmental, social, and governance database. The authors resorted to fixed-effect panel regressions to capture the individual effect present in the data.


The results show that CSR performance is positively and significantly influenced by SC independence, size, and expertise. However, the number of SC meetings does not affect CSR performance. The results also demonstrate that CSR performance is positively and significantly associated with board independence.

Research limitations/implications

This paper adds to the existing literature by examining the effect of SC characteristics on the firms' CSR performance in India as one of the oldest stock markets in the world, which would help test the validity of the agency and stakeholder theories in an old and big emerging market context.

Practical implications

The findings allow managers to understand the mechanisms affecting CSR performance and how the characteristics of the SC can participate in its growth and development. Moreover, this study has implications for researchers, suggesting that future CSR studies should take into account the SC characteristics as potential determinants that explain CSR, such as CSR activities and CSR practices and strategies.


The present research contributes to the literature by investigating the effect of SC characteristics on the firms' CSR performance, thereby providing additional evidence on the issue. Several previous studies have examined the link between corporate governance and CSR performance with a focus on external oversight mechanisms, namely institutional ownership or analyst coverage or internal oversight mechanisms, such as board gender composition, board independence, separation of board Chairperson and CEO roles, and the existence of SC on the board, but these studies did not examine the SC characteristics. The present research fills the gap.



Jarboui, A., Dammak Ben Hlima, N. and Bouaziz, D. (2023), "Do sustainability committee characteristics affect CSR performance? Evidence from India", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 628-652.



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