This study aims to investigate the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure on firm performance, considering both firm profitability and firm value in an emerging market, India.
The study examines the effect of CSR disclosure on firm performance using panel regressions for the final sample that consists of 386 companies listed in the BSE 500 index, India. It covers all major players in the capital market for ten years from 2007–2016.
The result shows a trend toward the negative effect of CSR disclosure on firm profitability and firm value in India; this negative effect is mainly influenced by environmental disclosure score and social disclosure score. An adverse effect of firm profitability and firm value on CSR disclosure is also observed to underline the inverse relationship.
The study provides implications to consumers, investors, managers and policymakers. Firstly, consumers have to be more aware of CSR initiatives of companies, and they should support those companies to do more. Secondly, investors can use the ESG disclosure score as a signal for the level of CSR activities, which negatively affects firm performance. Thirdly, managers have to consider CSR more seriously and spend CSR amount wisely after proper research and not just to meet the mandatory limit. In addition, managers have to take necessary actions to make the public aware of the CSR activities of the company to gain an advantage in the future. Finally, policymakers have to give more emphasis on the promotion of CSR activities to reach the ultimate consumers who lie in the remote areas of the country, and more awareness has to be given to them regarding CSR activities.
The findings contribute to the literature by providing insights on CSR disclosure and firm performance relationship in India, an emerging market with increasing international attention where such studies are scant and less clear, especially after the amendments in the Companies Act, 2013. Furthermore, the measurement of CSR disclosure using environmental, social and governance (ESG) score is novel in the Indian context.
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