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How do peer listed stars affect corporate social responsibility? Evidence from China

Xue Yang (Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Luying Zhao (Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Yanli Yang (Management School, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu, China)
Chang Li (Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 7 December 2022




This study aims to complement existing studies by investigating the impact of different corporate social responsibility (CSR) information disclosed by peer listed stars (i.e. governance information [GI] and output information [OI]) on focal firms’ responsive CSR (RCSR) and strategic CSR (SCSR) practices. The authors also investigate the influence of different boundary conditions (i.e. founders’ social status [SS] and industry pollution intensity).


Based on the listed stars of 16 industries and their 4,096 private peers in China, the authors use the least squares method and logistic regression models to analyze the data set.


The results indicate that the GI of peer listed stars can only positively affect firms’ RCSR behavior. The OI of peer listed stars has a positive effect on firms’ SCSR behavior while negatively affecting firms’ RCSR behavior. The SS of focal firms’ founders and their interaction with the industry’s pollution level strengthen the abovementioned positive relationships while weakening the negative ones.

Practical implications

This study provides insights into the role of listed stars in influencing peer firms’ CSR activities, offering important practical implications for both policymakers and managers.


This study extends the recent discussion on peer effects of CSR by elucidating the peer star effect on CSR and confirms that firms may adopt heterogeneous CSR practices to achieve sustainable growth by investigating peer firms’ different responses to their listed stars’ different CSR information. Moreover, by introducing the SS of founders and the pollution intensity of the industry as boundary conditions, this study enriches the research context on CSR activities.



The authors thank editors and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. They also thank professor Gu Xin for their valuable advice and support. All errors remain their own.

Fundings: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant number 71904137], the Education Department of Sichuan Province [grant number CJZB21-01] and Sichuan University [grant number 2021CXC25, 2021CDZG-25].


Yang, X., Zhao, L., Yang, Y. and Li, C. (2022), "How do peer listed stars affect corporate social responsibility? Evidence from China", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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