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Governance and social responsibility: what factors impact corporate performance in a small banking-oriented country?

Maria Elisabete Neves (Polytechnic of Coimbra, Coimbra Business School|ISCAC, Coimbra, Portugal and CETRAD|UTAD, Vila Real, Portugal)
Catarina Proença (Polytechnic of Coimbra, Coimbra Business School|ISCAC, Coimbra, Portugal and Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, CeBER, Coimbra, Portugal)
Beatriz Cancela (Polytechnic of Coimbra, Coimbra Business School|ISCAC, Coimbra, Portugal and Instituto Superior de Gestão|Business and Economics School, Lisbon, Portugal)

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management

ISSN: 1834-7649

Article publication date: 21 November 2022

Issue publication date: 31 January 2023




This paper aims to analyze the corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) determinants of the Portuguese listed companies’ performance, considering a different point of view by managers, shareholders and other external stakeholders and investors.


To achieve this aim, the authors have used a sample of 34 nonfinancial listed companies in Euronext Lisbon between 2015 and 2020. The authors use the panel data methodology to test the hypotheses formulated according to the literature review, specifically the generalized method of moments (GMM) system estimation model proposed by Arellano and Bond (1991).


The main results point out that the determinants of the corporate performance vary depending on the dependent variable considered. From the managers’ perspective, the existence of an audit committee and expenses with the environment increase costs and reduce results, negatively influencing corporate performance, but the company’s maturity adds synergies in resource management and positively influences performance. Shareholders consider that gender diversity and board independence positively influence performance, whereas, for external stakeholders and long-term investors, gender diversity and the social responsibility committee harm the performance of Portuguese companies. However, environmental and social expenditures have a positive effect, showing that the market’s perception is that, in the long run, it is essential to eradicate poverty and protect the environment.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first one to analyze corporate governance and CSR determinants on the performance of listed Portuguese companies. This study shows that in a small banking-oriented country, there is still a long way to go in terms of increasing social responsibility and governance among different stakeholders. It is essential to promote actions that lead to effective governance and awareness of social responsibility.



This work is supported by national funds through the FCT – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under the project UIDB/04011/2020 and UIDB/05037/2020.


Neves, M.E., Proença, C. and Cancela, B. (2023), "Governance and social responsibility: what factors impact corporate performance in a small banking-oriented country?", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 66-92.



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