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Corporate social responsibility and firm value: exploring the moderating effects of information technology-enabled knowledge capabilities

Junmin Xu (School of Management, State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China) (Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Alvin Chung Man Leung (Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Wei Thoo Yue (Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Qin Su (School of Management, State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 18 June 2024

73

Abstract

Purpose

A substantial amount of research has examined the firm value impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Nevertheless, the findings have been inconsistent, prompting researchers to identify contingencies under which the impact varies. This study examines how information technology (IT)-enabled knowledge capabilities moderate the relationship between CSR and firm value.

Design/methodology/approach

We conducted the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis on a sample of S&P 500 companies spanning from 2010 to 2017. We employed additional methods to test the robustness of the results, including the generalized method of moments (GMM) estimator and the two-stage least squares (2SLS) method.

Findings

The results show that IT-enabled absorptive capability (IT-AC) and IT-enabled social integration capability (IT-SIC) positively moderate the CSR–value relationship. Further, their moderating effects vary in distinct ways when environmental dynamism changes, hinting at the distinct underlying rationales behind the moderating roles of IT-AC and IT-SIC.

Research limitations/implications

This study improves the understanding of the business value of CSR and IT. It has limitations in generalizability due to the use of secondary data.

Practical implications

This study provides practical guidelines to managers about how to strategically leverage IT resources for the creation of CSR value.

Social implications

Encouraging businesses to enhance their CSR efforts and uphold sustainability extends beyond our immediate benefit and impacts future generations as well. However, due to an imbalance between costs and returns, companies often refrain from being wholeheartedly devoted to CSR. Our insights on guiding companies to derive more value from CSR can inspire their greater investment in CSR. Meanwhile, companies can obtain additional returns from deployed IT.

Originality/value

This study extends the IT business value literature by revealing how IT generates firm value in the context of CSR. It also adds critical insights into the mixed findings in previous research regarding the CSR–firm value link. The study’s findings offer useful guidance on the strategic deployment and utilization of IT resources to facilitate the creation of CSR value.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2019YFB1704100).

Citation

Xu, J., Leung, A.C.M., Yue, W.T. and Su, Q. (2024), "Corporate social responsibility and firm value: exploring the moderating effects of information technology-enabled knowledge capabilities", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-03-2023-0202

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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