International diversification and corporate social responsibility: an empirical study of Chinese contractors

Hanyang Ma ( Shanghai Jiaotong University Shanghai China )
Saixing Zeng ( Shanghai Jiaotong University Shanghai China ) ( China )
Geoffrey Qiping Shen ( The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Kowloon Hong Kong )
H. Lin ( Shanghai Jiaotong University shanghai China )
Hongquan Chen ( Shanghai Jiaotong University shanghai China ) ( Shanghai Jiaotong University )

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 3 March 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between international diversification strategy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) for firms from emerging economies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on an empirical study of a sample of Chinese firms listed in Engineering Record News (ENR) Top Contractors from 2010 to 2014. A moderated analysis is employed in order to test the hypotheses and examine how the scale and scope of international diversification affect CSR.

Findings

The empirical results show that degree of internationalization (DOI), as the scale, is positively related to firms’ CSR scores. Furthermore, two scopes, geographic diversification (GD) and project diversification (PD), have different effects on CSR scores. GD negatively moderates the relationship between DOI and CSR scores, while PD has a positive direct impact on CSR scores.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on firms from emerging economies; therefore, the findings may not hold for firms from developed markets.

Practical implications

The results of this paper provide strategical advice regarding international business, for firms from emerging economies to meet the managerial challenges regarding CSR in global markets.

Originality/value

As the relationship between international diversification and financial performance has been thoroughly discussed in previous studies, this paper extends the literature on international diversification’s effects on CSR.

Citation

Ma, H., Zeng, S., Shen, G., Lin, H. and Chen, H. (2016), "International diversification and corporate social responsibility: an empirical study of Chinese contractors", Management Decision, Vol. 54 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-07-2015-0322

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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