Corporate social responsibility: perceptions of directors in Brazil

Tobias Coutinho Parente (Department of Business Administration, University of São Paulo, São Paulo , Brazil)
Cláudio Antonio Pinheiro Machado Filho (Department of Business Administration, University of São Paulo, São Paulo , Brazil)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Publication date: 21 November 2016



Literature has suggested that the agenda of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an extension of corporate governance (CG) and would be under the responsibility of the board of directors. In this sense, the authors seek to understand the perception of board members on the CSR issue.


Exploratory survey with 128 Brazilian board members was carried out. The authors looked at their perception about the incorporation of CSR in business agendas and on what they consider when deciding on issues related to CSR.


The results show that board members understand the organization more as an entity that has a social role to play than something that simply acts pragmatically. This position is reflected in their decision-making processes rather than in the values and beliefs of the controllers’ majority shareholders, which consider what creates long-term value for organizations. The directors seek to create and maintain value for organizations for them to operate sustainably.

Practical implications

This research contributes to structuring boards. When choosing board members, having only technical requirements is no longer sufficient; their psychological profile and history also need to be taken into account. It also contributes to the drafting of CSR policies by showing what board members think of CSR and how they make decisions.


This study focuses on understanding how the director as an individual observes CSR. Much has been studied about CG, CSR and board members; however, little is known regarding the opinion of board members with regard to CSR. The authors are suggesting an approach to the singularities of directors as another direction in governance research.



Tobias Coutinho Parente and Cláudio Antonio Pinheiro Machado Filho (2016) "Corporate social responsibility: perceptions of directors in Brazil", Management Research Review, Vol. 39 No. 11, pp. 1472-1493

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