Optimal Distinctiveness in CSR Practices: Examining the CSR Profile Extensiveness and Deviation among Chinese Publicly Listed Companies

Building on recent development in optimal distinctiveness (OD) research, we identify two dimensions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices—CSR profile extensiveness and CSR profile deviation—and examine the antecedents of both. We theorize on how state control and analyst coverage of a firm shape its CSR profile extensiveness and deviation, and how these main effects vary depending on whether a firm is part of a stigmatized industry and the competitive intensity of its industry. We test our predictions using a proprietary database of 942 Chinese publicly listed firms between 2008 and 2016. Our findings demonstrate that the behavioral patterns that OD encompasses are more heterogeneous than generally recognized.

Don’t miss Eric’s interview, by our fabulous PhDs

Interview by emlyon Ph.D. student Su-Lyn Cheng and STORM Post-doctoral fellow Thinley Tharchen. Editing by emlyon Ph.D. student Su-Lyn Cheng.