Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business
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Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business

Edited by Jonathan P. Doh and Stephen A. Stumpf

Ethics, social responsibility, leadership, governance. These terms are heard in the classroom, in the boardroom, and viewed on the front page of newspapers and magazines. Yet serious attention to the relationships among these concepts is lacking. Although commitments to leadership, ethics, and social responsibility are evident, individuals and companies are falling short in combining these duties into policies and cultures that guide behavior and decisions. The missing element is a broad-based and integrated approach to responsible leadership and governance. This volume provides the leading thinking on these issues and includes a discussion of emerging areas that require future attention.
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Chapter 11: The Influence of CEO Transformational Leadership on Firm-Level Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

David A. Waldman and Donald Siegel


11 The influence of CEO transformational leadership on firm-level commitment to corporate social responsibility David A. Waldman and Donald Siegel Introduction There is growing scholarly interest in assessing the antecedents and consequences of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Following the work of McWilliams and Siegel (2001), we define CSR as actions on the part of the firm that appear to advance, or acquiesce in the promotion of, some social good, beyond the immediate interests of the firm and its shareholders and beyond that which is required by law. Thus CSR involves using the firm’s resources to advance societal interests. CSR strategies may result in a company embodying socially responsible attributes in their products (such as the use of organic or pesticide-free ingredients) or also lead to situations where consumers are made aware of the fact that the good they are purchasing has been produced in a socially responsible manner (for example, when cosmetic firms report that ingredients in their products are not tested on animals). Other stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, community groups, government and some shareholders, may also derive satisfaction from a firm’s CSR actions. While a variety of motives could affect the propensity of firms to engage in CSR, management scholars have recently focused attention on instances when managers appear to be using CSR instrumentally. That is, they can promote CSR either for their own benefit (Friedman, 1970; Wright and Ferris, 1997), which follows from agency theory, or to enhance firm profitability, based on a resource-based...

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