How does greenwashing drive out pure corporate social responsibility practices? Disentangling effects of corporate social responsibility and irresponsibility signals on financial performance


  • Nguyen Thi-Minh Ngoc
  • Brion Sébastien
  • Chauvet Vincent


  • CSI
  • CSR
  • TQCA
  • Greenwhashing

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There is a fundamental interest in management research: whether, how, and when corporate social responsibility leads to corporate financial performance. Despite tremendous past effort, the available answers are still unsatisfied. We address this traditional gap by suggesting a fresh viewpoint: the existence of corporate social irresponsibility and the dynamic relationships between corporate social responsibility and irresponsibility. Specifically, we ground on signaling perspective to explore the long-term financial impact of both responsibility and irresponsibility-related signals in their relational mechanisms. Using a sample of the largest American companies on a built longitudinal configurational framework, we find several causal recipes of combining these positive and negative signals toward a high level of financial performance. Our study makes theoretical contributions to signaling theory and corporate social performance research.

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