Ownership and corporate social responsibility: "The power of the female touch"
Seckin Halac, D.
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Using a sample of 26,029 firm-year observations over the period 2002–2017 from 4,479 firms and 44 countries, we examine the relationship between ownership concentration and corporate social responsibility by focusing on the mediating role of board gender diversity and the moderating role of family shareholding. We find that ownership concentration negatively affects corporate social responsibility, and the board gender diversity partially mediates this negative effect. Our results indicate that the mediating effect of board gender diversity leads to a 10.65 percent decrease in the impact of ownership concentration on corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, moderated path analysis indicates that family shareholding weakens the direct effect of ownership concentration on board gender diversity and its indirect effect on corporate social responsibility. In post hoc analysis, we also document that the effect of gender diversity on the board is more prevalent in high gender-egalitarian societies where women are more involved in decision-making. Our study addresses the strategic role of female board members in increasing firms’ respect for corporate social responsibility, especially in family-controlled firms. Thus, our results may provide insights to regulators and policymakers to enhance firms’ corporate social practices by encouraging women's participation on corporate boards.
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