Internal governance and corporate social responsibility performance

Wanyu Tina Chen, Janus Jian Zhang*, Gaoguang Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Internal governance is the process by which vice presidents (VPs) use their influence with the chief executive officer (CEO) to impact the firm's direction and policy. This study examines the effect of internal governance on corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. Based on a large sample of US firms and after controlling for various CEO incentives, corporate governance and other determinants of CSR performance, we find that more effective internal governance is associated with a better CSR performance. These results are robust to alternative internal governance and CSR measures, alternative samples and various approaches that mitigate potential endogeneity problems. Further analysis shows that the effect of internal governance on CSR performance is more pronounced when (a) the CEO is subject to more intensive monitoring, (b) VPs are more powerful, (c) firms experience less short-term financial performance pressure and (d) they face stronger product market competition. This study advances our understanding of corporate governance's effect on CSR by showing the importance of internal governance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Business Finance and Accounting
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Accounting
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Finance

User-Defined Keywords

  • agency problems
  • corporate executives
  • corporate governance
  • corporate social responsibility
  • financial pressures
  • internal governance
  • managerial horizon
  • mutual monitoring
  • power
  • product market competition


Dive into the research topics of 'Internal governance and corporate social responsibility performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this