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Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 10, 1999

Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting

Linda M. Sama
Pages 395-406

A Conceptual Model of the Determinants of Corporate Social Response Strategies
Why Do Firms Differ?

This paper examines the sources of variation among firms’ strategies of social responsiveness. It presents a categorization scheme of four social responses adapted from the literature and suggests how both strategic slack and corporate governance combine to differentiate firms’ social response strategies. The paper establishes a theoretical basis for arguing that market conditions provide the context for management decision-making and thereby constrain the band of strategic choices that management has available to it. Within market-prescribed limits, differentiable responses to social issues are attributed to the social orientation of the governance structure monitoring firm performance.

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