Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 15, 2004

Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting

Stephen Brammer, Andrew Millington
Pages 155-163

Media Exposure and Corporate Social Performance
An Empirical Analysis

We analyse the determinants of firm social performance within a sample of over 500 publicly listed UK corporations. Our analysis distinguishes between three dimensions of firm social performance (community performance, employee performance, and environmental performance) and emphasises the importance of industry stakeholder pressures and organizational news media visibility as stimuli for improved social performance. The findings indicate that corporate social performance characteristics vary systematically across industries and that news media visibility is a significant stimulus for all dimensions of firm social performance, suggesting that recent moves to “name and shame” corporations with poor social and environmental performance are likely to have had an important impact on the behaviour of companies. However, we find that news media visibility has a significantly stronger impact upon community and employee performance than it does on environmental performance.