Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 26, 2015

Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Annual Meeting

Angelique Slade Shantz
Pages 116-128

Methodological Fit in Measuring Corporate Social Impact
A Contingent Approach

Society is increasingly utilizing a firm’s social and environmental performance as a primary metric in evaluating legitimacy. As a result there is a growing scholarly need for more precise and socially relevant measures of the social impact of corporations, or corporate social impact (CSI), as opposed to broader or more firm-relevant metrics, such as financial or reputational impacts. I propose that a contingent approach, which explicitly examines the methodological fit between research scope and research method, can be a useful framework to aid CSI scholars in navigating the conceptual messiness of measuring CSI. The aim of this article is to contribute a framework that can be used to effectively address questions of CSI measurement by guiding the use of appropriate research methods and design to fit a given research scope.