Variations in Corporate Social Performance

by Edwin Kuntz, Banwari Kedia, Carlton Whitehead



This article focuses on a study which aimed to examine the relationship between a set of factors and selected socially responsive activities of banks in Texas and to minimize the conceptual and methodological weaknesses. More specifically, the two objectives were: to develop models of the variable or variables that explain variations in socially responsive activities to determine whether the same variable or set of variables helps account for them and to test for interdependence among the social responsibility variables. There were two research hypotheses: (1) There is no single set of independent variables associated with all the selected social responsibility variables (dependent variables) and (2) There is no significant positive association among the selected socially responsive activities. Primary and secondary data were collected from the sample. Secondary data were gathered from the Texas Red Book, F.D.I.C. Annual Reports, Moody's Financial Manual, and from the U.S. Bureau of the Census's Current Population Reports. In this article an attempt was made to control some of the conceptual and methodological weaknesses of past social responsibility research by avoiding interindustry data collection, using as much objective data to measure actual behavior as possible, using multiple independent variables, and using personal interviews us opposed to mail questionnaires. Although generalizing beyond the scope of Texas banks is not appropriate, the study raises some interesting conceptual and methodological issues. It also raises serious doubt using a single measure of social responsibility since, in this study at least, the selected socially responsive activities tended to be independent of each other. Although the social area presents special problems to the researcher, progress in this area is going to require more rigorous and refined research efforts and the development of more sophisticated conceptual models.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us