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Today the public, investors, and governments are concerned about the social and environmental impacts of companies and how they are held accountable. This is why companies make corporate social responsibility a strategic priority. They may choose to support local charities, commit to using biodegradable materials, or take better care of their employee wellbeing.

Research has shown that institutional factors also influence companies to tackle society’s greatest challenges and have a positive impact on their communities. These institutional factors are however shaped by unique social-cultural contexts underlying in each country that, in turn, affect government regulations, corporate governance, and managers’ incentives to engage in corporate social responsibility. Walid Ben Amar, Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and a team of researchers from Université Clermont Auvergne, University of Toronto, and HEC Montreal examined the cascade effect of these three levels—State institutions, firm and CEO—and how they directly and indirectly influence companies to pursue corporate social responsibility or prevent them from doing so.

Their findings show that, even when government regulations do not encourage companies to engage in corporate social responsibility, managers and CEOs still can counterbalance their institutional barriers and aim for a positive impact on their societies.

To learn more how these three factors play a role in corporate social responsibility, read the Conversation article published by Professors Sylvain Marsat, Aida Wahid, Claude Francoeur, and Walid Ben Amar.

Walid Ben Amar Walid Ben Amar is a Full Professor of Accounting at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. Ben Amar’s research interests include corporate governance and corporate social responsibility with a focus on climate risk reporting and governance. Learn more about his work.

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