Green Economy and Sustainable Development
Corporate Social Responsibility Performance during Crisis.
A EU Approach
Adina Dornean1, Bogdan-Narcis Fîrțescu2
Abstract: This paper aims at analyzing the impact of the financial crisis on Corporate S ocial Responsibility
(CSR) performance, emphasizing the case of companies from European Union (EU) countries. An empirical
analysis is conducted using the database available on Global Report Initiative (GRI). For accomplishing this,
we will use Wilcoxon signed rank sum t est, in order to test the CSR performance evolution for period 2007 –
2015. According to the GRI reportin g guidelines we transform the application level of report standards in a
point score system. The results indicated increased CSR performance before, d uring and after the financial
crisis except for 2015, which confirm the results obtained by other researchers. The present study is important
both for managers and policymakers: for managers to continue th eir CSR actions because is demonstrated the
positive relationship between CSR and financial performance; and for authorities who have to adopt more
incentives for supporting companies involved in CSR activities.
Keywords: Responsible Finance; Global Reporting Initiative; GRI Guidelines; performance scale
JEL Classification: G01; G34; M14; O16
There is a limited number of articles discussing CSR published in recent years in the top academic
finance journals which suggests that this topic does not appear to be a main concern in the finance
literature. Social activities or corporate responsibilities are discussed related to the impact on financial
performance or shareholder value: “where CSR does not directly increase shareholder value, it is an
inappropriate misallocation or misappropriation of funds” (Friedman, 1970).
CSR is about “doing good and doing well” (Margolis & all, 2009). There is a continuous debate
regarding Corporate Social Performance (CSP) and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP) because
the narrative reviews of the literature and the empirical evidence is too varied to allow for definitive
conclusions. Orlitzky (2011) states, “Many academic researchers regard the business case for CSP as
unresolved despite the more optimistic conclusions reached in several meta-analyses”. Margolis and
Walsh (2003) also note: “A simple compilation of the findings suggests there is a positive association,
and certainly very little evidence of a negative association between a company’s social performance
and its financial performance.” Many scholars such as Margolis and Walsh (2003) suggest moving
beyond the CSP/CFP debate and move on to new research into the relationship between business and
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, A.I. Cuza, University of Iasi, Romania, Address:
11 Carol I Blvd Iasi, Romania, Tel.: +40 232 201610, Fax +40 232 217000, Corresponding author: email@example.com.
2 Associate Professor, PhD, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, A.I. Cuza, University of Iasi, Iasi, Romania,
Address: 11 Carol I Blvd Iasi, Romania. Tel./Fax: +40 232 217000, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.