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Journal Articles Journal of Cleaner Production Year : 2020

Lie of the weak: Inconsistent corporate social responsibility activities of Chinese zombie firms

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Abstract

This study investigates the differences between zombie firms and non-zombie firms in corporate social responsibility activities such as reporting, disclosure and fulfillment. Using Chinese listing company data collected from 2009 to 2016, we apply a three stage model with a double Heckman correction to deal with potential self-selection/endogeneity bias and to measure the differences consistently. We found that zombie firms are less willing to release standalone corporate social responsibility reports than non-zombie firms. Among companies that release standalone corporate social responsibility reports, the corporate social responsibility disclosure of zombie firms is at least not worse than non-zombie firms, but the corporate social responsibility fulfillment is significantly lower. We conclude from this gap between disclosure and fulfillment to the hypocritical behavior of zombie firms, due to the absence of control in corporate social responsibility. We suggest that government should enhance supervision over zombie firms’ corporate social responsibility activities and subsidies towards them in order to lower their economic damage. Supplementary analyses provide some clues concerning the heterogeneity of inconsistence in term of external support characteristics, ownership and censorship which require further studies.

Dates and versions

hal-02477176 , version 1 (13-02-2020)

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Shaozhen Han, Guoming Li, Michel Lubrano, Zhou Xun. Lie of the weak: Inconsistent corporate social responsibility activities of Chinese zombie firms. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2020, 253, pp.119858. ⟨10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.119858⟩. ⟨hal-02477176⟩
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