Demand for CSR: Insights from Shareholder Proposals

Giovanna Michelon, Michelle Rodrigue
2015 Social and Environmental Accountability Journal  
Motivated by the increasing popularity and attention shareholder proposals on CSR attract, the purpose of this study is to provide a detailed portrayal of shareholders' demands for CSR through their proposals. To this end, we conduct a descriptive longitudinal study of the CSR proposals submitted to US corporations for the fiscal years 1996 to 2009. We use a unique coding process in which we identify both the CSR area of concern to the shareholders and the desired effect the proposal is
more » ... to stimulate on the corporation. Our findings expose how shareholders engage with corporations mostly around the issues of governance and environment, requesting more transparency from the companies and sometimes improved actions or business decisions. Firms from a wide range of industries are targeted, with their levels of CSR performance, profitability and size attracting different kinds of requests in terms of CSR areas and expected outcomes for the corporation. Shareholders can be relatively intense in their requests for CSR, with the majority of the firms in our sample being targeted more than once a year by CSR proposals. Our study deepens our understanding of shareholders' concerns and requests for improvements in CSR.
doi:10.1080/0969160x.2015.1094396 fatcat:hqdh36mnk5huvgoahrhimvaj6q