Complementary or Substitutive Effects? Corporate Governance Mechanisms and Corporate Social Responsibility

Won-Yong Oh (First Author), Tae-Yeol Kim (Participant Author), Young Kyun Chang (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

80 Citations (Web of Science)


Management researchers have investigated how corporate governance mechanisms influence corporate social responsibility (CSR). The previous literature has been largely based on agency theory, which emphasizes the roles of effective monitoring and incentive alignment, but the empirical evidence has been mixed. This inconsistency may result from the assumption that each governance mechanism functions independently, even though they interact with one another to affect CSR. On the basis of a perspective of bundle of governance mechanisms, we examined whether multiple governance mechanisms act as complements or substitutes for each other in promoting CSR. Using a panel sample of U.S. firms for the years 2004 to 2010, we found that multiple governance mechanisms mainly act as substitutes to promote CSR. Our findings suggest that a similar level of CSR can be achieved with different combinations of governance mechanisms. Our study contributes to the fields of both corporate governance and CSR in theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2716-2739
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Corresponding author email


  • bundle of governance mechanisms
  • complement/substitute framework
  • corporate governance
  • corporate social responsibility
  • equifinality

Indexed by

  • FT
  • ABDC-A*
  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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