DOI: 10.1111/joes.12603 ISSN: 0950-0804

Board‐level governance and corporate social responsibility: A meta‐analytic review

Nazim Hussain, Sana Akbar Khan, Duc Khuong Nguyen, Andrea Stocchetti, Shaen Corbet
  • Economics and Econometrics


Board‐level corporate governance (CG) is an effective route to developing sustained ethical behavior, helping firms to meet emerging accountability challenges and international expectations of corporate performance. In recent times, researchers have extensively studied the relationships between various board‐level governance mechanisms and corporate social responsibility (CSR) outcomes; however, results vary substantially. This study addresses the existing heterogeneity in the literature by systematically synthesizing 89 empirical studies on the board governance‐CSR nexus using meta‐analyses using random effect models. Results indicate that most governance mechanisms are strongly associated with CSR disclosure. On the contrary, only a few governance mechanisms are found to be significantly associated with CSR performance, suggesting that not all governance mechanisms are equally effective for performance and disclosure. However, board size and the presence of CSR committee on board are the closest predictors of both CSR outcomes. Additionally, our analysis of the moderating effect of study characteristics shows that coverage period, geographical setting, and measurement of CSR generate variability in existing findings. Our synthesis of the extant literature identifies a theoretical gap, clarifies the board CG‐CSR relationship, and proposes future research directions and guidelines within the field.

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