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Brown Bag Seminar

Wednesday July 09, 2014


12:00PM - 1:00PM



Tracy R. Lewis
The Fuqua School of Business
Duke University


Organized Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility

This paper presents a positive theory of how advocates for social programs work with private firms to comply with social mandates for the private provision of public goods. We argue that advocates are organized to provide credible advice for private firms to make cost-effect­­­­ive investment in highly visible social programs. The theory incorporates two explanations to account for advocates' special role in this process. First, advocates help record and evaluate the firm's contribution to the public good for interested consumers, employees, and investors to observe; and second, advocates match corporations with high valued-social programs to maximize the returns from the public-private partnership. The theory predicts that firms that delegate social investment to advocates are more likely to invest in numerous social initiatives, including some outside of their core business, and that they will be perceived as better corporate citizens than firms that don't delegate to advocates. (Joint work with Ralpheal Boleslavsky and Aaron Chatterji.)

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Alessandro Arlotto

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