Strategic Homogeneity in Industries and the Diffusion of Corporate Social Practices

Birgit Elchoueri, Pace University

Abstract

This corporate social responsibility (CSR) research analyzes the effect of strategic homogeneity on the diffusion of corporate social practices (CSP) over a period of twenty consecutive years. The external environment defined in terms of three factors including munificence, complexity, and dynamism is considered to affect the relationship between strategic homogeneity and the diffusion of CSP on the industry level. Similar beliefs about types of CSP are expected to result in similar responses to CSR agendas, and members of a homogenous industry are likely to adopt similar practices. Thus, this study tested the effect of strategic homogeneity on the level of variety of CSP. The relationship between variety of CSP and diffusion of CSP was examined based on the notion that the institutionalization of socially responsible activities creates bandwagon effects that may lead to higher levels of CSP and to greater prevalence of similar practices. The statistical results substantiate the hypothesis that strategic homogeneity has a positive effect on the diffusion of CSP, and that this relationship is moderated by munificence, complexity, and dynamism. Strategic homogeneity was statistically significant in decreasing the variety of CSP and the results support the proposition that industries with similar strategies tend to implement similar socially responsible activities. Variety of CSP was found to have a negative effect on diffusion of CSP supporting the proposition that conformity in corporate social activities within industries leads to higher levels of diffusion of CSP. Lastly, the mediating effect of variety of CSP on the relationship between strategic homogeneity and diffusion of CSP was tested confirming partial mediation. The implications of this study indicate that strategic factors are determinants of the level of CSR adoption and the type of CSP chosen by industries.^

Subject Area

Management|Organization theory|Organizational behavior

Recommended Citation

Elchoueri, Birgit, "Strategic Homogeneity in Industries and the Diffusion of Corporate Social Practices" (2015). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI13422136.
https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI13422136

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