To deal with potential conflicts between the triple-bottom-line expectations of investors and the performance of executives, firms can use incentives by integrating corporate social performance (CSP) targets into executive compensation. No evidence yet exists that CSP targets in executive compensation actually lead to an improvement of CSP results. Using a panel data set of 400 firms for the years 2008–2012 leading to 1846 firm-year observations, the relationships between CSP targets and CSP results and CSP improvements are analyzed. The results show that (a) the level of CSP has no effect on the use of CSP targets, (b) the use of CSP targets in general does not automatically lead to better CSP results, and (c) the use of quantitative, hard CSP targets is an effective way to improve CSP results, especially to lower CSP weaknesses.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Business Ethics
Erasmus School of Economics

Maas, K.E.H. (2016). Do Corporate Social Performance Targets in Executive Compensation Contribute to Corporate Social Performance?. Journal of Business Ethics, 1–13. doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2975-8