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Buyer-supplier CSR alignment and firm performance: a contingency theory perspective

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Yan JiangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Existing studies on the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and firm performance focus primarily on single firms, overlooking the role of suppliers. Drawing on contingency theory, we examine the impact of the alignment between buyers and suppliers in CSR implementation (CSR alignment) on buyers’ performance. Secondary data on 312 dyads from 2008 to 2019 in China were collected. Our findings suggest that buyer–supplier CSR alignment positively associates with buyers’ performance (specifically, sales growth). Further, we find this positive relationship is strengthened if the buyer is non-state-owned or if its media attention increases. This highlights the need for firms to focus not only on their own CSR but also on their suppliers’ in the pursuit of superior performance. As one of the first to expand the concept of CSR from the individual firm level to CSR alignment at the supply chain level, our study makes both theoretical and practical contributions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yang Y, Jiang Y

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Business Research

Year: 2023

Volume: 154

Print publication date: 01/01/2023

Online publication date: 10/10/2022

Acceptance date: 22/09/2022

Date deposited: 10/10/2022

ISSN (electronic): 0148-2963

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.113340


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