Compare Corporate Social Performance Using Peer-Based Benchmarks

Insights from Management Researcher Dr. Magali Delmas
Mar 10, 2011 8:47 AM ET

NBS Blog by Magali Delmas, PhD

The following is a blog post by Magali Delmas, PhD, professor of management at the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Anderson School of Management

Corporate social performance (CSP) is a multi-dimensional concept emphasizing a company’s responsibilities to multiple stakeholders. Measuring CSP has proven daunting because it covers a broad range of economic, social, and environmental impacts caused by business. To fully address its scope, firms and researchers must take into account a variety of metrics.

Stakeholders often need aggregate CSP measures to assess the overall corporate social performance of firms, or to compare one firm to another. Most approaches use simple linear aggregations, weighted or non-weighted, to derive a single CSP score from a set of metrics.   These approaches, however, can be problematic because they require that we know the set preferences for various environmental and social criteria in advance. For example, are toxic emissions more or less important than worker safety—and by how much?   One technique, called Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), allows researchers to evaluate the relative efficiencies of firms. Continue reading Compare Corporate Social Performance Using Peer-Based Benchmarks...

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The Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) is a not-for-profit organization that connects CSR professionals with academic researchers worldwide. The Network’s rigorous resources and practical insights challenge conventional assumptions about management practice and research, with the goal of creating new, sustainable business models for the 21st century.