Competition-motivated corporate social responsibility

Jan Kemper, Oliver Schilke, Martin Reimann, Xuyi Wang, Malte Brettel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Despite corporate social responsibility (CSR) having become a key strategy for firms to use in advancing on a sustainable path, the role of CSR for firm performance outcomes remains poorly understood. Thus, in a large empirical study across several industries and countries, we examined CSR as moderator of the relationship between marketing capabilities and firm performance. Our study also follows prior research that calls for an inclusion of competitive intensity as a boundary condition to this moderation effect. As hypothesized, three-way interactions among competitive intensity, CSR, and marketing capabilities had significant relationships with firm performance. For firms in industries with high competitive intensity, marketing capabilities have a stronger positive impact on performance when CSR is high versus low. This research sheds light on the interplay between CSR and marketing by showing that vigorously competing firms should use CSR as a major lever for increasing the impact of marketing on performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1954-1963
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Firm performance
  • Organizational capabilities
  • Three-way interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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