Kimberly Zahller, Behavioral Research in Accounting
 

 
 

 
Zahller, K. A., Arnold, V., Roberts, R. W.
Our overarching purpose is to propose and test a theory of social resilience to exogenous shocks. The theory posits that high-quality corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure promotes the perception of organizational legitimacy, creating social resilience to exogenous shocks (external events outside management control).

Using CSR Disclosure Quality to Develop Social Resilience to Exogenous Shocks: A Test of Investor Perceptions

Our overarching purpose is to propose and test a theory of social resilience to exogenous shocks. The theory posits that high-quality corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure promotes the perception of organizational legitimacy, creating social resilience to exogenous shocks (external events outside management control). Using a path model and data from 100 experienced, nonprofessional investors, we examine whether the quality of a corporation's voluntary CSR disclosure increases its perceived organizational legitimacy and if increases in perceived legitimacy help insulate that organization from negative investor reactions following an exogenous shock. The results provide strong support for the model and show that when CSR disclosures are higher quality, investors perceive organizational legitimacy to be higher, inferring that organizations should emphasize quantifiable, consistent, and comparable reporting. Further, the results indicate that higher levels of perceived organizational legitimacy are associated with greater levels of organizational resilience to an intra-industry exogenous shock.