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date: 21 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The community of Business and Society scholars has been investigating the relationship between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance over thirty years. The typical conclusion, based on narrative reviews of this literature, is that the empirical evidence is too mixed to allow for any firm. In these reviews, poor measures and weak theory construction are often mentioned as causes of this apparent variability in findings. The assumption that this research stream is inconclusive has persisted until after the turn of the millennium. So, what may be required at this point is a critical examination of the evidence that seems to have motivated these conclusions. This article argues that certain types of literature reviews should be treated with caution. It proposes an alternative and uses this more rigorous methodology of literature reviews in order to assess the cumulative evidence on the core constructs.

Keywords: community of Business and Society scholars, corporate social performance, corporate financial performance, evidence, core constructs

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