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Keywords:

  • financial markets;
  • intentions;
  • investment decisions;
  • socially responsible investments;
  • values

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates psychological drivers and financial motives that may influence major Swedish investments institutions to adopt socially responsible investment (SRI). Based on an instrument that captures concepts in the Value-Belief-Norm theory, and potential financial beliefs that may influence the SRI intentions of investors, a survey was addressed to all major Swedish investments institutions. Fifty-eight respondents from 17 different investment institutions participated in the survey of whom 31 were conventional (non-SRI) investors and 27 were socially responsible investors. Our results show that conventional and SRI investors share similar beliefs about short-term and long-term performance on SRI investments in that SRI gives less return in the short term but slightly more than conventional investments in the longer term. However, SRI investors express significantly more interest in increasing their future SRI investments than conventional investors do. We discover that future SRI is not influenced by social and environmental concerns. Rather, financial beliefs about risk and beliefs about increased market shares drive SRI forward. The business case for SRI seems therefore to be the only reason for major investment institutions to adopt SRI. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.