On the corporate social responsibility perceptions of equity analysts

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Abstract

The importance of communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) not only to socially responsible investors but also to the mainstream of the financial community is gaining importance in a more competitive capital market environment. This article looks at how equity analysts at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt – individuals who are not particularly involved in socially responsible investment (SRI) research – perceive economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibility strategies. The evidence obtained in our interviews suggests that responsibility issues are increasingly becoming part of mainstream investment analysis. However, for them to play a larger part in the future, investor relations personnel must frame responsibility strategies in a way that is more consistent with the financial community's perspective. In particular, the impact of CSR measures on strategic development, competitive anticipation and creating trust with stakeholders are key in leveraging CSR in financial communications.

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