The bright and dark side of CSR in export markets: Its impact on innovation and performance

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A large body of literature is debating whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation have positive or deleterious effects on firm performance. By disentangling how CSR interacts with innovation capabilities in an exporting context, we bring light to this topic. Particularly, our study focuses on how CSR principles influence (1) the ability of technology resources to enhance firm innovation and (2) innovation to achieve export performance. By studying technology exporters, we unveil circumstances where firms can benefit from higher innovation due to the presence of CSR principles. The findings reveal that while CSR contributes to enhance the impact of exploratory innovation on export performance, there is a detrimental impact on the effect of exploitative innovation on export performance. Moreover, while CSR contributes to developing a higher impact of technology orientation on exploratory innovation, the CSR effect toward building stronger exploitative innovation was non-significant. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Exploitative innovation
  • Exploratory innovation
  • Exports
  • Technology orientation


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