Saying and doing: Social responsibility declared and applied

Kjartan Sigurdsson*, Marina Candi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The purpose of this work is to examine the relationships between and among firms’ commitment to social responsibility, their declarations—or reporting—on their social responsibility, the application of social responsibility in the form of social innovation, and customer acceptance. A research model drawing on the attributes of stakeholder theory is tested using data collected from 355 firms. The findings indicate that firms with commitments to social responsibility are likely to report on their social responsibility and are also likely to be engaged in social innovation. However, a negative relationship was found between reporting on social responsibility and social innovation. This highlights the importance of differentiating between saying and doing. Finally, social innovation was found to contribute to customer acceptance, while reporting on social responsibility was not. When it comes to social responsibility, it might be fair to say that “talk is cheap”, while social innovation “speaks louder than words”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-140
JournalCreativity and innovation management
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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