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Does Employee Quality Affect Corporate Social Responsibility? Evidence from China

Shilu Sun (), Tiantian Li (), Hong Ma (), Rita Yi Man Li (), Kostas Gouliamos (), Jianming Zheng (), Yan Han (), Otilia Manta (), Ubaldo Comite (), Teresa Barros (), Nelson Duarte () and Xiaoguang Yue ()
Additional contact information
Shilu Sun: School of Business, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing 100029, China
Tiantian Li: School of Management, China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Hong Ma: School of Banking & Finance, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing 100029, China
Rita Yi Man Li: HKSYU Real Estate and Economics Research Lab, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong, China
Kostas Gouliamos: European University Cyprus, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
Jianming Zheng: School of Business, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing 100029, China
Yan Han: School of Humanities and Social Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Ubaldo Comite: Department of Business Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy
Teresa Barros: CIICESI, ESTG, Politécnico do Porto, Felgueiras 4610-156, Portugal

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 7, 1-19

Abstract: This paper investigated the impact of employee quality on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Based on data from China A-share-listed companies for the years 2012–2016 and using ordinary least squares, our empirical results show that the educational level of the workforce, as a proxy for employee quality, is positively associated with CSR, which suggests that higher education can promote CSR implementation. Additional analyses found that this positive relationship is more pronounced in non-state-owned enterprises, enterprises in regions with lower marketisation processes, and firms with lower proportions of independent directors. This study extends the literature on human capital at the level of firms’ entire workforce and CSR by elaborating the positive effect of employee quality on CSR in the context of an emerging economy (China). The results suggest that it is necessary to consider the educational level of employees when analysing CSR, which is of strategic significance for corporate sustainable development.

Keywords: employee quality; corporate social responsibility; property; proportion of independent directors; marketisation; sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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