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Environmental, social and governance ratings and firm performance: The moderating role of internal control quality

Mounia Boulhaga, Abdelfettah Bouri, Ahmed A. Elamer and Bassam A. Ibrahim

Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 2023, vol. 30, issue 1, 134-145

Abstract: Despite the burgeoning interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings, current results regarding ESG rating‐performance relationship are inconclusive. Since what affects this disagreement is ambiguous, we examine how internal control weaknesses (ICW) may affect the relationship between ESG rating and a firm's performance. In fact, employing a sample of French listed firms during the period between 2012 and 2018, we predicted and found that both ICW and ESG ratings have a positive and significant influence on a firm's performance. In addition, the results indicate that ICW negatively and significantly moderates the relationship between ESG ratings and corporate performance. Moreover, the robustness of the results is checked through the generalized method of moments regression. We also offer theoretical and practical implications to drive policymakers and businesses to assure sustainable development. We expect that our study can help managers to strengthen their internal resources, such as the internal control (IC) and ESG ratings to improve a firm's performance.

Date: 2023
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