Essays on CSR on Entrepreneurial Firms

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  i Three Essays on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Entrepreneurial Firms  by Yefeng Wang A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies of The University of Manitoba in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY Department of Business Administration I.H. Asper School of Business University of Manitoba Winnipeg Canada, R3T 5V4 Copyright © 2019 by Yefeng Wang  i ABSTRACT Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a broad management concern, it is not only critical to every aspect of modern business practice , but is also deeply incorporated into a company’s daily operations via its values, norms, and decision-making process, etc. While there is an ever-increasing number of studies on CSR, many researchers have treated CSR as one single broad construct, its individual dimensions have been largely neglected. This dissertation takes the opportunity to address CSR by focusing on two dimensions: diversity and governance of three different entrepreneurial entities including clean-technology ventures, family firms in the United States and companies operate in emerging markets. In the first essay, I explore the impact of board diversity, female director representation, to be specific, on venture performance in the context of the clean-tech industry. I posit that appointing female board of directors can help clean-tech ventures overcome legitimacy constraints. I also examine the moderating effect of venture size and environmental ideology, such that this impact is stronger for small firms, and it is stronger for clean-tech ventures operating in a high level of environmental ideology state. In the second essay, I investigate how family involvement influences corporate diversity and how does corporate governance mechanism moderate such effect. The results suggest that family involvement decreases the overall corporate diversity, but family firms  present more diversity-related concerns than non-family firms. Meanwhile, I suggest that the adoption of dual-class share decreases family firms’ overall diversity. My third essay addresses the question of how corporate governance affect environmental information transparency directly and indirectly through seeking external verification, as well as how the legal and business environment moderates these relationships. I find that companies with strong corporate governance mechanisms are more likely to pursue external verification to alleviate traditional  ii agency conflicts in the emerging markets. In addition, strong internal corporate governance leads to high environmental transparency directly and indirectly via seeking external verification. The legal and business environments moderate these relationships. Overall, these three essays in hopes of filling the gaps in the literature and advance the research in the areas of CSR, corporate governance, and entrepreneurship studies.  iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENT First of all, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Zhenyu Wu. Ever since my first day in the Ph.D.  program, Dr. Wu offered me incredibly valuable mentoring support and gave me endless help. You are always an inspiration to me, your advice on both research and life are priceless to me, and your passion about research and hardworking motived me to learn and to grow as a researcher. I want to thank Dr. Jijun Gao, Dr. Depeng Jiang, and Dr. Lorne N. Switzer for serving as my committee members. I want to thank you for your insightful questions and comments to help me improve my dissertation. I would also like to thank all the faculty members, staffs, and all of my friends at Asper School of Business for the amazing support you have given me through my Ph.D.  program. I couldn't have come this far without your support. A special thanks to my parents, who were always my support. In the end, I would like to express my gratitude to my beloved wife Yuan. I am grateful to you for all of the support and sacrifices that you have made. Your love and support for me were what sustained me thus far.

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Sep 22, 2019
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