This paper investigates the influence of organizations’ board independence on corporate social performance (CSP) using a meta-analytic approach. A sample of 87 published papers is used to identify a set of underlying moderating effects in that relationship. Specifically, differences in the system of corporate governance, CSP measurement models and market conditions have been considered as moderating variables. The results show that the independence of a company’s board positively influences CSP. This is because companies with more independent directors in their boards are more likely to commit to stakeholder engagement, environmental preservation and community well-being. Interestingly, the results also show that the positive connection between board independence and CSP is stronger in civil law countries and when CSP is measured by self-reporting data. Finally, the strength of the influence of the independence of a firm’s board on CSP varies significantly in different market conditions. The paper concludes by presenting the main implications for academics, practitioners and policy makers.
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