, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 287-296

The construct validity of the Kinder, Lydenberg & Domini social performance ratings data

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Carroll (1991) encouraged researchers in Social Issues Management (SIM) to continue to measure Corporate Social Performance (CSP) from a variety of different perspectives utilizing a variety of different measures. In addition, Wolfe and Aupperle (1991) (and others) have asserted that there is no, single best way to measure CSP and that multiple measures and perspectives help develop the field. However, Pfeffer (1993) suggest that a lack of consistent measurement has constrained organization studies (and by implication, the field of social issues management,) in its development as a field. It may be in the best interest of social issues management researchers to try to development a common body of measures and data. Recently, Kinder, Lydenberg and Domini & Co. (KLD — a social choice investment advisory firm) has made available their social performance database. The KLD data have potential to become a widely accepted set of CSP measures. The purpose of this paper is to present a construct validity study comparing the KLD data to other measures of CSP.

Mark P. Sharfman is Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Oklahoma. His research interests are in corporate social performance, the firm/business environment relationship and measurement issues. He has published his research in the Academy of Management Review, Decision Sciences, Journal of Management and the Strategic Management Journal. He is a member the Academy of Management, International Association for Business and Society and Strategic Management Society.