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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 383–416 | Cite as

When Does It Pay to be Good? Moderators and Mediators in the Corporate Sustainability–Corporate Financial Performance Relationship: A Critical Review

  • Sylvia Grewatsch
  • Ingo Kleindienst
Article

Abstract

In this paper, we review the literature on moderators and mediators in the corporate sustainability (CS)–corporate financial performance (CFP) relationship. We provide some clarity on what has been learned so far by taking a contingency perspective on this much-researched relationship. Overall, we find that this research has made some progress in the past. However, we also find this research stream to be characterized by three major shortcomings, namely low degree of novelty, missing investment in theory building, and a lack of research design and measurement options. To address these shortcomings, we suggest avenues for future research. Beyond that we also argue for a stronger emphasis on the strategic perspective of CS. In particular, we propose future research to take a step back and aim for an integration of the CS–CFP relationship into the strategic management literature.

Keywords

Corporate sustainability Corporate financial performance Moderators Mediators Literature review Strategic corporate sustainability 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business Administration, Strategy & Organizational BehaviourAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Business Administration, Strategy & Organizational BehaviourAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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