Can Ivory Towers be Green? The Impact of Organization Size on Organizational Social Performance

Meike Eilert, Kristen Walker, Jenny Dogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Organizations differ tremendously in the extent to which they engage in socially responsible behavior and the extent to which this behavior is evaluated by stakeholders. This research examines the complex role of organization size as a driver of perceptions of an organization’s socially responsible behavior and its social performance. Using a unique data set of 302 organizations in the higher education industry, we find that the strength of the organization size–organizational social performance (OSP) relationship is contingent on whether the organization is autonomous from community stakeholders and resource pressures. Our results show that the organization size–OSP relationship is stronger when stakeholders in the organization’s community are more involved in the organization itself and decision-making processes, and that this relationship is weaker when greater financial and human resources are available to the organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-549
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Higher education industry
  • Organization size
  • Organizational autonomy
  • Organizational social performance
  • Stakeholder theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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