An empirical taxonomy of corporate social responsibility in China's manufacturing industries

Antonio K.W. Lau, Ka Chun Lee, T. C.E. Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Notwithstanding the availability of a substantial body of literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR), the term has remained controversial and ambiguous in terms of its meaning, use, and usefulness. Specifically, the impact of CSR on tangible and intangible returns to Chinese manufacturers has remained uncertain. Drawing on stakeholder theory and CSR literature, we empirically develop an exploratory taxonomy of CSR practices in China's manufacturing industries. By surveying the manufacturers operating in China's food, pharmaceutical, automotive, and clothing industries, we identify three CSR clusters and examine how they are related to their financial, operational, reputational, and social capital performances. Our findings deepen the understanding of CSR adoption patterns by clarifying the consequences of CSR adoption in China's manufacturing industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-338
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • China
  • Cluster analysis
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Firm performance
  • Survey research
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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