Why Companies tend to Postpone the CSR Investments: An Explanation using a Real Option Framework
We analyze a company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) investments from a real option perspective to determine the value of the CSR investments and the optimal time to invest in CSR. Previous studies on CSR investments as real options have suggested that companies can invest in CSR solely at the time of maturity. Our study extends this research by incorporating the realistic perspective that companies can invest in CSR at multiple points in the future. We analytically determine the value of CSR investments and answer the question of when to optimally invest in CSR. We examine a real-world example of the palm oil scandal involving Sinar Mas and Nestlé in 2008-2010 and explain why Nestlé repeatedly postponed investing in CSR, i.e., delaying termination of its contract with Sinar Mas.
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