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PhD Dissertation Defense, Claudia Schulz, Strategy and Business Policy

Congratulations to Dr Claudia Schulz, Strategy and Business Policy specialization, who successfully defended her Doctoral Dissertation at HEC Paris, on December 6, 2021.  

Specialization: Strategy and Business Policy.

Dissertation Title: Why separating CSR Capability from CSR Signal matters: three essays.

Advisor: Rodolphe Durand, Professor, Strategy and Business Policy, HEC Paris.

Jury Members:

  • Régis Coeurderoy, Professor, ESCP Business School 
  • Patricia Crifo, Professor, Ecole Polytechnique de Paris 
  • Déborah Philippe, Professor, University of Lausanne
  • Rodolphe Durand, Professor, HEC Paris, Advisor


Abstract: This dissertation focuses on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of firms; it is framed within the strategic CSR literature stream and seeks to understand how firms are evaluated in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility and introduces the notion of CSR Capability as an internal measure of a firm’s efficiency at undertaking CSR in addition and contrast to CSR signal – what a firm communicates to investors about its CSR undertakings. First, Chapter 1 examines whether a firm engages in strategic behaviour change after a controversy and subject to global negative media coverage and asks how a firm trades off between Capability building and Signal sending in response. Then Chapter 2 seeks to disentangle a firm’s CSR Capability from the firm’s CSR-related signals i.e., examining the relationship between CSR Capability and CSR Signal with two indicators of firm financial performance: accounting and market performance. Finally, Chapter 3 explores how CSR Capability influences environmental innovation.

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