Are better-connected CEOs more socially responsible? Evidence from the U.S. restaurant industry

Jean J. Chen, Stanley I.M. Ko, Leona S.Z. Li, Fiona X. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Extensive research has documented how corporate social responsibility (CSR) outcomes are determined by CEOs' intrinsic characteristics, while their social network status has been under-researched. Building on impression management theory and resource-based theory, the current study analyzes the association between CSR activities and top management's position in the social hierarchy, i.e., network centrality. The heterogeneous effects across different restaurant and CSR types are examined based on stakeholder theory. Using a panel dataset of publicly traded U.S. restaurant companies and a novel dataset of CEO network centrality, we find that firms with highly connected CEOs are involved in more socially responsible activities. In addition, the marginal effect of network centrality on CSR is stronger for fast-food than for full-service restaurants and more prominent for external than internal stakeholder subcategories. The results advance the determinant analysis of CSR and provide managerial implications for CEO selection and policy suggestions on CSR promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104304
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • CEO
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Impression management theory
  • Network centrality
  • Resource-based theory
  • Restaurant industry
  • Stakeholder theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Are better-connected CEOs more socially responsible? Evidence from the U.S. restaurant industry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this