Tony Billings to be published in Journal of Management Accounting Research


Mike Ilitch School of Business Professor of Accounting Tony Billings has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Management of Accounting Research (JMAR).

JMAR publishes high-quality applied and theoretical research to advance the theory and practice of management accounting.

The paper, “Does Corporate Social Responsibility Enhance Corporate Innovation?” explores how corporate social responsibility furthers economic success and drives corporate innovation.

This paper was co-authored by graduates of the Ilitch School’s Ph.D. program in finance, Jonghow Jia from Iowa State University and Xinghau Gao from Washington State University.


Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm, we hypothesize that corporate social responsibility (CSR) enhances technological innovation as it helps firms develop internal capabilities related to creative corporate culture, long-term orientation, and employee knowledge and skills that are critical to innovation success. As hypothesized, we find that CSR is positively associated with innovation outcomes measured as citation-weighted patent counts, and this relation remains robust after we use three approaches to address potential endogeneity. We also find that other internal elements—board monitoring, CEO leadership, employee human capital, and firm complexity—interact with CSR to magnify the effect of CSR on innovation. We further find that the trusting and collaborative relationship with external stakeholders- the external benefits provided by CSR- does not explain the documented relation. Our evidence sheds light into the debate on how CSR furthers economic success and highlights internal intangible factors as the main drivers of corporate innovation.

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