Creating and capturing value: Strategic corporate social responsibility, resource-based theory, and sustainable competitive advantage

Abagail McWilliams, Donald Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

291 Scopus citations


The authors analyze the creation and capture of private and social value by firms that adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. Strategic CSR is defined as any "responsible" activity that allows a firm to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, regardless of motive. To provide a roadmap for managers to accomplish this objective, the authors integrate the resource-based theory (RBT) framework with concepts and tools from economics, such as hedonic pricing, contingent valuation, and the new literature on the economics of industrial organization, where CSR is referred to as "the private provision of public goods." By linking CSR, RBT, economic models of private provision of public goods, and pricing models, the authors demonstrate how RBT can provide a structure for determining the strategic value of CSR. They then discuss the conditions under which CSR can contribute to sustainable competitive advantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1480-1495
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • contingent valuation
  • externalities
  • hedonic pricing
  • RBT
  • RBV
  • strategic CSR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management

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