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EMAC 2022 Annual

Corporate Social Responsibility: Does the Chief Marketing Officer Matter?

Published: May 24, 2022


Dionne Nickerson, Indiana University; Atanas Nikolov, Appalachian State University


A recent report found that just 100 companies generate over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting firms’ substantial contribution to climate change. Marketing ties directly to firms’ supply chains (e.g., raw material sourcing, manufacturing, and global labor distanced from the final product market), advertising that can prompt overconsumption, and product use and disposal. In sum, the marketing function can play a significant role in firms’ impact on society and the environment. In this study, we focus on the chief marketing officer (CMO), the top management team member responsible for firms’ marketing activities, and their relationship to a firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. We investigate and attempt to establish a relationship between the CMO and firm CSR performance. We further examine the effect of different types of CSR on this relationship. Finally, we link the CMO to the CSR–firm performance relationship.