Corporate social responsibility and goodwill impairment


This study examines the relation between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and goodwill impairment. We rely mainly on the stakeholder theory and adopt the Posner (1974) public interest model to develop our predictions. Following prior research, we use CSR strengths (concerns) to measure responsible (irresponsible) CSR activities. We find a negative relation between CSR strengths and the likelihood of goodwill impairment, suggesting that firms with more responsible CSR activities better prevent goodwill impairment. In addition, we find a negative relation between CSR concerns and the magnitude of goodwill impairment losses, suggesting that firms with excessive irresponsible CSR activities seek to lessen the negative consequences of goodwill impairment. Overall, our findings demonstrate the importance of CSR in preventing goodwill impairment and mitigating the manipulation of (underreporting) goodwill impairment losses.

Publication Title

Accounting and the Public Interest