USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

David Walker, CPA, CFE Director, Program of Social Responsibility And Corporate Reporting

Second Advisor

Todd Shank, Ph. D Associate Professor finance, college of business

Third Advisor

George D'Angelo adjunct professor, college of business


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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Date Available


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The body of scholarship regarding the economic value of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contains diverse and often polarized opinions. Corporate policies taking the title of CSR are as divergent and diametric as these opinions. As the phrase suggests, corporate social responsibility should produce social goods- whether those goods are quantitative or lend themselves to evaluation in a business model cannot be assumed. Any corporate behavior which requires the allocation of scarce resources should leave a discernible trail of economic impact. Blind magnanimity, however, should not reliably produce significant economic value for a firm; so, the first challenge to finding the economic value of CSR is identifying those firms whose CSR policies and practices achieve both social and economic objectives. This study compiles a small sample of firms practicing CSR strategically integrated into their business model and contrasts them to firms either opposed to CSR, or practicing a competitively inferior form of it. A valuation model pioneered by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, which depends on estimations of franchise value, is used here to compare CSR firms to Non-CSR firms. The purpose of my study is to make a case for utilizing this valuation model in evaluating the economic merit of CSR, through conceptual argument and illustrative application.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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