Whether family ownership affects the relationship between CSR and EM: evidence from Chinese listed firms

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Purpose: This study explores the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and earnings management (EM) in China and whether family ownership impacts this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: The research data are the financial reports and CSR disclosure reports of Chinese listed companies from the CSMAR database for the 2010–2020 period. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was used to analyze the relationship between various variables in this study. Findings: Results show that CSR significantly and positively affects accrual-based EM (AEM) but does not affect real EM (REM). Moreover, family ownership influences the positive relationship between CSR and AEM. Compared with non-family enterprises, family enterprises tend to disclose less CSR performance but also have lower AEM behavior. Originality/value: This result is related to the information transparency of listed enterprises and Socioemotional Wealth theory. This study provides reference for domestic and foreign investors and other stakeholders in understanding the impact of family ownership on the relationship between CSR and earnings management to optimize their investment decisions.

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Journal of Family Business Management

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