Credit unions serve an important purpose in the U.S. economy by providing financial services to low- and moderate-income individuals. Their assets have steadily grown from $217 billion to $655 billion between 1990 and 2004. In spite of these impressive growth rates, a number of writers have expressed great concern regarding credit union governance, particularly over the role and functions of the board's members. More recently, the financial crisis has raised important questions regarding the board's level of involvement and its ethical and social responsibilities in corporate decision making. One area which has remained relatively unexplored concerns the attitudes of credit union board members toward corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, to date very little is known regarding the extent of similarities and differences between these organizations' male and female board members with respect to this issue. The present study was designed to investigate this issue. A survey of 470 directors of 80 credit unions revealed significant differences between the genders with respect to the legal and ethical components of corporate social responsibility. Compared to their male counterparts, the female directors exhibited greater concern about the legal dimension of corporate responsibility and a weaker orientation toward ethics. No significant differences between the two groups were observed with respect to the economic and discretionary components.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.