The popularity of corporate social responsibility in the world of business has been on the increase. However, extant studies looking a building a business case in support of business organizations engaging in social initiatives and programs have churned our divergent findings, with most studies looking at the CSR-firm performance relationship from the linear perspective. However, there has been an increasing call for a shift in approach. Therefore, the objective of this literature review is to highlight the gradual shift to curvilinear approach in the study of the relationship between CSR and firm performance, by reviewing a number of most recent empirical studies looking at the relationship from the nonlinear perspective. The review revealed a gradual shift to curvilinear approach in the study of the relationship between CSR and firm performance. While studies adopting this approach is still scanty, the paper recommend that more studies should adopt this approach to better understand the nature of the CSR-firm performance relationship, and most especially in the developing economies.
Keywords: CSR, firm performance, curvilinear, financial performance