Purpose-This cross-cultural study investigates the extent to which societal culture has a moderating effect on the business benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Design/methodology/approach-A cross-national research design was conducted using survey data collected from 164 firms in Taiwan and 196 firms in Canada. Findings-We found societal differences in the positive influence of CSR on corporate image and employee commitment. Specifically, we found that the relationships between CSR (customer-oriented and employee-oriented) and corporate image were stronger for Taiwanese firms than for Canadian firms. In addition, employee CSR was found to be more strongly associated with higher employee commitment in Taiwan than in Canada. While customer CSR was associated with enhanced customer loyalty, this relationship was similar for firms in both countries. Research limitations/implications-Multi-informants for data collection and longitudinal research design in future research for further understanding of the relationships among the variables in this study. Practical implications-This paper suggests that the business benefits of customer and employee CSR practices may yield relatively greater competitive advantages in East Asian countries where CSR is not as established or taken for granted as in Western countries. Originality/value-This study draws on the strategic perspective to investigate the value of CSR practices yield different business benefits in contrasting cultural contexts.