Tag Archives: Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility: Creating Value for Business, Society and the Environment

 

 

 

This an excerpt from my latest open-access paper in Springer’s Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

This review paper has built on the previous theoretical underpinnings of the corporate social responsibility agenda including Stakeholder Management, Corporate Citizenship and Creating Shared Value as it presents the latest Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility perspective. This value-based model reconciles strategic CSR and environmental management with a stakeholder approach to bring long term corporate sustainability, in terms of economic performance for the business, as well as corporate responsibility’s social outcomes.

Recently, some international conferences including Humboldt University’s gatherings in 2014 and 2016 have also raised awareness on this proposition. The corporate sustainability and responsibility concept is linked to improvements to the companies’ internal processes including environmental management, human resource management, operations management and marketing (i.e. Corporate Sustainability). At the same time, it raises awareness on the businesses’ responsible behaviours (i.e. Corporate Responsibility) toward stakeholders including the government, suppliers, customers and the community, among others. The fundamental motivation behind this approach is the view that creating connections between stakeholders in the value chain will open-up unseen opportunities for the competitive advantage of responsible businesses, as illustrated in Table 2. Corporate sustainability and responsibility focuses on exploiting opportunities that reconcile differing stakeholder demands as many corporations out there are investing in corporate sustainability and responsible business practices (Lozano 2015). Their active engagement with multiple stakeholders (both internal and external stakeholders) will ultimately create synergistic value for all (Camilleri 2017).

 

Multinational organisations are under increased pressures from stakeholders (particularly customers and consumer associations) to revisit their numerous processes in their value chain activities. Each stage of the company’s production process, from the supply chain to the transformation of resources could add value to their businesses’ operational costs as they produce end-products. However, the businesses are always expected to be responsible in their internal processes toward their employees or toward their suppliers’ labour force. Therefore, this corporate sustainability and responsibility perspective demands that businesses create economic and societal value by re-aligning their corporate objectives with stakeholder management and environmental responsibility. In sum, corporate sustainability and responsibility may only happen when companies demonstrate their genuine willingness to add corporate responsible dimensions and stakeholder engagement to their value propositions. This occurs when businesses opt for responsible managerial practices that are integral to their overall corporate strategy. These strategic behaviours create opportunities for them to improve the well-being of stakeholders as they reduce negative externalities on the environment. The negative externalities can be eliminated by developing integrated approaches that are driven by ethical and sustainability principles. Very often, multinational businesses are in a position to mitigate risk and to avoid inconveniences to third parties. For instance, major accidents including BP’s Deep Horizon oil spill in 2010, or the collapse of Primark’s Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, back in 2013, could have been prevented if the big businesses were responsible beforehand.

In conclusion, the corporate sustainability and responsibility construct is about embedding sustainability and responsibility by seeking out and connecting with the stakeholders’ varied interests. As firms reap profits and grow, there is a possibility that they generate virtuous circles of positive multiplier effects (Camilleri 2017). Therefore, corporate sustainability and responsibility can be considered as strategic in its intents and purposes. Indeed, the businesses are capable of being socially and environmentally responsible ‘citizens’ as they are doing well, economically. This theoretical paper has contributed to academic knowledge as it explained the foundations for corporate sustainability and responsibility. Although this concept is still evolving, the debate among academic commentators is slowly but surely raising awareness that are needed to deliver strategic results that create value for businesses, society and the environment.

References

Camilleri MA (2017) Corporate sustainability, social responsibility and environmental management: an introduction to theory and practice with case studies. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany

Lozano R (2015) A holistic perspective on corporate sustainability drivers. Corp Soc Responsib Environ Manag 22(1): 32-44.

 

How to Cite: Camilleri, M.A. (2017) Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility: Creating Value for Business, Society and the Environment. Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility. 1-16. DOI: 10.1186/s41180-017-0016-5

 

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A Conceptual Model of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

The corporate sustainability and responsibility concept is linked to improvements to the companies’ internal processes, including; environmental management, human resource management, operations management and marketing (Porter & Kramer, 2011; Fombrun, 2005; Maignan & Ferrell, 2004). At the same time, it raises awareness on the businesses’ responsible behaviours toward stakeholders, including the government, suppliers, customers and the community, among others (Carroll & Shabana, 2010; Freeman, 1984). The fundamental motivation behind this approach is the view that creating connections between stakeholders in the value chain will open-up unseen opportunities for the competitive advantage of responsible businesses, as illustrated here:

(Camilleri, 2017a)

Corporate sustainability and responsibility focuses on exploiting opportunities that reconcile differing stakeholder demands as many corporations out there are investing in corporate sustainability and responsible business practices (Camilleri , 2017b). Their active engagement with multiple stakeholders (both internal and external stakeholders) will ultimately create synergistic value for all (Camilleri, 2017a).

Multinational organizations are under increased pressures from stakeholders (particularly customers and consumer associations) to revisit their numerous processes in their value chain activities. Each stage of the company’s production process, from the supply chain to the transformation of resources could add value to their businesses’ operational costs as they produce end-products. However, the businesses are always expected to be responsible in their internal processes, toward their employees or toward their suppliers’ labour force. Therefore, this corporate sustainability and responsibility perspective demands that businesses create economic and societal value by re-aligning their corporate objectives with stakeholder management and environmental responsibility. In sum, corporate sustainability and responsibility may only happen when companies demonstrate their genuine willingness to add corporate responsible dimensions and stakeholder engagement to their value propositions. This occurs when businesses opt for responsible managerial practices that are integral to their overall corporate strategy. These strategic behaviours create opportunities for them to improve the well-being of stakeholders as they reduce negative externalities on the environment.  The negative externalities can be eliminated by developing integrated approaches that are driven by ethical and sustainability principles. Very often, multinational businesses are in a position to mitigate risk and to avoid inconveniences to third parties. For instance, major accidents including BP’s Deep Horizon oil spill in 2010; or the collapse of Primark’s Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, back in 2013 could have been prevented if the big businesses were responsible beforehand.

In conclusion, the corporate sustainability and responsibility construct is about embedding sustainability and responsibility by seeking out and connecting with the stakeholders’ varied interests. As firms reap profits and grow, there is a possibility that they generate virtuous circles of positive multiplier effects (Camilleri, 2017a). Therefore, corporate sustainability and responsibility can be considered as strategic in its intents and purposes. Indeed, the businesses are capable of being socially and environmentally responsible ‘citizens’ as they are doing well, economically. This contribution explains the foundations for corporate sustainability and responsibility. Although this concept is still evolving; the debate among academic commentators is slowly but surely raising awareness on responsible managerial practices and on the skills and competences that are needed to deliver strategic results that create value for businesses, society and the environment.

References:

Camilleri, M.A. (2017a) Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany. http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319468488

Camilleri, M.A. (Ed.) (2017b) CSR 2.0 and the New Era of Corporate Citizenship. IGI Global, Hershey, USA. ISBN13: 9781522518426 DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1842-6 http://www.igi-global.com/book/csr-new-era-corporate-citizenship/166426

Carroll, A. B., & Shabana, K. M. (2010). The business case for corporate social responsibility: A review of concepts, research and practice. International journal of management reviews, 12(1), 85-105.

Fombrun, C. J. (2005). A world of reputation research, analysis and thinking—building corporate reputation through CSR initiatives: evolving standards. Corporate Reputation Review, 8(1), 7-12.

Freeman, R.E. (1984). Strategic Management: A stakeholder approach. Pitman, Boston, MA. USA.

Maignan, I., & Ferrell, O. C. (2004). Corporate social responsibility and marketing: An integrative framework. Journal of the Academy of Marketing science, 32(1), 3-19.

Porter, M. E. & Kramer, M. R., (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard business review, 89 (1/2), 62-77.

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Mark Camilleri edited a book on sustainable and responsible business

Dr Mark Anthony Camilleri, Ph.D. (Edinburgh) has recently edited a business textbook entitled; ‘CSR 2.0 and the New Era of Corporate Citizenship’.
csr
This contribution is an authoritative reference source (for the latest scholarly research) on the ways in which corporate entities can implement responsible strategies that create synergistic value for both businesses and society. The authors (hailing from leading European universities) contend that responsible behaviors in the realm of business continue to remain a crucial component of organizational development.
By exploring core aspects of contemporary corporate strategies, businesses can create more value through social welfare and sustainable initiatives. This publication features an extensive coverage across a wide range of perspectives and topics, including corporate citizenship, corporate sustainability and responsibility, stakeholder engagement, business ethics, public spending, total responsibility management and social value co-creation, among others.
This publication is ideally designed for students, academics and researchers seeking current concise and authoritative research on the business case for corporate social responsibility.

Chapter 1 presents a thorough literature review on corporate social responsibility and its other related constructs, including corporate citizenship, stakeholder engagement and business ethics. Hence, this chapter reports on how CSR has evolved to reflect the societal realities.

Chapter 2 reviews the different definitions of the corporate responsibility paradigms and draws comparisons between related concepts. The author contends that organization studies; economic, institutional, cultural and cognitive perspectives are shaping the corporate responsibility agenda. She cleverly presents the benefits of integrating multiple perspectives and discusses about the possible research avenues in the realms of corporate responsibility.

Chapter 3 suggests that the field of CSR is ushering a new era in the relationship between business and society. The author puts forward a Total Responsibility Management (TRM) approach that may be useful for business practitioners who intend adopting CSR behaviors. This chapter posits that CSR strategies including managing relationship with stakeholders will contribute to the companies´success and will also bring community welfare.

Chapter 4 focuses on the national governments’ regulatory role of raising awareness on CSR behaviors among businesses. The author suggests that there is scope for the state agencies to promote CSR as a business case for companies. She provides an outline of the current state of “supranational regulative policies on public procurement” within the European Union context.

Chapter 5 uses a stakeholder perspective to encapsulate the CSR concept. The authors investigated social value cocreation (SVCC) through a qualitative study among different stakeholders (customers, employees, and managers). They implied that businesses ought to clarify their motives, by opening channels of communication with stakeholders. This way, there will be a higher level of SVCC with increased (stakeholder) loyalty toward the firms.

Chapter 6 sheds light on Porter and Kramer’s (2011) shared value proposition. The author explains how collaborative stakeholder interactions could lead to significant improvements in the supply chain.

Chapter 7 involved a longitudinal study that investigated how four different State Owned Enterprises communicated with Māori communities between 2008 and 2013. This study contributes to the extant research on the legitimacy theory and CSR communication with ethnic minorities in the Aotearoa (New Zealand) context.

Chapter 8 links the CSR paradigm with risk management. The author suggests that Serbian businesses ought to adopt corporate sustainable and responsible approaches in terms of their disaster risk reduction prior to environmental emergencies.

Chapter 9 involved a quantitative analysis that explored the CSR practices within the hospitality industry. The authors suggested that there were distinct social and environmentally responsible behaviors in different geographical areas. They argued that institutions can take their results into account when drawing up policies that are aimed at fostering responsible tourism practices.

Chapter 10 examined how CSR communication of self-serving motives can lead to more trust and credibility among stakeholders as well as corporate reputation. The authors implied that the marketers should be aware of how the public perceive CSR behaviors.

Chapter 11 reports that corporate (or organizational) storytelling is increasingly being used as a promotional tool to communicate CSR information to stakeholders. The authors present four companies that have used storytelling with the aims of transmitting values, fostering collaboration, leading change and sharing knowledge on responsible practices.

Chapter 12 relates corporate sustainability to the construct of emotional capital. The authors maintain that emotional capital enables businesses to attract and retain talent. They maintain that there are significant improvements to the firms’ bottom lines If they invest in responsible human resources management.

Chapter13 suggests that the transition from the CSR to CSR 2.0 requires the adoption of five new principles – creativity, scalability, responsiveness, glocality and circularity. The authors posit that these principles ought to be embedded within the organizations’ management values and culture. The authors propose a new framework that can be used to manage the processes of socially responsible organizations.

Chapter 14 investigated the banks’ behaviors during the economic crisis in Turkey. The authors reported on the bank’s CSR strategies as they supported small and medium sized enterprises, as well as local communities during the financial turmoil.

Chapter 15 offers insights on sustainable tourism as the authors investigated the constraints that explain why an attitude–behavior gap exists in responsible tourists’ behaviors.

Chapter 16 examines three leading networks that are intended to promote corporate sustainability and responsibility. The author explores their growing influence as he reviews their objectives, organizational structures, types of activities, practices and impacts.

Further details on this contribution is available here: http://www.igi-global.com/book/csr-new-era-corporate-citizenship/166426


About the Editor:

Dr. Mark Anthony Camilleri is a resident academic in the Department of Corporate Communication at the University of Malta. He specializes in strategic management, stakeholder engagement, corporate social responsibility and sustainable business. Mark successfully finalized his PhD (Management) in three years’ time at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland – where he was nominated for his “Excellence in Teaching”. During the past years, Mark taught business subjects at under-graduate, vocational and post-graduate levels in Hong Kong, Malta and the UK.

Dr Camilleri has published his research in peer-reviewed journals, chapters and conference proceedings. He is also a member on the editorial board of Springer’s International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility and a member of the academic advisory committee in the Global Corporate Governance Institute (USA). Mark is a frequent speaker and reviewer at the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Marketing & Public Policy conference and in the Academy of Management’s (AoM) Annual Meeting.

The Authors’ Biographies

Ozan Nadir ALAKAVUKLAR is a lecturer in management at Massey University School of Management. His research interests are based on sustainability, community organizing and social movements.

Marcello ATZENI received his PhD at the University of Cagliari. His research interests are related to tourism authenticity and consumer behavior.

Elisa BARAIBAR DIEZ is a Lecturer in Business Administration at the University of Cantabria. Her fields of research are corporate transparency, CSR, corporate governance and reputation. She focuses on transparency and its effects not only in a business context but also in other contexts such as universities.

Jesús BARRENA MARTINEZ is an Assistant Professor postdoctoral in the Department of Business Management at the University of Cadiz. He has a PhD in the field of Economics and Business Management. His teaching and research interests include Human Resource Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Intellectual Capital. He has presented papers at international and national conferences and published in journals such as Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, Journal of Human Values, Tourism and Management Studies and Intangible Capital.

Roland BERBERICH is Independent researcher in Project Management with additional MRes degree from Heriot Watt University. He has acquired more than 10 years of project experience.

Claudiu George BOCEAN is Associate Professor at and PhD supervisor Faculty of Economics and Business Administration within University of Craiova. In 2000, graduated Bachelor Degree, major in Accountancy and Informatics, Faculty of Economics, University of Craiova, Romania. In 2004, graduated Master program in Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, University of Craiova, Romania. In 2007, PhD in Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Craiova, Romania. In 2015, Habilitation title in Management, Academy of Economic Sciences Bucharest, Romania. Since 2002 – present, teaching and researching in Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Craiova on topics such as Human Resource Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Organization Theory, Business Economics, and co-operating within projects with national and international universities and organizations.

Michael Devereux obtained both Master in Business Administration (MBA) from University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Master in International Business from Universitat de Valencia. Prior to graduate school, he gained a Bachelor in Economics and Geography focusing on international economics and Central/South America from Weber State University. Additionally, he has studied in Costa Rica, and in Guatemala participating in a microfinance and economic development project for indigenous women in Guatemala. His current interests are focused on international affairs, humanitarian components, health and well-being, economic development, community engagement, energy and environmental sustainability.

José Ignacio ELICEGUI REYES is Graduate in Management Business Administration and Business Sciences, as well as he has studied a Masters in Human Resource Management at the University of Cadiz. Currently, he is studying a Masters in Teacher Training in Secondary Schools and High Schools, Vocational Training and Language Training for the specialty of Business Administration at the University of Cadiz. Also, he is developing his PhD in the Human Resource Management field.

Martina G. GALLARZA lectures in the Marketing Department of Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN). She has formerly taught at Universidad Católica de Valencia, where she was Dean of the Business Faculty. Her research interests include consumer behavior and tourism services. She has authored more than 40 articles (in Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Consumer Behavior, Journal of Services Marketing, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management among others), and has presented more than 70 papers in Congresses (EMAC, MKT TRENDS Conference, AMA Servsig, ATMC). She teaches in several international masters in Europe (MTM in IGC at Bremen (Germany) and MAE at IGR-IAE Rennes (France). Guest scholar for short periods at Columbia University (New York City. USA), ESCP (France), Sassari University (Sardinia. Italia), Strathclyde University (Glasgow, UK), She is member of the American Marketing Association (AMA), Asociación Española de Marketing (AEMARK), Association Française de Marketing (AFM) and formerly of Association Internationale d’Experts Scientifiques en Tourisme (AIEST She is member of the Board of Directors of Pernod Ricard. S.A. since 2012.

Raquel GOMEZ LOPEZ is a Lecturer in Business Management at the University of Cantabria (Spain). Her current research interests include quality management, excellence models, responsible management, family firms, innovation, and tourism. Raquel’s works have been published in journals of international impact such as Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence and Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development among others. She is also author of several chapters in various collective works and one book. She regularly participates in prestigious international and national conferences, such as those organized by FERC, IFERA and ACEDE.

Misra Cagla GUL is an Associate Professor of Marketing and the Vice Director of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Isik University. She holds a PhD degree from Bogazici University, and an MBA degree from Georgia State University. She has published in the fields of marketing and consumer behavior in times of recession, corporate social responsibility, social marketing, status consumption, green consumer behavior and strategic marketing. She teaches various marketing courses including consumer behavior, advertising and services marketing, both at undergraduate and graduate levels. Her professional experience includes over 5 years in marketing in telecommunications and energy sectors. She has a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering from Bogazici University.

Jose Ramon CARDONA received a doctorate in business economics from the University of the Balearic Islands in 2012. He worked as lecturer in marketing at the University of Zaragoza, Pablo de Olavide University and the University of the Balearic Islands. He’s a research associate of the research group Business Management and Tourist Destinations.

Giacomo DEL CHIAPPA is an assistant professor of marketing at the Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari (Italy), and Associate Researcher at CRENoS. He is also a senior research fellow, School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His research is related to destination governance and branding, consumer behavior, and digital marketing. He has published articles in several international journals, among others the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Travel Research, International Journal of Tourism Research, International Journal of Contemporary and Hospitality Management, Current Issues in Tourism, and Information Systems and E-Business Management.

Michael DEVEREUX obtained both Master in Business Administration (MBA) from University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Master in International Business from Universitat de Valencia. Prior to graduate school, he gained a Bachelor in Economics and Geography focusing on international economics and Central/South America from Weber State University. Additionally, he has studied in Costa Rica, and in Guatemala participating in a microfinance and economic development project for indigenous women in Guatemala. His current interests are focused on international affairs, humanitarian components, health and well-being, economic development, community engagement, energy and environmental sustainability.

José Luis FERNANDEZ SANCHEZ, PhD is a Professor of Business Administration at the University of Cantabria. He specializes in CSR, especially social investment.

Paul George HOLLAND, received a Bachelor in Business degree from the Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand in 2012 and a Master of Business Studies from Massey University, New Zealand in 2015.

Mehmet KAYTAZ is currently professor of economics and the Dean of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Işık University, Istanbul, Turkey. He holds a M.A. degree from the University of Manchester (1974) and Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham (1978). He was a faculty member of Boğaziçi University between 1978-2005.He served as President of State Institute of Statistics, Turkey; as Undersecretary of Treasury; as an alternate director in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and as Chairman of Board of Directors of Eregli Iron & Steel Factories. He has authored articles and books on small-scale enterprises, income distribution, economic growth, statistics, finance and education.

Valentín-Alejandro MARTINEZ FERNANDEZ is a Permanent Professor at University of A Coruña, Area of Marketing and Market Research. B.A. Information Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid. MBA Management and Business Administration, University of A Coruña. PhD. Information Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid.

Patricia MARTINEZ GARCIA DE LEANIZ is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cantabria (Spain). Her current research interests include corporate social responsibility, consumer behavior, corporate marketing and responsible management. Her research focuses on theoretical and empirical studies in the tourism sector. Patricia’s works have been published in journals of international impact such as International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing among others. She is also author of several chapters in various collective works and one book. She regularly participates in prestigious international and national conferences, such as those organized by EMAC, AEMARK and ACEDE.

Lars MORATIS is an expert in corporate social responsibility (CSR) affiliated with Antwerp Management School in Belgium as the Academic Director of the Competence Center Corporate Responsibility and with the NHTV University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands as Professor of Sustainable Business. His research interests lie in the credibility of corporate CSR claims, ISO 26000, CSR strategy, CSR implementation, responsible management education and critical perspectives on CSR. His other interest is the psychology of sustainability. He received an MSc in Business Administration from Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management and his PhD from the Open University the Netherlands. His PhD dissertation on ISO 26000 carried the title ‘Standardizing a better world? Essays and critical reflections on the ISO 26000 standard for corporate social responsibility’. He publishes on his research interest in both scientific and practitioner-oriented journals and book chapters. He has written several books, among which is ‘ISO 26000: The business guide to the new standard on social responsibility’.

María D. ODRIOZOLA (PhD) is a Lecturer in Business Administration at the University of Cantabria. Her research focuses on Human Resources Management and CSR. Particularly, she is specialized in labor social responsibility practices.

Mariella PINNA is a Research Fellow at the University of Sassari where she teaches in the area of “Ethics”. Her research interest is related to ethical consumption and consumer behavior.

Vesela RADOVIC is an associate professor, works in the Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Belgrade University, Serbia. Dr. Radovic has an MPH in fire safety protection and a PhD in safety, protection and defense from the Faculty of Safety in Belgrade. She has a long record of experience in the area of disaster management. As an expert in the area of disaster management she prepared the handbook, Methodology of Risk Assessment and Emergency Management Planning at the Local Level. This manual was a part of the activities of the USAID, Serbia Preparedness, Planning and Economic Security Program, implemented by the DAI/Washington. She spent a year with the Fulbright/Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, at Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of International Health and Development, New Orleans, LA. During that year in USA her focus was on public policy making and emergency preparedness. Dr. Radovic will focus her future activities in academic community in order to share acquired knowledge to help her country, Serbia in supporting the necessary reforms in the context of Euro-Atlantic Integrations.

Amir Hossein RAHDARI is one of the top 25 youngest Sustainable Business professionals (2degrees). He is the director of research at Corporate Governance and Responsibility Development Centre, an external reviewer to several Int. peer-reviewed journals (JCR and Scopus indexed), a research contributor to CSRI and some other leading platforms. He is also an independent research & consultant and a member of several leading panels on sustainability including GBI Panel (US), NG Panel (UK), Ministry of Petroleum CSR Committee (Iran).

Pedro M. ROMERO FERNANDEZ is a Professor in the Department of Business Management at the University of Cadiz. His teaching experience (more than 15 years) spans the broad range of strategy, human resources and management. He has published his work in the field of HRM in peer-reviewed top national and international journals, such as the International Journal of Human Resource Management, British Journal of Management, Journal of Business Research and Journal of Business Ethics.

María Dolores SANCHEZ FERNANDEZ is a PhD “Competitiveness, Innovation and Development” and a Lecturer at the University of la Coruña (Spain), Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Analysis and Business Management, Business Organization area. She is also part of the GREFIN (University of A Coruña) and GEIDETUR (University of Huelva) research groups and associate researcher at the Centre of CICS.NOVA.UMinho and Lab2PT research at the University of Minho, GEEMAT (Brazil) and REDOR Network (Mexico). She has been the author or co-author of several articles published in indexed journals. She has participated in over 100 communications in national and International conferences and is a member of the scientific committee. She reviews international scientific magazines in Spain, United States and Brazil. Her main research topics are: Corporate Social Responsibility, quality, tourism, the hotel industry and human resources.

Katharina SARTER is an Ailsa McKay Postdoctoral Fellow at Glasgow Caledonian University. Previously Research Fellow at Bielefeld University, University of Muenster, and University of Rostock as well as Bernheim Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics at the Catholic University of Louvain and Visiting Scholar at the Public Procurement Research Group at the School of Law of the University of Nottingham.

Catalina SITNIKOV is Professor at University of Craiova (Romania), Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. She has PhD title in Management since 2000, Habilitation title in Management since 2014 and since February 2015 is PhD supervisor in Management. For 3 years activated as Visiting Lecturer at Helsinki University of Technology, Lahti Center (Finland). Since 1995, she has been teaching undergraduate, master and PhD students. She teaches Quality Management, Total Quality Management and Management. Her main research areas include: management, strategic management, and mostly quality management, instruments and models specific to the stages of quality planning, control and improvement, quality management strategies, ISO standards, CSR from the perspective of specific standards and instruments.

Marius Sorin TUDOR holds a PhD from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration within University of Craiova. In 1998, graduated Bachelor Degree, major in Accountancy and Informatics, Faculty of Economics, University of Craiova, Romania, In 2001, graduated Master program in Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, University of Craiova, Romania In 2008, PhD in Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Craiova, Romania Since 2006 – present, teaching and researching in Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Craiova on topics such as Project Management, Environmental Economics, Marketing public, Methods and techniques for decision-making in public organizations, Media management. Since 2015 – present, Manager of Universitaria – Publishing house within University of Craiova.

Başak UCANOK TAN received her B.A. degree in Business Administration from Başkent University. Upon her graduation she was granted the Sunley Management Scholarship and completed MSc in International Management from the University of Northampton, UK. Her master’s dissertation focused on the adverse psychological effects of financial crises on layoff survivors. She continued her academic pursuits in Marmara and Istanbul Bilgi University and earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior with her dissertation on the investigation of organizational citizenship behaviors in Turkish SMEs. Her academic research focus concentrates on the dynamics of micro organizational phenomena including work values, organizational citizenship behavior, organizational commitment, alienation, leadership and cooperative behavior. She has served as coordinator in Public Relations program in Istanbul Bilgi University from 2010 to 2012 and has recently became Associate Professor.

Anya Catharina Eva ZEBREGS is a master student at University of Amsterdam. Last January she completed her masters in Business Administration and currently she is writing her thesis for the Social Psychology masters. The two masters complement each other very well; she gathered knowledge about consumers, organizations, groups of people and how to influence them and combined this with strategic and economic knowledge. She is interested in marketing and consultancy and after her internship, which will start this September, she would like to find a job in either marketing or consultancy. Further, Anya has always been very interested in CSR and the non-profit market, one of the reasons why she chooses to write her first master thesis about CSR. Further, she is president of the board of SOLVE Consulting Amsterdam. SOLVE is a professional student consultancy organization active in social enterprise consulting. The organization advises non-profits and social enterprises in their efficiency and effectiveness.

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An Introduction to Socially Responsible Investment

Socially responsible investment (SRI) is the practice of incorporating social and environmental goals into investment decisions. Therefore, SRI is a strategy that encourages corporate practices that promote social responsibility and laudable initiatives such as impact investing, shareholder advocacy and community investing (Sparkes & Cowton, 2004; Guay, Doh & Sinclair, 2004; Schueth, 2003). At the same time, the rationale behind SRI is to consider both financial return as well as responsible investments for societal development. Its goals are based upon environmental issues, human rights, community involvement and labour relations (Ooi & Lajbcygier 2013; Sparkes, 2003; Friedman & Miles, 2001).

SRI’s professionally managed assets have emerged as a dynamic and quickly growing segment of the U.S. financial services industry (Schueth, 2003). In many cases, responsible and sustainable investments are influencing how asset managers invest in diversified portfolios (Lemke & Lins, 2014). This term refers to responsible investments that seek to avoid negative externalities. In fact, the investment portfolios of listed companies are often screened by SRI contractors (Renneboog, Ter Horst & Zhang, 2008). In fact, in recent years, SRI funds have become a popular investment opportunity. Many investors are attracted to businesses that will yield return on investment. Yet, it may appear that a large and growing segment of the population possess a spiritual yearning to integrate personal values into all aspects of life, including finance and investing (Schueth, 2003). As a result, many conscientious investors were avoiding businesses that are involved in alcohol, tobacco, fast food, gambling, pornography, weapons, contraception and abortion, fossil fuel production, and / or the military industries, among others (Logue, 2009; Ronneborg et al., 2008; Ghoul & Karam, 2007; Statman, 2000). In addition, responsible investors have become increasingly aware about the numerous instances of accounting fraud and other scandals that may have eroded their trust in corporate leadership. The areas of concern recognised by the SRI practitioners are often denoted under the heading of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including social justice, human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues and diversity on the boards (Camilleri, 2015).

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The Circular Economy Agenda for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

Most of the products we buy and consume are bound to reach their ‘end of life’ at some stage. To date, business and industry have customarily followed an economic model that is built on the premise of ‘take-make-consume and dispose’. When goods worn out or are no longer desired, they are often discarded as waste. Such a linear model also assumes that raw materials and resources are abundant, available and cheap to dispose of. However, the improper disposal of waste in landfills could cause health risks for society. Similarly, industrial and mining activities are causing resource depletion as well as pollution problems. The incineration of waste products also creates the need to dispose of residual toxic metals, including lead and mercury, which could also contaminate groundwater. Notwithstanding, it is envisaged that the reserves of some of globe’s key elements and minerals shall be depleted within the next century. At the same time, land degradation is constantly impacting on the natural environment, as arable land continues to disappear. In addition, plastic waste dumped into our seas and oceans is responsible for the deaths of millions of fish, seabirds, and sea mammals. Furthermore, the warming of the earth’s climate, that is one of the outcomes of carbon emissions from fossil fuels, is yet another serious problem facing today’s society.

The world’s growing populations and their increased wealth is inevitably leading to greater demands for limited and scarce resources. Boulding’s famous paper from 1966, “The economics of the coming spaceship Earth” anticipated that man will need to find his place in a cyclical ecological system which is capable of continuous reproduction of material. He went on to suggest that at the other end the effluents of the system are passed out into noneconomic reservoirs, including the atmosphere and the oceans. Of course, these ecological environments are not appropriated and do not enter into the exchange system. Twenty-five years ago, Granzin and Olsen (1991) reported that the US municipalities were already running out of landfills. These contentious issues underline the perennial conflict between economic development and environmental protection. Today’s society and its economic models still rely too much on resource extraction and depletion. If solutions are to be found, the public must be encouraged to alter a number of its irresponsible behaviours.

In this light, this contribution suggests that there is scope in using resources more efficiently; as better eco-designs, waste prevention and reuse of materials can possibly bring net savings for businesses, while also reducing emissions. In fact, WEF (2014) indicated that a shift towards CE can generate over US$ 500 million in material cost savings, 100,000 new jobs and prevent 100 million tons of waste globally, within five years. This means that there is a business case for CE as significant resource efficiencies could bring a new wave of smart, sustainable growth and competitiveness.

The basis of the CE economic approach lies in extracting the embedded costs of resources; through re-using, repairing, refurbishing, recycling and restoring materials and products throughout their life cycle. Arguably, what used to be regarded as ‘waste’ could be turned into a valuable resource for business and industry. The CE concept could be perceived as a response to the aspiration for sustainable growth in the context of increased regulatory pressures toward controlled operations management and environmentally responsible practices. Therefore, the setting of coherent policy frameworks and appropriate legislation could help to raise the bar for more responsible behaviours amongst public and private organisations.

Initially, the CE approach was being implemented in western countries were it was championed by a number of environmental NGOs (EMF, 2013; WEF, 2014). However, back in 2008, the People’s Republic of China had enacted a national law that promoted the CE model. Interestingly, China has experienced an average economic growth of 9.5% over the past two decades (since the start of their business-friendly policies and reforms). The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has recognised the significance of the rapid industrialisation in the Chinese scenario. Hence, UNEP in collaboration with the European Commission and Asia Pro Eco Programme have supported the Chinese city of Guiyang through the ‘Policy Reinforcement for Environmentally-Sound and Socially-Responsible Economic Development – PRODEV. In 2003, this city was still considered a relatively, underdeveloped region although it had a population of more than 3 million. For this reason, Guiyang had great potential as a pilot city for the exploration of sustainable development models (UNEP, 2006). In 2005, PRODEV supported Guiyang’s policy frameworks, financial systems that were intended to help the private sector development, facilitated technology transfers and sustained infrastructural development. PRODEV specified the best environmentally sound practices as it demonstrated the use of cleaner production processes (UNEP, 2006). Guiyang’s businesses have learned how to increase their operational efficiencies through better use of resources. These developments have also brought significant cost savings, and improvements in the firms’ bottom line. At the time, China needed a new sustainable development model which had the ability to ‘achieve improvements in resource productivity and eco-efficiency’ (Yuan, Bi, and Moriguichi, 2006:7). The country’s central development goal came into force in January 2009 as environmental conditions were expected to deteriorate due to rapid urban and industrial growth prospects.

In a similar vein, the European Union (EU) Commission has encouraged businesses to reuse, recycle and reduce resources to prevent the loss of valuable materials (EU, 2014). The EU Commission explained that, “new business models, eco-designs and industrial symbiosis can move the community towards zero-waste; reduce greenhouse emissions and environmental impacts” (EU, 2014:4). It transpired that the Europe has already started to prepare the ground work toward this transition. In fact, the ‘Resource Efficient Europe’ was one of the EU2020’s flagship ideas. This EU initiative involved the coordination of cross-national action plans and policies on the formulation of sustainable growth. The EU’s CE proposition was intended to bring positive environmental impacts, real cost savings, and greater profits. EU (2014) indicated that improvements in waste prevention and eco-design, the use and reuse of resources, and similar measures could translate to a net savings of € 600 billion, or 8 % of annual turnover (for EU businesses), while reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2-4%. This EU communication anticipated that the market for eco-industrial products will double between 2010 and 2020. It also posited that internationally, resource-efficiency improvements are in demand across a wide range of sectors. Lately, the EU has published a call for researchers, specifically in; (i) CIRC-01-2016: Eco-innovative approaches for the circular economy: large-scale demonstration projects, (ii) CIRC-02-2016: Water in the context of the circular economy, (iii) CIRC-03-2016: Smart specialisation for systematic eco-innovation / circular economy, (iv) CIRC-04-2016: New models and economic incentives for circular economy business and (v) CIRC-05-2016: Unlocking the potential for urban organic growth (EU, 2015b). Moreover, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has also unleashed a new financing avenue for future investments in infrastructure and innovation, including circular economy projects and closed loop systems.

Across the Atlantic, the US and Canada have also endorsed the circular economy perspective. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation described the circular economy as a model that focuses on the careful management of material flows through product design, reverse logistics, business model innovation, and cross-sector collaboration. The US Foundation recognised that this regenerative model offers viable business opportunities that tackle environmental issues while stimulating economic growth and development. Similarly, Canada’s ‘Circular Economy Working Group’ (CEWG) has also encouraged the wider adoption of circular approaches as illustrated in Figure 1. This working group supports knowledge sharing on CE through a series of webinars and other avenues. They also featured numerous case studies that have presented the benefits of key circular business models.

 

                                  Figure 1. The Circular Business Model

ce                                    (Accenture, 2014 in CEWG, 2015)

Although the circular economy is a relatively new notion, there could be potential pitfalls in its policy formulation and application. Moreover, businesses and industries would probably resent being imposed any mandatory changes in their established behaviours. It is very likely that they would opt to remain in their status quo, where they are ‘locked-in’ to their traditional linear models. For the time being, many companies could not be knowledgeable about the CE perspective. The terms that are actually being used to describe both linear and circular economies are potentially misleading, as both combinations already exist, but in very different contexts.

Arguably, the long term investments for an active engagement in sustainable CE practices could possibly result in significant improvements in operational efficiencies. However, CE approaches may still be perceived as novel, risky and complex. Notwithstanding, the prices of green technologies do not necessarily reflect the real costs of resources and raw materials. Macro-environmental factors, including political, economic, social and technological issues could also impact on CE behaviours. Moreover, there may be policy makers and regulators who may not want to support the transition towards the circular economy. Of course, it would be better if governments, civil societies and the respective industries work in tandem to resolve the contentious issues relating to the increased scarce and limited resources, across the globe.

In conclusion, the CE concept has the potential to maximize the functioning of global eco-systems as it could lead to significant benefits to societal well-being. There are implications for the re-alignment of economic and management practice with well laid-out ecological and social models. Future research should begin to incorporate the latest ecological knowledge into our understanding of naturalistic economic models and systems, without silencing the social and human dimension.

References

Accenture. (2014), “Circular Advantage: Innovative Business Models and Technologies to Create value in a World without Limits to Growth”, available at: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-circular-advantage-innovative-business-models-value-growth.aspx (accessed on the 12th October, 2015).

Boulding, K.E. (1966) The economics of coming spaceship earth in Jarret, H. (Ed.), Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy, Johns Hopkins Pres, Baltimore, M.D. pp. 3–14

EMF (2013), “Towards the Circular Economy. Ellen MacArthur Foundation Rethinking the Future”, available at: http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/TCE_Report-2013.pdf (accessed on the 28th October, 2015).

EU (2014), “Attitudes of Europeans towards Waste Management and Resource Efficiency”, European Commission, Brussels, available at:http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_388_en.pdf (accessed on the 17th October 2015).

EU (2015b), “Research and Innovation Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy” (Call identifier: H2020-IND-CE-2016-17; Publication date: 14-10-2015), available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/calls/h2020-ind-ce-2016-17.html#c,topics=callIdentifier/t/H2020-IND-CE-2016-17/1/1/1&callStatus/t/Forthcoming/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Open/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Closed/1/1/0&+identifier/desc (accessed on the 5th November 2015).

Granzin, K. L. and Olsen, J. E. (1991), “Characterizing participants in activities protecting the environment: a focus on donating, recycling, and conservation behaviors”, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, pp. 1-27.

UNEP (2006), “Circular Economy: An alternative model for economic development”, United Nations Environment Programme. Paris, France, available at:http://www.unep.org/resourceefficiency/Portals/24147/scp/nap/circular/pdf/prodev-summary.pdf (accessed on the 25th October 2015).

WEF (2014), “Circular Economy Can Generate US$ 1 Trillion Annually by 2025”, World Economic Forum, available at: http://www.weforum.org/news/circular-economy-can-generate-us-1-trillion-annually-2025 (accessed on the 27th October 2015).

Yuan, Z., Bi, J. and Moriguichi, Y. (2006), “The circular economy: A new development strategy in China”, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 4-8.

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Top US Corporate Citizenship Issues

In its latest quarterly magazine the Boston College Centre for Corporate Citizenship (BCCC) has reiterated how community involvement activities can contribute to achieve corporate goals – particularly, when they are aligned with the company’s business context and the interests of its stakeholders. Companies are becoming increasingly adept at tying employee volunteer and corporate giving programmes to their business strategy. Interestingly, BCCC (2015) noted that many businesses have proritised community involvement projects, including; K12 education, youth programmes and health and wellness programmes among others. These social issues have featured as the top priorities for businesses, as evidenced in BCCC’s (2015) Table. In 2009 and 2011 the top issues were more focused on environmental matters.

The inclusion of health in the top three social goals implies that lately there is more concern amongst US citizens regarding the rising cost of health care. In 2015, the U.S. has spent 17% of its gross domestic product on health care. This figure is higher than any other developed nation, and is projected to reach nearly 20 percent by 2024.

bccc

Unsurprisingly, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is also an area that is receiving increased investments from business communities. According to BCCC’s (2015) study, nearly 40% of companies are focusing on STEM education in their community involvement programmes. These efforts ensure a future pipeline of talent and skills. In fact, OECD (2014) anticipated that there will be a 17 per cent increase in STEM related jobs between 2014 and 2024 (OECD, 2014).

Arguably, businesses are putting food where their mouth is. As they focus their competences and resources in the areas where they can do the most good, there is potential for them to achieve greater returns on their discretionary investments. At the same time, they close the skill gaps and mismatches in their labour market (Camilleri and Camilleri, 2015).

References:

BCCC (2015). The Corporate Citizen, Issue 14 (Fall 2015) Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship https://bc-ccc.uberflip.com/i/571714-corporatecitizen-issue14

Camilleri, M.A.  and Camilleri, A. (2015). Education and social cohesion for economic growth, International Journal of Leadership in Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2014.995721

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Call for Chapters on CSR

Corporate  Sustainability and Responsibility: The New Era of Corporate Citizenship
CSR Chapter
 This edited book will be published by IGI Global (USA)
Proposals Submission Deadline: January 31, 2016
Full Chapters Due: April 30, 2016
Submit your Chapter here.

 

 

Introduction

The contemporary subject of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has continuously been challenged by those who want corporations to move beyond transparency, ethical behavior and stakeholder engagement. Today, responsible behaviors are increasingly being embedded into new business models and strategies that are designed to meet environmental, societal and governance deficits.

This book builds on the previous theoretical underpinnings of the corporate social responsibility agenda, including Corporate Citizenship (Carroll, 1998; Waddock, 2004; Matten and Crane, 2004), Creating Shared Value (Porter and Kramer, 2011; 2006), Stakeholder Engagement (Freeman, 1984) and Business Ethics (Crane and Matten, 2004) as it presents the latest Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR2.0) perspective. The CSR2.0 notion is increasingly being recognized as a concept that offers ways of thinking and behaving that has potential to deliver significant benefits to both business and society (The International Conference(s) on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, organized by the Humboldt University Berlin in 2014, 2016).

This ‘new’ proposition is an easy term that may appeal to the business practitioners as it is linked to improvements in economic performance, operational efficiency, higher quality, innovation and competitiveness. At the same time it raises awareness on responsible behaviors. Therefore, CSR2.0 can be considered as strategic in its intent and purposes, as businesses are capable of being socially and environmentally responsible ‘citizens’ as they pursue their profit-making activities.

 

Objective

 This book is a concise and authoritative guide to students and well-intended professionals. CSR is moving away from ‘nice-to-do’ to ‘doing-well-by-doing-good’ mantra. This contribution covers many aspects of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR2.0).

It will include relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings in the area. It shall provide thorough understanding on corporate social responsibility, sustainability, stakeholder engagement, business ethics and corporate governance. It also sheds light on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures and sustainability reporting; CSR and digital media, socially responsible investing (SRI); responsible supply chain management; the circular economy, responsible procurement of sustainable products; consumer awareness of sustainability / eco labels; climate change and the environmental awareness; CSR in education and training; and responsible behaviors of small enterprises among other topics.This publication will explain the rationale for CSR2.0 as a guiding principle for business success. It shall report on the core aspects of contemporary strategies, public policies and practices that create shared value for business and society.

References

Carroll, A. B. (1998). The four faces of corporate citizenship. Business and society review, 100(1), 1-7.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2004). Business ethics: A European perspective: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Freeman, R. Edward (1984). Strategic Management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pitman. ISBN 0-273-01913-9.

Matten, D., & Crane, A. (2005). Corporate citizenship: Toward an extended theoretical conceptualization. Academy of Management review, 30(1), 166-179.

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard business review, 84(12), 78-92.

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard business review, 89(1/2), 62-77.

Waddock, S. (2004). Parallel universes: Companies, academics, and the progress of corporate citizenship. Business and society Review, 109(1), 5-42

 

Target Audience

This book introduces the concept of corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR2.0) to advanced undergraduate and / or post graduate students in a structured manner. It is also relevant to policy makers, business professionals, small business owners, non-profit organizations and charitable foundations.

 

Recommended Topics

• Theoretical Underpinnings on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility;
• The Evolution of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility;
• International Policies and Regulatory Instruments for Engagement in Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility;
• Responsible Corporate Governance and Sustainable Business;
• Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Disclosures of Sustainable and Responsible Businesses;
• Corporate Citizenship and Sustainable Business;
• Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) for Sustainable Business;
• Responsible Supply Chain Management for Sustainable Business;
• Responsible Procurement of Sustainable Products;
• Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Communications;
• Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Reporting and Digital Media;
• Consumer Awareness of Sustainable Products and Responsible Businesses;
• The Use of Eco labels by Responsible Businesses;
• Global Issues, Climate Change and the Environmental Awareness of Sustainable and Responsible Businesses;
• Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Initiatives in Education and Training;
• Corporate Sustainable and Responsible Behaviors;
• The Business Case for Responsible Behaviors among Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

 

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before January 31, 2016, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by February 15, 2016 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 30, 2016, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at http://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/before-you-write/ prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, CSR 2.0 and the New Era of Corporate Citizenship. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
All proposals should be submitted through the E-Editorial DiscoveryTM online submission manager.

 

Publisher

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit http://www.igi-global.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2016.

Important Dates

January 31, 2016: Proposal Submission Deadline

February 15, 2016: Notification of Acceptance
April 30, 2016: Full Chapter Submission
June 30, 2016: Review Results Returned
July 31, 2016: Final Acceptance Notification
August 15, 2016: Final Chapter Submission

 

For Further Inquiries:

Mark Anthony Camilleri, Ph.D.

Department of Corporate Communication

Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences

Room 603, MaKS Building

University of Malta

Msida, MSD2080

MALTA

Tel: +356 2340 3742

Mob: +356 79314808

Email: Mark.A.Camilleri@um.edu.mt

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Social responsibility policies in the USA

 

mapImage by newmediatraffic.com

 

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and communicating activities within the areas of philanthropy, stewardship, volunteerism and environmental affairs are not treated as a regulatory compliance issue in the United States of America (USA). Therefore, organisations are not obliged to satisfy their numerous stakeholders’ expectations vis-a-vis their corporate sustainability and responsibility practices. CSR practices are voluntary practices encompassing laudable behaviours that go beyond financial reporting requirements. At the same time, it must be recognised that sustainable and responsible practices are increasingly being embedded into core business functions and corporate decisions, such as supply chain, transportation, engineering and marketing. In this light, this chapter sheds light on major US institutional frameworks that have been purposely developed to foster CSR engagement among organisations. Policies, principles and voluntary instruments include formal accreditation systems and soft laws that stimulate business to implement and report their CSR-related activities. Several agencies of the US Government are currently employing CSR programmes that are intended to provide guidance in corporate citizenship and human rights; labour and supply chains; anticorruption; energy and the environment; as well as health and social welfare among other issues.

This contribution looks at the US governmental institutions’ processes and their discretionary investments in responsible behaviours, in terms of financial and human resources. It looks at the establishment of particular standards, procedures and expectations. There is a discussion on how US entities have often interpreted their own view on business ethics and corporate citizenship, within the context of their own organisation. Moreover, it contends that there could still be a lack of an appropriate definition which could encapsulate CSR terminology. Arguably, as corporate responsibility becomes more widely understood, accepted and practiced, there could be positive implications for greater convergence of common activities that could be included in corporate responsibility disclosures. In conclusion, this chapter posits that there are indications that US business, industry and governmental organisations are changing their attitudes on CSR, sustainability reporting and corporate governance. It also identifies the drivers and actors that are raising the CSR agenda in the USA.

Excerpt from: “Camilleri, M.A. (2016) A descriptive overview of social responsibility policies in the United States of America. In Idowu, S.O. & Vertigans, S. (eds) CSR in Challenging Times. Springer (Forthcoming)”.

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CSR 2.0 – A Conceptual Framework For Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

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Businesses are capable of implementing responsible behaviours as they pursue their profit-making activities. A thorough literature review suggests that many academic articles have dedicated their energies on organising and evaluating the evidence to establish a link, usually through regression analysis between corporate social responsibility (CSR) or corporate social performance (CSP) and financial performance. Other authors referred to similar concepts as corporate citizenship has evolved following the concepts of stakeholder engagement and business ethics. In the light of these past theoretical underpinnings, this article reports on the many facets of CSR. This contribution puts forward key constructs representing strategic CSR, creating shared value and systematic CSR. It sheds light on the corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR2.0) notion. This latter perspective suggests that responsible behavioural practices may be strategically re-conceived to confer competitive advantage over rival firms. Therefore, article makes reference to specific examples of some the latest laudable investments that create shared value. It explains how CSR2.0 requires a focus on building adaptive approaches and directing resources towards the perceived demands of diverse stakeholders for the long term sustainability of business. In a pragmatic approach, this contribution indicates that societal demands are not viewed as constraints on the organisation, but more as challenging opportunities which can be leveraged for the benefit of the firm and its stakeholders.

The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR can help to build reputational benefits; it enhances the firms’ image among external stakeholders and could lead to a favourable climate of trust and cooperation within the company 1. It may lead to create value for both business and society 2 3 4. Several authors maintained that through strategic CSR engagement businesses may achieve a competitive advantage5 6. Empirical studies have shown that there is a correlation between CSR and financial performance 1 3 7. Yet, it may appear that to date there is no explicit, quantitative translation of socially responsible practices into specific results that affect the profit and loss account8. Nevertheless, many companies are defending the correlation between social practices and financial results. The working assumption revolving around the CSP research is that corporate social and financial performance are universally related3. Strategic CSR increases the financial performance; minimises costs through better operational efficiencies, boosts the employee morale and job satisfaction and reduces the staff turnover, along with other benefits3.

CSR can bring a competitive advantage only if there are ongoing communications and dialogue between all stakeholder groups9 10 (including the employees, customers, marketplace and societal groups). The stakeholder relationships are needed to bring external knowledge sources, which may in turn enhance organisational skills and performance. Acquiring new knowledge must be accompanied by mechanisms for dissemination. There is scope in sharing best practices, even with rival firms. It is necessary for responsible businesses to realise that they need to work in tandem with other organisations in order to move the CSR agenda forward3 4. A recent study has indicated that businesses were investing in environmental sustainability, as they minimised their waste by reducing, reusing and recycling resources11. Several others were becoming more conscientious about their environmental responsibilities, particularly in the areas that were in situated in close proximity to their business. They were increasingly protecting the environment as they reduced their pollution through carbon offsetting programmes and the like11. The researcher believes that there is still room for improvement. There are many business practitioners who ought to realise the business case for CSR. Their organisational culture and business ethos could become more attuned to embrace responsible behavioural practices.

Creating Shared Value – Seeking Win-Win Outcomes
In the past, the stakeholder theory has demonstrated how stakeholders could develop long-term mutual relationships, rather than simply focusing on immediate profits. Of course, this does not imply that profit and economic survival are unimportant. On the contrary, this argument is that it is in the businesses’ interest to engage with a variety of stakeholders, upon whom dependence is vital3 4. The businesses’ closer interactions with stakeholders are based on relational and process-oriented views9. Many corporations are already forging strategic alliances in their value chain in order to run their businesses profitably. Some successful businesses are also promoting the right conditions of employment in their supply chains. At the same time, they are instrumental in improving the lives of their suppliers. They do this as they want to enhance the quality and attributes of their products, which are ultimately delivered to customers and end consumers12.
Nestlé, Google, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, and Wal-Mart are some of the multinationals who have somewhat embraced Porter and Kramer’s ‘shared value’ approach. In many cases they are building partnership and collaborative agreements with external stakeholders (including suppliers) hailing from different markets. The notion of shared value is opening up new opportunities for sustainability, particularly with its innovative approach to re-configure the value chain4. Yet, there are academics who argued that this concept ignores the tensions that are inherent in responsible business activity13. “Shared value” cannot cure all of society’s ills as not all businesses are good for society nor would the pursuit of shared value eliminate all injustice. However, the profit motive and the tools of corporate strategy will help to address societal problems14. As a matter of fact, many businesses are reconceiving their products as they take a broad view of their purchasing, procurement and production activities4.
Several multi-national organisations are looking beyond their short-term profits for shareholders. They are also looking after their marketplace stakeholders including suppliers who source their products. Many multinational organisations are redefining productivity in the value chain and enabling local cluster developments to mitigate risks, boost productivity and competitiveness. For instance, Nestlé’s business principles incorporated 10 United Nations Global Compact Principles on human rights, labour, the environment and corruption12. Nestlé is an active member of the Compact’s Working Groups and Initiatives. Nestlé maintains that it complies with international regulatory laws and acceptable codes of conduct, as it improves its company’s operations. Yet, at the same time it helps those suppliers hailing from the least in poorer rural regions of the world. Nestlé has revisited its numerous processes and its value chain activities. Each stage of the production process, from the supply chain to transforming resources adds value to the overall end product. This benefits the company itself. Nestlé sources its materials from thousands of farms from developing countries. The company maintains that it provides training to farmers in order to encourage sustainable production while protecting their procurement, standards and quality of their raw materials. This brings positive, long-term impacts on the local economy. At the same time, these suppliers are running profitable farms, as they are offering their children a better education. Moreover, both Nestlé and its suppliers are committed to protecting their natural environmental resources for their long term sustainability.
Corporate sustainability occurs when a company adds a social dimension to its value proposition, making social impact integral to its overall strategy. The rationale behind the corporate responsibility lies in creating value and finding win-win outcomes by seeking out and connecting stakeholders’ varied interests. Creating shared value (CSV) is about embedding sustainability and strategic corporate social responsibility into a brand’s portfolio. As firms reap profits and grow, they can generate virtuous circles of positive multiplier effects11.

 

Conclusion
This article provides the foundation of the conceptual theory and empirical enquiry of the discourse surrounding the corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR2.0) agenda. A thorough literature review reveals that many authors have often investigated the relationship between corporate social responsibility (corporate social performance or corporate citizenship) and financial performance. This contribution maintains that CSR 2.0 initiatives can be re-conceived strategically to confer competitive advantage in the long term. The business case for CSR 2.0 focuses on building adaptive approaches and directing resources towards the perceived demands of stakeholders (Camilleri, 2015). Stakeholder demands are not viewed as constraints on the organisation, but more as challenging opportunities which can be leveraged for the benefit of the firm. This contribution looks at different aspects of CSR2.0, as it makes specific reference to responsible human resources management, environmental sustainability, forging relationships with marketplace stakeholders and strategic philanthropy towards the community. Engagement in these activities will ultimately create shared value for both the business and the society. CSR2.0 unlocks value, as the business and the community become mutually reinforcing. The value creation arguments focus on exploiting opportunities that reconcile differing stakeholder demands. Businesses ought to realise that laudable investments in CSR2.0 can lead to better organisational performance in the long run. This contribution indicates that there are future avenues for further research in this promising area of strategic management. Empirical studies may focus on how socially responsible behaviour, environmental sustainable practices, stakeholder engagement and regulatory interventions may create value for all.

References

  1. Camilleri, M.A. “Unlocking shared value through strategic social marketing” (paper presented at the American Marketing Association and the University of Massachusetts Amherst: Marketing & Public Policy Conference, Boston, 6th June 2014): 60-66 Accessed June 26, 2015. https://www.ama.org/events-training/Conferences/Documents/MPP14BO_Proceedings.pdf
  2. Sen, Sankar, Chitra Bhanu Bhattacharya, and Daniel Korschun. “The role of corporate social responsibility in strengthening multiple stakeholder relationships: A field experiment.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing science 34, no. 2 (2006): 158-166.
  3. Camilleri, M.A. “Creating Shared Value through Strategic CSR in Tourism” Saarbrucken: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2013 – ISBN 978-3-659-43106-7.
  4. Porter, Michael E., and Mark R. Kramer. “Creating shared value.” Harvard business review 89, no. 1/2 (2011): 62-77.
  5. Crane, Andrew, Abagail McWilliams, Dirk Matten, Jeremy Moon, and Donald S. Siegel, eds. The Oxford handbook of corporate social responsibility. Oxford University Press, (2008).
  6. Porter, Michael E., and Mark R. Kramer. “The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility.” Harvard business review 84, no. 12 (2006): 78-92.
  7. Orlitzky, Marc, Frank L. Schmidt, and Sara L. Rynes. “Corporate social and financial performance: A meta-analysis.” Organization studies 24, no. 3 (2003): 403-441.
  8. Murillo, David, and Josep M. Lozano. “SMEs and CSR: An approach to CSR in their own words.” Journal of Business Ethics 67, no. 3 (2006): 227-240.
  9. Morsing, Mette, and Majken Schultz. “Corporate social responsibility communication: stakeholder information, response and involvement strategies.” Business Ethics: A European Review 15, no. 4 (2006): 323-338.
  10. European Union. “A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility” last modified December 10, 2014 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0681:FIN:EN:PDF European Commission Publications (2011).
  11. Camilleri, M.A. “The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility” (paper presented at the American Marketing Association in collaboration with the University of Wyoming, Oklahoma State University and Villanova University: Marketing & Public Policy as a Force for Social Change Conference. Washington D.C., 5th June 2014): 8-14, Accessed June 26, 2015. https://www.ama.org/events-training/Conferences/Documents/2015-AMA-Marketing-Public-Policy-Proceedings.pdf
  12. Camilleri, M.A. “Leveraging Organizational Performance through ‘Shared Value’ Propositions” Triple Pundit last modified November 22, 2013 http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/11/leveraging-organisational-performance-shared-value-propositions/
  13. Andrew Crane, Guido Palazzo, Laura J. Spence, and Dirk Matten. “Contesting the value of “creating shared value”.” California management review 56, no. 2 (2014): 130-153.
  14. A response to Andrew Crane13 article by Porter, Michael E., and Mark R. Kramer (2014) http://www.dirkmatten.com/Papers/C/Crane%20et%20al%202014%20in%20CMR.pdf

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