Tag Archives: CSR

Integrated Reporting: Valuing the Financial, Social and Natural Capital

The end of year financial statements usually focus on financial capital, whereas organisational performance relies on resources – such as the expertise of people, intellectual property that was developed through research and development, and interactions with the environment and the societies in which they operate.  In this light, Integrated Reporting (<IR>) was developed to fill such reporting gaps. The IR Framework categorises different stocks of value, including; Financial Capital; Manufactured Capital; Intellectual Capital; Human Capital; Social (and Relationship) Capital; as well as Natural Capital.

 

 

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has promoted the concept of integrated thinking and reporting. In 2013, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) released a framework for integrated reporting. By doing so, IIRC has paved the way for the next generation of annual reports that enable stakeholders to make a more informed assessment of the organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects. IIRC has aligned capital allocations and corporate behaviours with the wider goals of financial stability and  sustainable development. Its framework established the following ‘Guiding Principles’ and ‘Content Elements’:

Guiding Principles

  1. Strategic focus and future orientation –gives an insight of the organisation’s strategy;
  2. Connectivity of information – provides a holistic picture of the combination, inter relatedness and dependencies between the factors that affect the organisation’s ability to create value over time;
  3. Stakeholder relationships – describes the nature and quality of the organisation’s relationships with its key stakeholders;
  4. Materiality – discloses relevant information about matters that substantively affect the organisation’s ability to create value over the short, medium and long term;
  5. Conciseness – provides sufficient context to understand the organisation’s strategy, governance and prospects without being burdened by less relevant information;
  6. Reliability and completeness – includes all material matters, both positive and negative, in a balanced way and without material error;
  7. Consistency and comparability – ensures consistency over time and enabling comparisons with other organisations to the extent material to the organisation’s own ability to create value.

Content Elements

  1. Organisational overview and external environment – What does the organisation do and what are the circumstances under which it operates?
  2. Governance – How does an organisation’s governance structure support its ability to create value in the short, medium and long term?
  3. Business model – What is the organisation’s business model?
  4. Risks and opportunities – What are the specific risk and opportunities that affect the organisation’s ability to create value over the short, medium and long term, and how is the organisation dealing with them?
  5. Strategy and resource allocation – Where does the organisation want to go and how does it intend to get there?
  6. Performance – To what extent has the organisation achieved its strategic objectives for the period and what are its outcomes in terms of effects on the capitals?
  7. Outlook – What challenges and uncertainties is the organisation likely to encounter in pursuing its strategy, and what are the potential implications for its business model and future performance?
  8. Basis of preparation and presentation – How does the organization determine what matters to include in the integrated report and how are such matters quantified or evaluated?

The ‘Guiding Principles’ underpin the preparation of an integrated report, whilst, the ‘Content Elements’ are the key categories of information that should be included in an integrated report according to the IR Framework. There are no bench marking for the above matters and the report is primarily aimed at the private sector; but IR could be adapted to the public sector and to not-for-profit organisations. The IIRC has set out a principle-based framework rather than specifying a detailed disclosure and measurement standard. This way each company sets out its own report rather than adopting a checklist approach. Hence, the report acts as a platform which explains what creates value to the business and how management protects this value. This gives the report more business impetus rather than mandating compliance-led approaches.

For the time being, the integrated reporting is not going to replace other forms of reporting but the vision is that large undertakings, including corporations, state-owned entities and government agencies, among others, may be expected to pull together relevant information already produced to explain the key drivers of their non-financial performance. Relevant information will only be included in the report where it is material to the stakeholder’s assessment of the business. The term ‘materiality’ suggests that there are legal connotations that may be related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, Yet, some entities out of their own volition are already including ESG information in their integrated report.

In sum, the integrated reports aim to provide an insight into the company’s resources, relationships (that are also known as the capitals) and on how the company interacts with its external environment to create value.

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Special Offer > Get 20% off this Springer business textbook on Corporate Social Responsibility

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*This offer is valid from 1st April to 1st May 2017.

This business text-book can be purchased from Springer or Amazon.

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About Mark Anthony Camilleri, the Author of Springer’s Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management

The University of Malta’s promising academic, Dr Mark Anthony CAMILLERI lectures in an international masters programme run by the University of Malta in collaboration with King’s College, University of London. Mark specialises in strategic management, marketing, research and evaluation. He successfully finalised his PhD (Management) in three years time at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland – where he was also 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 reputable peer-reviewed journals. He is a member on the editorial board of Springer’s International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inderscience’s International Journal of Responsible Management in Emerging Economies. He is a frequent speaker and reviewer at the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Marketing & Public Policy conference, in the Academy of International Business (AIB) and in the Academy of Management’s (AoM) annual gatherings. Mark is also a member of the academic advisory committee in the Global Corporate Governance Institute (USA).

Dr Camilleri’s first book, entitled; “Creating Shared Value through Strategic CSR in Tourism” (2013) was published in Germany. This year Springer will publish his latest book; “Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies” (2017). Moreover, he edited a U.S. publication, entitled; “CSR 2.0 and the New Era of Corporate Citizenship” (2017). His short contributions are often featured in popular media outlets such as the Times of Malta, Business2Community, Social Media Today, Triple Pundit, CSRwire and the Shared Value Initiative.

Mark’s professional experience spans from project management, strategic management, business planning (including market research), management information systems (MIS), customer relationship and database marketing to public relations, marketing communications, branding and reputation management (using both conventional tools and digital marketing).

His latest book can be purchased from https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corporate-Sustainability-Responsibility-Environmental-Management/dp/3319468480 or http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319468488

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The Responsible Management of Marketplace Stakeholders

Excerpt from: Camilleri, M. (2017). The Rationale for Responsible Supply Chain Management and Stakeholder Engagement. Journal of Global Responsibility, 8(1).

supply chain
(source: GreenBiz)

Generally, firms are becoming more proactive in their engagement with responsible supply chain management and stakeholder engagement. Very often, corporate responsible behaviours could form part of their broader strategic commitment toward stakeholders (Zhu, Sarkis and Lai, 2013; Walker, Di Sisto and McBain, 2008; Walker and Preuss, 2008), This contribution is based on the premise that corporations could make a genuine and sustaining effort to align their economic success with corporate social responsibility in their value chain.

The corporations’ differentiated strategies as well as their proactive engagement in responsible supply chain practices can lead them to achieve a competitive advantage in the long term. In this case, firms may have  sophisticated responsible procurement processes in place. Therefore, they could be in a better position to support their different suppliers. On the other hand, there could be low‐cost producers that may be neglecting socially responsible supply chain management. In a similar vein, niche operators may not necessarily adopt responsible supply chain practices. Nevertheless, such firms tend to exhibit stronger ties with their suppliers; they may be relatively proactive vis-a-vis their socially responsible behaviours.

Previous studies indicated that there are significant gaps between policy and practice
(Govindan, Kaliyan, Kannan and Haq 2014; Preuss, 2009; Yu, 2008; Egels-Zanden, 2007), For the time being; firms may (or may not) be inclined to implement responsible supply chain and manufacturing processes on a voluntary basis. However, the big businesses are increasingly becoming aware that they are susceptible to negative media exposure, stakeholder disenfranchisement, particularly if they are not responsible in their supplier relationships (or if their social and environmental policies are not fully-implemented),

Arguably, a differentiated strategy can serve as a powerful competitive tool in the global marketplace as the customers’ awareness of social and responsibility rises. Notwithstanding, many stakeholders are increasingly becoming acquainted with fair trade and sustainability issues; as empowered consumers and lobby groups could enforce firms to invest in a more responsible supply chain.

Undoubtedly, there are opportunities for the proactive firms who are keen on integrating
responsible practices into their business operations. It is in these firms’ interest to report about their responsible supply chain management, social performance and sustainable innovations to their stakeholders. The corporations’ environmental, social and governance disclosures will help them raise their profile in their value chain.

The responsible businesses can possibly achieve a competitive advantage as they build (and protect) their reputation with stakeholders. Of course, there are different contexts and social realities. The global supply chain and the international NGOs also play a critical role in the enforcement of responsible behaviours in the supply chain.

In conclusion, this paper contended that the responsible supply chain management as well as forging stakeholder relationships with suppliers and distributors enable businesses to create shared value to society and for themselves.

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Measuring the Corporations’ Environmental, Social and Governance Performance

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SRI and sustainability ratings depend on the choice of the reference index one uses. Typically, SRI indices constitute a relevant proxy for the performance that is achievable through a sole focus on improving diversification within an SRI universe (Le Sourd, 2011). A large number of SR contractors, analysts and research firms are increasingly specialising in the collection of environmental, social and governance information as they perform ongoing analyses of corporate behaviours. Many of them maintain a CSR database and use it to provide their clients with a thorough ESG analysis (including proxy advice), benchmarks and engagement strategies of corporations. They publish directories of ethical and SRI funds, as they outline their investment strategies, screening criteria, and voting policies. In a sense, these data providers support investors in their selection of SRI funds.

  • SRI Indices, Ratings and Information Providing Contractors

KLD / Jantzi Global Environmental Index, Jantzi Research, Ethical Investment Research Service (Vigeo EIRIS) and Innovest (among others) analyse the corporations’ socially responsible and environmentally-sound behaviours. Some of their indices (to name a few) emphasise on the impact of products (e.g. resource use, waste), the production process (e.g. logging, pesticides), or proactive corporate activity (e.g. clean energy, recycling). Similarly, social issues are also a common category for these contractors. In the main, the SRI indices benchmark different types of firms hailing from diverse industries and sectors. They adjust their weighting for specific screening criteria as they choose which firms to include (or exclude) from their indices. One of the oldest SRI indices for CSR and Sustainability ratings is the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The companies that are featured in the Dow Jones Indices are analysed by the Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) Group (i.e. a Swiss asset management company). Another popular SRI index is FTSE Russell’s KLD’s Domini 400 Social Index (also known as the KLD400) which partners with the Financial Times on a range of issues. Similarly, the Financial Times partners with an ESG research firm (i.e. EIRES) to construct its FTSE4 Good Index series.

Smaller FTSE Responsible Investment Indices include the Catholic Values Index, the Calvert Social Index, the FTSE4Good indices, and the Dow Jones family of SRI Indices, among others. The KLD400 index screens the companies’ performance on a set of ESG criteria. It eliminates those companies that are involved in non-eligible industries. Impax, a specialist finance house (that focuses on the markets for cleaner or more efficient delivery of basic services of energy, water and waste) also maintain a group of FTSE Indices that are related to environmental technologies and business activities (FTSE Environment Technology and Environmental Opportunities). The Catholic Values Index uses the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines (i.e. positive screening approach) to scrutinise eligible companies (e.g., corporations with generous wage and benefit policies, or those who create environmentally beneficial technologies). This index could also exclude certain businesses trading in “irresponsible” activities. Calvert Group’s Calvert Social Index examines 1,000 of the largest US companies according to their social audit of four criteria: the company’s products, their impact on the environment, labour relations, and community relations. The latter “community relations” variable includes issues such as the treatment of indigenous people, provision of local credit, operations of overseas subsidiaries, and the like. The responsible companies are then featured in the Index when and if they meet Calvert’s criteria. This index also maintains a target economic sector weighting scheme.

Other smaller indices include; Ethibel Sustainability Index for Belgian (and other European) companies and OMX GES Ethical Index for Scandinavian companies, among others. Generally, these SRI indices are considered as investment benchmarks. In a nutshell, SRI Indices have spawned a range of products, including index mutual funds, ETFs, and structured products. A wide array of SRI mutual funds regularly evaluate target companies and manage their investment portfolios. Therefore, they are expected to consider other important criteria such as risk and return targets. For instance, iShares lists two ETFs based on the KLD Index funds, and the Domini itself offers a number of actively managed mutual funds based on both ESG and community development issues (such as impact investments). In addition, there are research and ratings vendors who also manage a series of mutual funds, including Calvert and Domini.

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The Development of Responsible Investing

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Given the growing importance of responsible investing, it could be surprising that there is still no consensus of what the SRI term means to the investors (Sparkes & Cowton, 2004). The roots of the SRI notion can be traced back to various religious movements. Back in 1758, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) prohibited members from participating in the slave trade. At the time, one of the founders of Methodism, John Wesley outlined his basic tenets of social investing. He preached about responsible business practices and to avoid certain industries that could harm the health and safety of workers. Hence, the best-known applications of socially responsible investing were initially motivated by religion (Sparkes, 2003). This may well reflect the fact that the first investors to set ethical parameters on investment portfolios were church investors in the U.K., U.S., and Australia (Sparkes & Cowton, 2004). The churches also played a prominent role in the development of ‘ethical’ investment products (Benijts, 2010; McCann, Solomon & Solomon, 2003; Lydenberg, 2002). Sparkes (2001) defined the ethical investments as the exercise of ethical and social criteria in the selection and management of investment portfolios, generally consisting of company shares. However, he argued that ethical investing could have been more appropriate to describe non-profitmaking bodies such as churches, charities, and environmental groups (rather than companies). The author went on to suggest that value-based organisations applied internal ethical principles to their investment strategies.

Very often the ‘ethical investment’ has been considered as perfectly synonymous with the ‘socially responsible investment’ term including in the dedicated academic journals where one might expect that the concepts are clearly defined (Capelle‐Blancard & Monjon, 2012). Schueth (2003: 189) also noted that ‘the terms social investing, socially responsible investing, ethical investing, socially aware investing, socially conscious investing, green investing, value-based investing, and mission-based or mission-related investing all refer to the same general process and are often used interchangeably’. Likewise, Hellsten & Mallin (2006: 393) have used the terms “ethical investments” and “socially responsible investments” interchangeably. However, it may appear that there seems to be a progressive decline in the use of the term ‘ethics’ within the SRI debate. In part, this may reflect the fact that many people felt uncomfortable about using the word ‘ethical’ to describe investment matters. “Any individual or group who truly care about ethical, moral, religious or political principles should in theory, at least want to invest their money in accordance with their principles” (Miller, 1992, p. 248). The original ‘ethical investors’ were church investment bodies. It is only in the past decades that such a perspective has been explicitly reflected in dedicated SRI retail funds (Sparkes & Cowton, 2004). Since their inception in the U.S. (1971) and in the U.K. (1984) the basic model that was used by SRI retail funds has been to base their ‘ethics’ upon an avoidance approach; whereby, responsible investors avoided having shares in unethical companies (Schepers & Sethi, 2003).

 

SRI has evolved during the political climate of the 1960s as socially concerned investors were increasingly addressing equality for women and minority groups (Schueth, 2003). This time was characterised by activism through boycotts and direct action that has targeted specific corporations (Rojas, M’zali, Turcotte & Merrigan, 2009; Carroll, 1999). Yet, there were also interesting developments, particularly when trade unions introduced their multi-employer pension fund monies to targeted investments. During the 70s, a series of themes ranging from the anti-Vietnam war movement to civil rights, to issues related to equality rights for women, have served to escalate the sensitivity to some issues of social responsibility and accountability. These movements broadened to include management, labour relations and anti-nuclear sentiment. Trade unions also sought to leverage pension stocks for shareholder activism on proxy fights and shareholder resolutions (Guay et al, 2004; Gillan & Starks, 2000; Smith, 1996).

In 1971, Reverend Leon Sullivan (at the time he was board member for General Motors) had drafted a code of conduct for the practicing business in South Africa; which became known as the Sullivan Principles (Wright & Ferris, 1997; Arnold & Hammond, 1994; Sullivan, 1983). However, relevant reports that documented the application of the Sullivan Principles revealed that the US companies did not lessen their discrimination toward the native South African people. Thus, there were US investors as well as large corporations who have decided to divest from these ‘irresponsible’ companies. In 1976, the United Nations has also imposed a mandatory arms embargo against South Africa (Nayar, 1978). The ranks of the socially concerned investors had grown dramatically through the 1980s as millions of people, churches, universities, cities and states were increasingly focusing their pressures on the white minority government (of South Africa) to dismantle the racist system. The subsequent negative flow of investment eventually forced a group of businesses, representing 75% of South African employers, to draft a charter calling for an end to the apartheid. While the SRI efforts alone did not bring an end to discrimination, it has mounted persuasive international pressure on the South African business community.

Advances in the SRI agenda were being made in other contexts. By 1980 presidential candidates; Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown advocated some type of social orientation toward investments in pension funds (Gray, 1983; Barber, 1982). Afterwards in the mid to late 1990s there were health awareness campaigns that effected the tobacco stocks in the US (Krumsiek, 1997). For instance, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) removed more than $237 million in tobacco holdings from its investment portfolio after 6 months of financial analysis and deliberations (Reynolds, Goldberg & Hurley, 2004). Arguably, such a divestment strategy may have satisfied the ethical principal of non-harming, but did not necessarily create a positive social impact (Lane, 2015).

During the late 1990s, SRI had also focused on the sustainable development of the environment (Richardson, 2008; Brundtland, 1989). Many investors started to consider their environmental responsibility following the Bhopal, Chernobyl and Exxon Valdez incidents. The international media began to raise awareness on the global warming and on the ozone depletion (Pienitz & Vincent, 2000). It may appear that the environmental protection and climate change issues were becoming important issues for many responsible investors. However, it may appear that businesses have failed to become more sustainable in their ecological dimension as the human ecological footprint exceeds the Earth’s capacity to sustain life by 60% (Global Footprint Network, 2016). At the same time, global resource consumption and land degradation is constantly impacting on the natural environment; as arable land continues to disappear. Evidently, the world’s growing populations and their increased wealth is inevitably leading to greater demands for limited and scarce resources. These are some of the issues that have become somewhat important rallying points for many institutional investors.

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Responsible Investing: Making a Positive Impact

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Impact investing is one of the fastest growing and promising areas of innovative development finance (Thornley, Wood, Grace & Sullivant, 2011; Freireich & Fulton, 2009). This form of socially-responsible investment (SRI) also has its roots in the venture capital community where investors unlock a substantial volume of private and public capital into companies, organisations and funds – with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

The stakeholders or actors in the impact investing industry can be divided into four broad categories: asset owners who actually own capital; asset managers who deploy capital; demand-side actors who receive and utilise the capital; and service providers who help make this market work.

Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate; depending on the investors’ strategic goals. Bugg-Levine and Emerson (2011) argued that impact investing aligns the businesses’ investments and purchase decisions with their values. Defining exactly what is (and what is not) an impact investment has become increasingly important as it appears that the term has taken off among academia and practitioners.

The impact investments are usually characterised by market organisations that are driven by a core group of proponents including foundations, high-net worth individuals, family offices, investment banks and development finance institutions. Responsible entities are mobilising capital for ‘investments that are intended to create social impact beyond financial returns’ (Jackson, 2013; Freireich & Fulton 2009). Specific examples of impact investments may include; micro-finance, community development finance, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, conservation, micro-finance and affordable and accessible basic services, including; housing, healthcare, education and clean technology among others.

Micro-finance institutions in developing countries and affordable housing schemes in developed countries have been the favorite vehicles for these responsible investments, though impact investors are also beginning to diversify across a wider range of sectors (see Saltuk, Bouri, & Leung 2011; Harji & Jackson 2012). Nevertheless, micro-finance has represented an estimated 50% of European impact investing assets (EUROSIF, 2014). This form of investing has grown to an estimated €20 billion market in Europe alone (EUROSIF, 2014). The Netherlands and Switzerland were key markets for this investment strategy, as they represented an estimated two thirds of these assets. These markets were followed by Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Generally, the investors’ intent is to ensure that they achieve positive impacts in society. Therefore, they would in turn expect tangible evidence of positive outcomes (and impacts) of their capital. Arguably, the evaluation capacity of impact investing could increase opportunities for dialogue and exchange. Therefore, practitioners are encouraged to collaborate, exchange perspectives and tools to strengthen their practices in ways that could advance impact investing. The process behind on-going encounters and growing partnerships could surely be facilitated through conferences, workshops, online communities and pilot projects. Moreover, audit and assurance ought to be continuously improved as institutions and investors need to be equipped with the best knowledge about evaluation methods. Hence, it is imperative that University and college courses are designed, tested and refined to improve the quality of education as well as  professional training and development in evaluating responsible investments.

For evaluation to be conducted with ever more precision and utility, it must be informed by mobilising research and analytics. Some impact investing funds and intermediaries are already using detailed research and analysis on investment portfolios and target sectors. At the industry-wide level, the work of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and IRIS (a catalogue of generally accepted Environmental, Social and Governance – ESG performance metrics) is generating large datasets as well as a series of case studies on collaborative impact investments. Similarly, the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) also issues quarterly analytics reports on companies and their respective funds in industry metrics (Camilleri, 2015).

For the most part, those responsible businesses often convert positive impact-investment outcomes into tangible benefits for the poor and the marginalised people (Garriga & Melé, 2004). Such outcomes may include increased greater food security, improved housing, higher incomes, better access to affordable services (e.g. water, energy, health, education, finance), environmental protection, and the like (Jackson, 2013).

Interestingly, high sustainability companies significantly outperform their counterparts over the long-term, both in terms of stock market and accounting performance (Eccles, Ioannou & Serafeim, 2012). This out-performance is stronger in sectors where the customers are individual consumers, rather than companies (Eccles et al., 2012).

It may be complicated and time-consuming to quantify how enterprises create various forms of humanitarian and environmental value, yet some approaches and analytical tools can help to address today’s societal challenges, including the return on impact investments in social and sustainability projects.

References

Bugg-Levine, A., & Emerson, J. (2011). Impact investing: Transforming how we make money while making a difference. innovations, 6(3), 9-18.
Camilleri, M. A. (2015). Environmental, social and governance disclosures in Europe. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 6(2), 224-242.

Eccles, R. G., Ioannou, I., & Serafeim, G. (2012). The impact of a corporate culture of sustainability on corporate behavior and performance (No. W17950). National Bureau of Economic Research.

EUROSIF (2014). Press Release: 6th Sustainable and Responsible Investment Study 2014. Europe-based national Sustainable Investment Forums. http://www.eurosif.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Press-Release-European-SRI-Study-2014-English-version.pdf (Accessed 14 May 2016).

Freireich, J., & Fulton, K. (2009). Investing for social and environmental impact: A design for catalyzing an emerging industry. Monitor Institute, January.

Garriga, E., & Melé, D. (2004). Corporate social responsibility theories: Mapping the territory. Journal of business ethics, 53(1-2), 51-71.

Harji, K., & Jackson, E. T. (2012). Accelerating impact: Achievements, challenges and what’s next in building the impact investing industry. New York, NY: The Rockefeller Foundation.

Jackson, E. T. (2013). Interrogating the theory of change: evaluating impact investing where it matters most. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 3(2), 95-110.

Saltuk, Y., Bouri, A., & Leung, G. (2011). Insight into the impact investment market: An in-depth analysis of investor perspectives and over 2,200 transactions. New York, NY: J.P. Morgan.

Thornley, B., Wood, D., Grace, K., & Sullivant, S. (2011). Impact Investing a Framework for Policy Design and Analysis. InSight at Pacific Community Ventures & The Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University.

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Creating Shared Value in Tourism and Hospitality

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Excerpt from: Camilleri M.A. (2015) Responsible tourism that creates shared value among stakeholders. Tourism Planning and Development. 13 (2) 219-235. Taylor and Francis. DOI: 10.1080/21568316.2015.1074100 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21568316.2015.1074100


 

The sustainable and responsible environmental practices leverage the tourism enterprises’ performance as innovations can help them improve their bottom-line. This research indicated that the investigated organisations were increasingly pledging their commitment for discretionary investments in environmental sustainability, including; energy and water
conservation, alternative energy generation, waste minimisation, reducing, reusing and recycling policies, pollution prevention, environmental protection, carbon offsetting programmes and the like.

Some of the interviewees have proved that they were truly capable of reducing their operational costs through better efficiencies. Nevertheless, there may be still room for improvement as tourism enterprises can increase their investments in the latest technological innovations. This study indicates that there are small tourism enterprises that still need to realise the business case for responsible tourism (Camilleri, 2015). Their organisational culture and business ethos will have to become attuned to embrace responsible behavioural practices.

The governments may also have an important role to play in this regard. The governments can take an active leading role in triggering responsible behaviours. Greater efforts are required by governments, the private sector and other stakeholders to translate responsible tourism principles into policies, strategies and regulations (Camilleri, 2014).

Governments may give incentives (through financial resources in the form of grants or tax relief) and enforce regulation in certain areas where responsible behaviour is required. The regulatory changes may possibly involve the use of eco-labels and certifications. Alternatively, the government may encourage efficient and timely reporting and audits of sustainability (and social) practices.

The governments may provide structured compliance procedures to tourism enterprises. Responsible tourism practices and their measurement, reporting and accreditation should be as clear and understandable as possible. The governments’ reporting standards and guidelines may possibly be drawn from the international reporting instruments (e.g. ISO, SA, AA and GRI).

Nevertheless, it must be recognised that the tourism industry is made up of various ownership structures, sizes and clienteles. In addition, there are many stakeholder influences, which affect the firms’ level of social and environmental responsibility. Perhaps, 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 create shared value and to move the responsible tourism agenda forward. Therefore, this study’s findings encourage inter-firm collaboration and networking across different sectors of the tourism industry.

There are competitive advantages that may arise from creating and measuring shared value. Evidently, there is more to responsible tourism than, “doing good by doing well”. As firms reap profits and grow, they can generate virtuous circles of positive multiplier effects. This paper has indicated that the tourism enterprises, who engage themselves in responsible and sustainable practices, are creating value for themselves and for society. In conclusion, this research puts forward the following key recommendations for the responsible tourism agenda:

  • Promotion of laudable business processes that bring economic, social and environmental
    value;
  • Encouragement of innovative and creative approaches, which foster the right environment
    for further development and application of sustainable and responsible practices;
  • Enhancement of collaborations and partnership agreements with governments, trade
    unions and society in general, including the marketplace stakeholders;
  • Ensuring that there are adequate levels of performance in areas such as health and
    safety, suitable working conditions and sustainable environmental practices;
  • Increased awareness, constructive communication, dialogue and trust;
  • National governments may create a regulatory framework which encourages and
    enables the implementation of sustainable and responsible behavioural practices by
    tourism enterprises.

 

References

Camilleri, M. (2014). Advancing the sustainable tourism agenda through strategic CSR perspectives. Tourism Planning & Development, 11(1), 42-56.
Camilleri, M.A. (2015) The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility. In Menzel Baker, S. & Mason, M.(Eds.) Marketing & Public Policy as a Force for Social Change Conference. (Washington D.C., 4th June). Proceedings, pp. 8-14, American Marketing Association. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2149.8328 https://www.ama.org/events-training/Conferences/Documents/2015-AMA-Marketing-Public-Policy-Proceedings.pdf

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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’.
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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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The rationale behind ISO26000 – the standard on social responsibility

In 2010, the development of ISO 26000 has represented a milestone in multi-stakeholder standards development that supported the integration of social responsibility into management processes (Toppinen, Virtanen, Mayer & Tuppura, 2015; Hahn, 2013). Yet, ISO 26000 has never been considered as a management standard as its use cannot be certified unlike the earlier ISO standards, such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14001. The certification requirement has not been incorporated into the development and reinforcement process of ISO 26000 because industry representatives were concerned that costly certification requirements could overburden their businesses. Nevertheless, ISO’s work item proposal for organizational social responsibility was intended to accomplish the following issues:

  • Assist organizations in addressing their social responsibilities while respecting cultural, societal, environmental, and legal differences and economic development conditions;
  • Provide practical guidance related to making social responsibility operational;
  • Assist with identifying and engaging with stakeholders and enhancing credibility of reports and claims made about social responsibility;
  • Emphasize performance results and improvement;
  • Increase confidence and satisfaction in organizations among their customers and other stakeholders;
  • Achieve consistency with existing documents, international treaties and conventions, and existing ISO standards;
  • Promote common terminology in the social responsibility field;
  • Broaden awareness of social responsibility;
  • This standard is not intended to reduce government’s authority to address the social responsibility of organizations.

(Arzova, 2009 in Idowu & Filho, 2009; ASQ, n.d.).

ISO 26000 thus aims to help organizations manage their social responsibility. It helps to improve the individuals’ working and living conditions, whilst fostering better opportunities to different organizations as they benchmark their social responsibility efforts. ISO 26000 has the potential to capture the context-specific nature of social responsibility. Even though the standard aims to unify and standardize social responsibility practices, it also acknowledges that organizations have a responsibility to bear as they are expected to address the strategic areas that are relevant to their business (Hahn, 2013; Figge, Hahn, Schaltegger & Wagner, 2002).

Therefore, the ISO 26000 standard provides guidance on the integration of social responsibility into management processes and on matters relating to stakeholder engagement. Its core subjects represent the most essential areas of social responsibility that an organization should take into consideration in order to maximize its contribution to sustainable development. The standard’s goal is to encourage organizations to adopt socially responsible approaches by reviewing their extant operating practices on organizational governance, human rights, labor practices, environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues and community involvement and development (ISO, 2014). ISO 26000 provides guidance on stakeholder identification and engagement, it assists in improving social responsibility communications and it helps to integrate responsible business practices into strategies, systems and processes. Hence, ISO26000 advises the practicing organizations to take into account their varied stakeholders’ interests. The constructive partnerships agreements with multiple stakeholders are beneficial for the potential of effective consensus building, knowledge sharing, interest representation, and achievement of legitimacy (Fransen & Kolk 2007). According to Castka and Balzarova 2008a; p. 276), ‘ISO 26000 aims to assist organizations and their network in addressing their social responsibilities – as they provide practical guidance that is related to operationalizing CSR, identifying and engaging with stakeholders and enhancing credibility of reports and claims made about CSR’. ISO 26000 can be viewed as an approach to CSR that is rooted in a quality management framework. Moratis (2015) has also reiterated the key contents and tenets of ISO 26000 as he examined strategies that could enhance the credibility of the corporations’ social responsibility claims. He argued that the concept of credibility relates to skepticism, trust and greenwashing. Consequently, the organizations that are renowned for their CSR credentials will have a better reputation and image among stakeholders. This will result in significant improvements to the firms’ bottom lines.

Berman, Wicks, Kotha & Jones (1999) suggested that one approach to how organisations approach stakeholder management is based on an instrumental approach (strategic stakeholder management). They held that the organizations’ concern toward stakeholders is motivated by their self-interest as they strive to improve their financial performance. Yet, there were several empirical studies that have often yielded contradictory results about whether social responsibility can bring financial returns (Camilleri, 2012, Orlitzky, Schmidt & Rynes, 2003; McWilliams & Siegel, 2001; Waddock & Graves, 1997; Russo & Fouts, 1997). Nevertheless, an increasing number of studies reported that the social responsible behaviors should be used strategically (Husted & Salazar, 2006). Others argued that social responsibility offers opportunities for market differentiation, as it could be a source of competitive advantage (Russo & Fouts, 1997).

Donaldson and Preston (1995) maintained that social responsibility is not fully driven by commercial factors. Their altruistic social responsibility perspective (or intrinsic stakeholder commitment) approach assumed that organizations have a normative (moral) commitment to advance their stakeholders’ interests. Similarly, Castka and Balzarova (2008a) have proposed an exhaustive list of social responsibility predictors that were drawn from three perspectives: strategic, altruistic and coercive prior to the formulation of ISO26000. They listed ten propositions in relation to social responsibility orientation of organizations or networks, differences in regulatory systems, and the role of governments and national environments.

One of the mechanisms that led to the development of the social responsibility agenda is a pressure of different groups of activists, consumers and non-governmental organizations. For instance, stakeholders may exert pressure over organizations to adopt social and environmental practices that exceed the minimum requirements that are mandated by legislation and regulation (Christmann & Taylor, 2004; Corbett & Kirsch, 2001). Nevertheless, there may be other stakeholders who could generate new societal expectations and consequently lead to new business practices. In fact, it is a very common practice amongst multinational supply chains to use well established codes of conducts that are imposed on others by the most powerful players (Castka and Balzarova, 2008a).

Organizations ought to consider which aspects of social responsibility to invest in (McWilliams & Siegel, 2001). Their social responsibility can include internal aspects (i.e. physical environment, working conditions, communication and transparency parameters) as well as external aspects (community relations, supplier relations, shareholder relations (Kok, Van der Wiele, McKenna, & Brown, 2001). McWilliams & Siegel (2001) held that there is an ideal level of CSR that managers can determine via cost–benefit analyses.

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