Tag Archives: environment

What is Corporate Citizenship?

The corporate citizenship term was typically used to describe the corporations that can contribute to the ethical, philanthropic and societal goals. Therefore, this notion is rooted in political science as it directs corporations to respond to non-market pressures.

Throughout the years, the corporate citizenship agenda has been wrought from distinctive corporate social responsibility (CSR) theories and approaches. Its conceptual foundations can be found in the CSR literature (e.g., Carroll, 1979), corporate social responsiveness (e.g., Clarkson, 1995), corporate social performance (e.g., Albinger & Freeman, 2000), the theory of the firm” (McWilliams & Siegel, 2001), stakeholder engagement (Strand & Freeman, 2013); and other enlightened ‘self-interest’ theories; as corporate citizenship can be a source of opportunity, innovation and competitive advantage (Camilleri, 2017a, 2017b; Porter & Kramer, 2006). For this reason, this concept continues to receive specific attention, particularly by those responsible businesses that are differentiating themselves through responsible and sustainable behaviours.

 

Literature Review

The multinational corporations (MNCs) have been (and still are) under pressure to exhibit “good corporate citizenship” in every country or market from where they run their business. MNCs are continuously monitored by their stakeholders, including regulatory authorities, creditors, investors, customers and the community at large. They are also being scrutinised by academic researchers. Several empirical studies have explored the individuals’ attitudes and perceptions toward corporate citizenship. Very often, their measurement involved quantitative analyses that investigated the corporations’ responsible behaviours (Camilleri, 2017a; 2017b). Other research has focused on the managerial perceptions about corporate citizenship (e.g., Basu & Palazzo, 2008). A number of similar studies have gauged corporate citizenship by adopting Fortune’s reputation index (Flanagan, O’Shaughnessy, & Palmer, 2011; Melo & Garrido‐Morgado, 2012), the KLD index (Dupire & M’Zali, 2018; Fombrun, 1998; Griffin & Mahon, 1997) or Van Riel and Fombrun’s (2007) Reptrak. Such measures expected the surveyed executives to assess the extent to which their company behaves responsibly toward the environment and the community (Fryxell and Wang, 1994).

Despite the wide usage of such measures in past research, the appropriateness of these indices still remains doubtful. For instance, Fortune’s reputation index failed to account for the multidimensionality of the corporate citizenship construct; as it is suspected to be more significant of management quality than of corporate citizenship (Waddock & Graves, 1997). Fortune’s past index suffered from the fact that its items were not based on theoretical arguments as they did not appropriately represent the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary dimensions of the corporate citizenship construct.

Pinkston and Carroll (1994) identified four dimensions of corporate citizenship, including; orientations, stakeholders, issues and decision-making autonomy. They argued that by observing orientations, one may better understand the inclinations or the posturing behaviours of organisations with respect to corporate citizenship. Pinkston and Carroll (1994) sought to identify the stakeholder groups that are benefiting from the businesses’ corporate citizenship practices. They argued that the businesses’ decision-making autonomy determined at what organisational level they engaged in corporate citizenship. In a similar vein, Griffin and Mahon (1997) combined four estimates of corporate citizenship: Fortune’s reputation index, the KLD index, the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), and the rankings that are provided in the Directory of Corporate Philanthropy.

Singh, De los Salmones Sanchez and Rodriguez del Bosque (2007) adopted a multidimensional perspective on three domains, including; commercial responsibility, ethical responsibility and social responsibility. Firstly, they proposed that the commercial responsibility construct relates to the businesses’ responsibility to develop high quality products and truthful marketing communications of their products’ attributes and features among customers. Secondly, they maintained that ethical responsibility is concerned with the businesses fulfilling their obligations toward their shareholders, suppliers, distributors and other agents with whom they make their dealings. Singh et al. (2007) argued that ethical responsibility involves the respect for the human rights and norms that are defined in the law when carrying out business activities. They hinted that respecting ethical principles in business relationships has more priority than achieving superior economic performance. Their other domain, social responsibility is concerned about with corporate citizenship initiatives that are characterised by the businesses’ laudable behaviors (Camilleri, 2017c). The authors suggest that the big businesses could allocate part of their budget to the natural environment, philanthropy, or toward social works that supported the most vulnerable groups in society. This perspective supports the development of financing social and/or cultural activities and is also concerned with improving societal well-being (Singh et al., 2007).

Conclusion

There are several actors within a society, including the government and policy makers, businesses, marketplace stakeholders and civil society organisations among others (Camilleri, 2015). It is within this context that a relationship framework is required to foster corporate citizenship practices in order to enhance the businesses’ legitimacy amongst stakeholders (Camilleri, 2017; Camilleri, 2018). The corporate citizenship practices including socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices may be triggered by the institutional and/or stakeholder pressures.

 

References

Albinger, H.S. & Freeman, S.J. (2000). Corporate social performance and attractiveness as an employer to different job seeking populations. Journal of Business Ethics, 28(3), 243-253.

Basu, K. & Palazzo, G. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: A process model of sensemaking, Academy of Management Review, 33(1), 122-136.

Camilleri, M. A. (2015). Valuing stakeholder engagement and sustainability reporting. Corporate Reputation Review18(3), 210-222.

Camilleri, M. A. (2017a). Corporate citizenship and social responsibility policies in the United States of America. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 8(1), 77-93.

Camilleri, M. A. (2017b). Corporate Social Responsibility Policy in the United States of America. In Corporate Social Responsibility in Times of Crisis (pp. 129-143). Springer, Cham.

Camilleri, M. A. (2017c). Corporate sustainability and responsibility: creating value for business, society and the environment. Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility2(1), 59-74.

Camilleri, M. A. (2018). Theoretical insights on integrated reporting: The inclusion of non-financial capitals in corporate disclosures. Corporate Communications: An International Journal. 23(4) 567-581.

Carroll, A.B. (1979). A three-dimensional conceptual model of corporate performance. Academy of Management Review, 4(4), 497-505.

Dupire, M., & M’Zali, B. (2018). CSR strategies in response to competitive pressures. Journal of Business Ethics148(3), 603-623.

Flanagan, D. J., O’shaughnessy, K. C., & Palmer, T. B. (2011). Re-assessing the relationship between the Fortune reputation data and financial performance: overwhelming influence or just a part of the puzzle?. Corporate Reputation Review14(1), 3-14.

Fombrun, C.J. (1998). Indices of corporate reputation: An analysis of media rankings and social monitors’ ratings. Corporate Reputation Review, 1(4), 327-340.

Griffin J.J. & Mahon, J.F. (1997). The corporate social performance and corporate financial performance debate twenty-five years of incomparable research. Business & Society, 36(1), 5-31.

McWilliams, A. & Siegel, D. (2001). Corporate social responsibility: A theory of the firm perspective, Academy of Management Review, 26(1), 117-127.

Melo, T., & Garrido‐Morgado, A. (2012). Corporate reputation: A combination of social responsibility and industry. Corporate social responsibility and environmental management19(1), 11-31.

Pinkston, T.S. & Carroll, A.B. (1994). Corporate citizenship perspectives and foreign direct investment in the US. Journal of Business Ethics, 13(3), 157-169.

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard business review84(12), 78-92.

Strand, R. & Freeman, R.E. (2013). Scandinavian cooperative advantage: The theory and practice of stakeholder engagement in Scandinavia, Journal of Business Ethics, 127(1), 65-85.

Singh, J. & Del Bosque, I.R. (2008). Understanding corporate social responsibility and product perceptions in consumer markets: A cross-cultural evaluation. Journal of Business Ethics, 80(3), 597-611.

Van Riel, C.B. & Fombrun, C.J. (2007). Essentials of corporate communication: Implementing practices for effective reputation management, Routledge, Oxford, UK and New York, USA.

Waddock, S.A. & Graves, S.B. (1997). The corporate social performance-financial performance link, Strategic Management Journal, 18(4), 303-319.


This is an excerpt from one of my contributions that will appear in Springer’s Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management.

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Call for chapters: “Advancing the Circular Economy for a Sustainable Future”

Abstract submission deadline: 30th June 2020
Full chapters due: 31st December 2020

The Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) defined sustainable development as; “development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p. 43). Its underlying assumption is that the world’s physical resources are not finite; therefore, they have to be managed responsibly to sustain future generations (Camilleri, 2018a; Camilleri, 2014). Subsequently, the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development has put forward Agenda 21 that dedicated a chapter that was focused on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. This document recommended that the UN’s member states ought to intensify their efforts to reduce the use of scarce resources during production processes, whilst minimising the environmental impacts from the generation of waste and pollution (Camilleri, 2018a; Camilleri, 2014; Agenda 21, 1992).

In 2002, the UN Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development also made reference to unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. The UN’s member states were urged to manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner and with lower negative environmental impacts; by promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, whilst reducing waste (WSSD, 2002, p. 13). Moreover, in another resolution, entitled; “The future we want,” the General Assembly at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing green economy policies in the context of sustainable development. The heads of state and government or their representatives have agreed to continue promoting the integrated and sustainable management of ecosystems, whilst facilitating their conservation, regeneration, and restoration of resources (UNCSD, 2012). Furthermore, during the UN’s General Assembly Resolution of September 25 2015 entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the world leaders have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals that replaced the previous millennium development goals that were established in the year 2000. Specifically, the Sustainable Development Goal 12 of the 2030 agenda, namely, “Sustainable Consumption and Production” explained that there is an opportunity for business and industry to reap economic gains through resource and energy efficiencies. It also raised awareness on the use of sustainable infrastructures and urged the UN member states to address air, water, and soil pollution to minimise their environmental impact (UNDP, 2015). Moreover, the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 21) and Resolutions 1/5 and 2/7 on chemicals and waste, and 2/8 on sustainable production and consumption, as adopted by the first and second sessions of the United Nations Environment Assembly (that was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on the June 27, 2014 and the May 27, 2016), are also considered as important policy instruments for many stakeholders, as they have paved the way for the transition towards the CE strategy.

These intergovernmental policy recommendations on sustainable consumption and production have led to increased regulatory pressures on business and industry towards controlled operations management and environmentally responsible practices.

Relevant theoretical underpinnings reported that the circular economy reduces the reliance on resource extraction and raw materials (Camilleri, 2018b; Camilleri, 2017; Cooper, 1999). Therefore, it restores any damage in resource acquisition by ensuring that little waste is generated throughout the production process and during the products’ life. Liu, Li, Zuo, Zhang, and Wang (2009) explained that the circular economy aims at minimising the generation of waste, as it involves environmental conservation. Similarly, Su, Heshmati, Geng, and Yu (2013) contended that the circular economy strategy involves efficiency‐oriented control systems at all stages of production, distribution, and consumption of materials. They made reference to energy efficiency and water conservation, land management, and soil protection, among other issues. Hence, the circular economy model can lead to resource and energy efficiencies as well as economic development.

In this light, the publisher is calling for theoretical and empirical contributions that are focused on the sustainable production and consumption of resources, materials and products. Therefore, the readers of this publication will be in a better position to understand the operations and strategies in manufacturing industries as well as in closed loop and product-service systems (Camilleri, 2018a). This special issue will include but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Alternative consumption patterns;
  • Assessment and Reporting;
  • Biomass;
  • Clean production;
  • Circular economy;
  • Circular economy business models;
  • Circular economy product designs;
  • Climate change;
  • Climate change policy and adaptation;
  • Closed loop systems;
  • Corporate social responsibility;
  • Corporate sustainability,
  • Eco-efficiency;
  • Eco-industrial parks;
  • Ecological management and natural capital;
  • Education for sustainability;
  • Emissions reduction;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Energy policy;
  • Energy use and consumption;
  • Environmental assessment;
  • Environmental behavior;
  • Environmental economics;
  • Environmental management;
  • Environmental policy;
  • Environmental protection;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • Extended producer responsibility;
  • Footprints and other assessment types;
  • Green/sustainable engineering;
  • Green/sustainable supply chains;
  • Industrial, agricultural and supply chains;
  • Industrial ecology;
  • Life cycle assessment;
  • Pollution reduction;
  • Product-service systems;
  • Recycling Resources;
  • Regional sustainability;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Renewable resource;
  • Resource and energy use;
  • Resource Efficiency;
  • Sustainable consumption;
  • Sustainable production;
  • Sustainable tourism;
  • Urban and regional sustainability;
  • Water conservation;
  • Waste management;
  • Waste minimization;

 

Submission Procedure

Academics and researchers are invited to submit a 300-word abstract before the 30th June 2020. Submissions should be sent to Mark.A.Camilleri@um.edu.mt. Authors will be notified about the editorial decision during July 2020. The accepted chapters should be submitted before the 31st December 2020. The length of the chapters should be around 7,000 words (including references, figures and tables). The references should be presented in APA style (Version 6). All submitted chapters will be critically reviewed on a double-blind review basis. All authors will be requested to serve as reviewers for this book. They will receive a notification of acceptance, rejection or suggested modifications –before the 25th February 2021.

 

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for the publication of the book chapters. All abstracts / proposals should be submitted via the editor’s email.

 

Editor

Prof.  Dr. Mark Anthony Camilleri (Ph.D. Edinburgh)

Department of Corporate Communication,

Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences,

University of Malta, MALTA.

Email: mark.a.camilleri@um.edu.mt

 

Publisher

Following the double-blind peer review process, the full chapters will be submitted to Emerald for final review. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit https://www.emerald.com/insight/. This prospective publication will be released in 2021.

 

References

Agenda 21.1992. United Nations Conference on Environment & Development. Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992. United Nations Sustainable Development. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf.

Camilleri, M. (2014). Advancing the sustainable tourism agenda through strategic CSR perspectives. Tourism Planning & Development11(1), 42-56.

Camilleri, M. A. (2017). Closing the Loop of the Circular Economy for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. In Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management (pp. 175-190). Springer, Cham.

Camilleri, M. A. (2018a). The circular economy’s closed loop and product service systems for sustainable development: A review and appraisal. Sustainable Development27(3), 530-536.

Camilleri, M. A. (2018b). Closing the loop for resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production: A critical review of the circular economy. International Journal of Sustainable Development.21(1-4), 1-17.

Cooper, T. (1999). Creating an economic infrastructure for sustainable product design. Journal of Sustainable Product Design8, 7– 17.

Liu, Q., Li, H. M., Zuo, X. L., Zhang, F. F., & Wang, L. (2009). A survey and analysis on public awareness and performance for promoting circular economy in China: A case study from Tianjin. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17, 265– 270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2008.06.003

Su, B., Heshmati, A., Geng, Y., & Yu, X. (2013). A review of the circular economy in China: Moving from rhetoric to implementation. Journal of Cleaner Production42, 215– 227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.020

UNCSD (2012). Future we want—Outcome document. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 27 July 2012. United Nations General Assembly. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/66/288&Lang=E.

UNDP (2015). Transforming our world. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015 http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/generalassembly/docs/globalcompact/A_RES_70_1_E.pdf.

WCED (1987). Our common future. In World commission on environment and development. Oxford, U.K: Oxford University press.

WSSD (2002). United Nations report of the world summit on sustainable development. Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August‐ 4 September 2002. http://www.un‐documents.net/aconf199‐20.pdf.

 

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Creating Shared Value Leverages the Value Chain

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Socio-economic actions and environmental changes play a vital role in determining the prices of core commodities. Undoubtedly, the availability of commodities can change the dynamics in supply chain relationships. It is in the interest of suppliers to forge fruitful and collaborative working relationships with their customers. For instance, farm workers are demanding bigger shares from the profits of wine producers, coffee makers and the like. In this day and age, businesses will have to look at new ‘shared value’ models as customers are often expecting greater reliability, higher quality, reduced lead times and frequent deliveries from their suppliers.

‘Creating shared value’ needs to address not only value chain requirements but to ensure that programmes are built on joint principles. Of course, many businesses may be genuinely interested in investing in philanthropic initiatives. However, this particular proposition suggests that businesses can leverage themselves as they gain a competitive advantage.  Inevitably, this notion suggests  that there is a need for co-creative and innovative approaches rather than blueprints.

CASE STUDIES

“Take Novartis as an example. They saw a shared value opportunity in selling their pharmaceuticals in rural India, where 70% of the population lives. The obstacle was not the prices they charged but the social conditions in the region: a chronic lack of health-seeking behaviour in the community, healthcare providers with virtually no healthcare training, and tens of thousands of local clinics without a reliable supply chain. Looking through a shared value lens, Novartis saw these social problems as business opportunities: they hired hundreds of community health educators, held training camps for providers, and built up a distribution system to 50,000 rural clinics.

For Novartis, the result was an entirely new business model that is essential to their future. In the coming decade, emerging markets with similar challenges are predicted to account for 75% of the growth in global pharmaceutical sales. For 42 million people in India, the results are access to a vastly improved level of healthcare that neither government nor NGOs were providing.

Or consider Southwire, a US company that manufactures wire and cable in a small town in Georgia. Their machinists were retiring and the local high school, burdened by a 40% dropout rate, wasn’t producing the workforce they needed. So Southwire partnered with the school, opened a factory nearby to employ the most at-risk students, part-time, using attractive wages as an incentive, and mentored their academic performance. Nearly 100% of the students in the Southwire program completed high school, and 1/3 went on to become Southwire employees. And, by the way, that factory near the school generates a million dollar annual profit.

These examples are not examples of corporate social responsibility or sustainability. They are examples of businesses grabbing hold of a social issue that is at the core of their business, and figuring out how to wrap that into their strategy and operations. These companies are using the resources and capabilities of business to solve very specific social problems in ways that are aligned with the company’s strategy, that strengthen its competitive positioning, and that enable it to make more money” (More details are available in the Guardian – Better ways of doing business: Creating Shared Value).

More blogs about “Shared Value” approaches!

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February 5, 2013 · 4:36 pm

Environment and economy on collision course

According to the latest communication from the the World Economic Forum; weak economies coupled with  extreme weather conditions in some places, have brought greater risks and instability in the international markets. In a highly uncertain economic backdrop, the European Union has avoided a euro break-up in 2012. Whereas, the United States stood very close to fall off from its fiscal cliff, merely a week ago. Of course, business leaders and academics are raising their alarm bells as they fear that many politicians and policy makers are not capable of addressing their fundamental problems.

These arguments were mirrored in  the recent ‘Global Risks 2013’ report, which surveyed more than 1,000 chief executives and owner-managers. This report maintained that the industry bosses are more pessimistic about their economic outlook, than how they perceived it a year ago. Unfortunately, many multi-national firms are facing unprecedented wealth gaps and unsustainable government finances in some of the countries, where they carry out their business. In addition, during this year some areas witnessed a marked increase in severe weather conditions, which may have also affected their operations as well as their bottom-line.

This particular report featured an 80-page analysis of risks which are envisaged for the next 10 years. It anticipates the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting, scheduled between January 23rd to 27th. It will be held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. This meeting will once again symbolise the modern globalised world, where business leaders hailing from successful multinational corporations mingle with  politicians and bankers. On the horizon, the economic front indicates that there are some dark clouds which are causing some euro-zone uncertainty. The report suggested that, “the associated risks of  systemic financial failure are limited, yet they cannot be completely discarded”. It transpires that there are rising concerns in the environmental issues, particularly about the greenhouse gas emissions. Apart from the strict European standards, the failure to adapt to climate change is being perceived as the biggest challenge for sustainability.

For instance, superstorm Sandy created havoc and unnecessary costs on the US east coast, in October. This year, the temperatures in China chilled to a 28-year low. Today, south eastern Australia battled scores of wildfires in heat-wave conditions. It goes without saying that slack resources will have to be dedicated to mitigate the rising risk from severe and unforeseen weather conditions. As a consequence, our well-being and the global prosperity of our future generations may be threatened.

Interestingly, on this occasion the theme in Davos has been dubbed, “resilient dynamism”. Inevitably, the governments and the businesses will have to come up with reasonable strategies and approaches to ensure that critical systems continue to respond to such contingencies. Essentially, the regulatory authorities and the business practitioners are expected to successfully weather the economic and environmental storms.

(source: http://reports.weforum.org/global-risks-2013/risk-case-1/testing-economic-and-environmental-resilience/)

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