Tag Archives: stakeholder engagement

Corporate Governance Regulatory Principles and Codes

The corporate governance principles have initially been articulated in the “Cadbury Report” (Jones and Pollitt, 2004) and have also been formalised in the “Principles of Corporate Governance” by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Camilleri, 2015a; Lazonick and O’Sullivan, 2000). Both reports have presented general principles that help large organisations in corporate governance decisions. Subsequently, the federal government in the United States enacted most of these principles that were reported in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 (Abbott, Parker, Peters and Rama, 2007). Different governments and jurisdictions have put forward their very own governance recommendations to stock exchanges, corporations, institutional investors, or associations (institutes) of directors and managers, sometimes with the support of intergovernmental organisations. With regards to social and employee related matters, large organisations could implement ILO conventions that promote fair working conditions for employees (Fuentes-García, Núñez-Tabales and Veroz-Herradón, 2008). The corporate disclosure of non-financial information can include topics such as; social dialogue with stakeholders, information and consultation rights, trade union rights, health and safety and gender equality among other issues (EU, 2014). The compliance with such governance recommendations is usually not mandated by law. Table 1 presents a selection of corporate governance principles:

 

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Most of these principles have provided reasonable recommendations on sound governance structures and processes. In the main, these guidelines outlined the duties, responsibilities and rights of different stakeholders. In the pre-globalisation era, non-shareholding stakeholders of business firms were in many cases sufficiently protected by law and regulation (Schneider and Scherer, 2015). In the past, the corporate decisions were normally taken in the highest echelons of the organisation. The board of directors had the authority and power to influence shareholders, employees and customers, among others. Sharif and Rashid (2014) suggested that non-executive directors had a positive impact on the CSR reporting. Moreover, Lau, Liu and Liang (2014) examined how board composition, ownership, and the composition of the top management team could influence corporate social performance. However, with the diminution of public steering power and the widening of regulation gaps, these assumptions have become partly untenable (Lau et al., 2014). In many cases, stakeholders of business firms lack protection by nation state legislation. Notwithstanding, with the inclusion of stakeholders, corporate governance may compensate for lacking governmental and regulatory protection and could contribute to the legitimacy of business firms (Miller and del Carmen Triana, 2009). Schneider and Scherer (2015) argued that the inclusion of stakeholders in organisational decision processes on a regular basis can be regarded as the attempt of business firms to address the shortcomings of a shareholder-centred approach to corporate governance. The casual consultation with stakeholders is often characterised by unequal power relations (Banerjee, 2008).

Previous research may have often treated the board as a homogeneous unit. However, at times there could be power differentials within boards (Hambrick, Werder and Zajac, 2008). Boards are often compared to other social entities, in that they possess status and power gradations. Obviously, the chief executive will have a great deal of power within any organisation. In addition, the directors may include current executives of other firms, retired executives, representatives of major shareholders, representatives of employees and academics. Who has the most say? Is it the directors who hold (or represent) the most shares or does it reflect the directors’ tenures? Alternatively, it could be those who hold the most prestigious jobs elsewhere, or the ones who have the closest social ties with the chairman. These power differentials within top management teams could help to explain the firms’ outcomes. Ultimately, the board of directors will affect processes and outcomes.

A more macro perspective on informal structures opens up new questions regarding the roles of key institutional actors in influencing the public corporation (Hambrick, Werder and Zajac, 2008). Although researchers have long been aware of different shareholder types, there has been little consideration of the implications of shareholder heterogeneity for the design and implementation of governance practices. Managers and shareholders, as well as other stakeholders, have wide variations of preferences within their presumed categories. For instance, there are long-term- and short-term-oriented shareholders, majority and minority shareholders, and active and passive shareholders. In addition, the rise of private equity funds have created a whole new shareholder category, which is becoming more and more influential. The idea of heterogeneity within stakeholder categories, including diversity among equity shareholders, will become a popular topic in future governance research (Miller and del Carmen Triana, 2009). Growing shareholder activism raises questions that could have been overlooked in the past. Who runs, and who should run the company? Corporate governance does not begin and end with principals, agents, and contracts. Beyond the obvious roles of regulatory authorities and stock exchanges, we are witnessing an increasing influence from the media, regulatory authorities, creditors and institutional investors, among others. These various entities may have a substantial effect on the behaviours of executives and boards of public companies. Arora and Dharwadkar (2011) had suggested that effective corporate governance could discourage violation of regulations and standards. Jizi, Salama, Dixon, Stratling (2014) examined the impact of corporate governance, with particular reference to the role of board of directors, on the quality of CSR disclosure in US listed banks’ annual reports after the US sub-prime mortgage crisis. Jizi et al. (2014) implied that the larger boards of directors and the more independent ones are in a position to help to promote both shareholders’ and other stakeholders’ interests. They found that powerful CEOs may promote transparency about banks’ CSR activities for reputational concerns. Alternatively, the authors also pointed out that this could be a sign of managerial risk aversion.

Recently, many businesses have linked executive pay to non-financial performance. They tied executive compensation to sustainability metrics such as greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, energy efficiency goals and water stewardship, in order to improve their financial and non-financial performance (CERES, 2012). Interestingly, the latest European Union (EU) Directive 2014/95/EU on non-financial disclosures EU directive has encouraged corporations and large undertakings to use relevant non-financial key performance indicators on environmental matters including; greenhouse gas emissions, water and air pollution, the use of (non) renewable energy and on health and safety (Camilleri, 2015b).

References

Abbott, L. J., Parker, S., Peters, G. F., and Rama, D. V. (2007). Corporate governance, audit quality, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Evidence from internal audit outsourcing. The Accounting Review, 82(4), 803-835.

Arora, P., and Dharwadkar, R. (2011). Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR): The moderating roles of attainment discrepancy and organization slack. Corporate governance: an international review, 19(2), 136-152.

Banerjee, S.B. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly. Critical sociology, 34(1), 51-79.

Camilleri, M. A. (2015a). Valuing stakeholder engagement and sustainability reporting. Corporate Reputation Review, 18(3), 210-222.

Camilleri, M. A. (2015b). Environmental, social and governance disclosures in Europe. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 6(2), 224-242.

CERES (2012). Executive compensation tied to ESG performance. The CERES roadmap for sustainability. http://www.ceres.org/roadmap-assessment/progress-report/performance-by-expectation/governance-for-sustainability/executive-compensation-tied-to-esg-performance-1 accessed on the 2nd February 2016.

EU (2014). EU adopts reporting obligations for human rights and other “non-financial” information. Lexology http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=41edd30b-e08c-4d26-ba6f-b87158b5ee85 accessed on the 10th February 2016.

Fuentes-García, F. J., Núñez-Tabales, J. M. and Veroz-Herradón, R. (2008). Applicability of corporate social responsibility to human resources management: Perspective from Spain. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(1), 27-44.

Hambrick, D. C., Werder, A. V. and Zajac, E. J. (2008). New directions in corporate governance research. Organization Science, 19(3), 381-385.

Jizi, M. I., Salama, A., Dixon, R. and Stratling, R. (2014). Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility disclosure: Evidence from the US banking sector. Journal of Business Ethics, 125(4), 601-615.

Jones, I., and Pollitt, M. (2004). Understanding how issues in corporate governance develop: Cadbury Report to Higgs Review. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 12(2), 162-171.

Lau, K. L. A. and Young, A. (2013). Why China shall not completely transit from a relation based to a rule based governance regime: a Chinese perspective. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 21(6), 577-585.

Lazonick, W., and O’sullivan, M. (2000). Maximizing shareholder value: a new ideology for corporate governance. Economy and society, 29(1), 13-35.

Miller, T. and del Carmen Triana, M. (2009). Demographic diversity in the boardroom: Mediators of the board diversity–firm performance relationship. Journal of Management studies, 46(5), 755-786.

Schneider, A. and Scherer, A. G. (2015). Corporate governance in a risk society. Journal of Business Ethics, 126(2), 309-323.

Sharif, M. and Rashid, K. (2014). Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting: an empirical evidence from commercial banks (CB) of Pakistan. Quality & Quantity, 48(5), 2501-2521.

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Call for Chapters on CSR

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

 

 

Introduction

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

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

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

 

Objective

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Target Audience

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

 

Recommended Topics

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

 

Submission Procedure

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

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

 

Publisher

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

Important Dates

January 31, 2016: Proposal Submission Deadline

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

 

For Further Inquiries:

Mark Anthony Camilleri, Ph.D.

Department of Corporate Communication

Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences

Room 603, MaKS Building

University of Malta

Msida, MSD2080

MALTA

Tel: +356 2340 3742

Mob: +356 79314808

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

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Social responsibility policies in the USA

 

mapImage by newmediatraffic.com

 

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

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

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

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Responsible tourism that creates shared value among stakeholders

SV tourism

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21568316.2015.1074100

Abstract: This paper maintains that responsible tourism practices can be re-conceived strategically to confer competitive advantage. It looks at the extant literature surrounding the notions of “responsible tourism” and “shared value”. A qualitative research involved in-depth, semi-structured interview questions to discover the tourism and hospitality owner–managers’ ethos for responsible tourism. Secondly, telephone interviews were carried out with tourism regulatory officials. The findings have revealed that discretionary spending in socially and environmentally sound, responsible policies and initiatives can create shared value among tourism enterprises and their stakeholders. In a nutshell, this paper indicates that responsible tourism led to improved relationships with social and regulatory stakeholders, effective human resources management, better market standing, operational efficiencies and cost savings, along with other benefits.

To cite this article:

M. A. Camilleri (2015): Responsible tourism that creates shared value among stakeholders, Tourism Planning & Development, DOI: 10.1080/21568316.2015.1074100

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CSR 2.0 – A Conceptual Framework For Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

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

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

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

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

 

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

References

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

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Responsible Tourism that Creates Shared Value Among Stakeholders

Excerpt from the paper entitled; “Responsible Tourism that Creates Shared Value among Stakeholders” This contribution will shortly be published by  Tourism Planning and Development Journal.

This study revealed how different tourism organisations were engaging in responsible behaviours with varying degrees of intensity and success. It has identified cost effective and efficient operations. There was mention of some measures which enhance the human resources productivity. Other measures sought to reduce the negative environmental impacts. At the same time, it was recognised that it was in the businesses’ interest to maintain good relations with different stakeholders, including the regulatory ones.

rtThe researcher believes that responsible tourism can truly bring a competitive advantage when there are fruitful communications and continuous dialogue among all stakeholder groups (including the employees, customers, marketplace and societal groups). The tourism enterprises ought to engage themselves in societal relationships and sustainable environmental practices (Chiu, Lee and Chen, 2014). The tourism owner-managers admitted that responsible behaviours have brought reputational benefits, enhanced the firms’ image among external stakeholders and led to a favourable climate of trust and cooperation within the company. Similar findings were reported by Nunkoo and Smith (2013). This study reported that a participative leadership boosts employee morale and job satisfaction which may often lead to lower staff turnover and greater productivity in the workplace (Davidson et al., 2010). Evidently, stakeholder relationships are needed to bring external knowledge sources, which may in turn enhance organisational skills and performance (Frey and George, 2010).

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. Booyens (2010) also reiterated that greater efforts are required by governments, the private sector and other stakeholders to translate responsible tourism principles into policies, strategies and regulations. 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-label 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).

This research posits that sustainable and responsible environmental practices leverage the tourism enterprises performance as innovations can help to improve their bottom-line. This finding was also consonant with Bohdanowicz’s (2006) contribution. This research indicated that the investigated enterprises 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. Indeed, 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. Their organisational culture and business ethos will have to become attuned to embrace responsible behavioural practices.

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 (Carroll and Shabana, 2010). Acquiring new knowledge must be accompanied by mechanisms for dissemination. 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.

“…responsible behaviours have brought reputational benefits, enhanced the firms’ image among external stakeholders and led to a favourable climate of trust and cooperation within the company”.

This contribution contends that the notion of shared value is opening up new opportunities for responsible tourism and the sustainability agenda, particularly with its innovative approach to configure the value chain (Pfitzer, et al, 2013; Porter and Kramer 2011). 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’ (Garay and Font, 2012). 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.


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Environmental, Social and Governance Disclosures in Europe

Excerpt from: Camilleri, M. (2015). Environmental, social and governance disclosures in Europe. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 6(2). http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/SAMPJ-10-2014-0065

 

Last year, the European Union (EU) announced its new guidelines on non-financial reporting that will only apply to some large entities with more than 500 employees. This includes listed companies as well as some unlisted companies; such as banks, insurance companies and other companies that are so designated by member states; because of their activities, size or number of employees. There are approximately 6,000 large companies and groups within the EU bloc (EU, 2014).  The most prevalent reporting schemes in the EU were often drawn from; the G3 Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). In addition, several platforms and organisations that promote corporate sustainability reporting have developed partnerships with AccountAbility, OECD, UNEP, Carbon Disclosure Project and with many governments and sector organisations (Van Wensen et al., 2011; Kolk, Levy & Pinkse, 2008).

 

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When one explores the key topics that companies reported on, it transpired that carbon emission disclosures have become quite a common practice (Kolk et al., 2008). Moreover, recently there was an increased awareness on the subject of human rights and the conditions of employment (Lund-Thomsen & Lindgreen, 2013). Curiously, online reporting has offered an opportunity for accountability and transparency as information is easily disseminated to different stakeholders (Zadek, Evans & Pruzan, 2013). This has inevitably led to increased stakeholder engagement, integrated reporting and enhanced external verification systems. This subject has also been reported by Simnett and Huggins (2015), who have also presented a number of interesting research questions which could possibly be addressed through engagement research. At this point in time, stakeholders are considering reporting schemes as a valuable tool that can improve the quality of their reporting, particularly as it enables them to benchmark themselves with other companies (Adams, Muir & Hoque, 2014). The GRI is often regarded as ‘a good starting point’ for this purpose. Moreover, the provision of a UNGC communication on progress is a new global trend that has become quite popular among business and non-profit organisations. Some of the European organisations are gradually disclosing environmental information or certain other key performance indicators that are of a non-financial nature in their reporting (Zadek et al., 2013). Generally, public policies are often viewed as part of the regular framework for social and employment practices. Therefore, a considerable commitment is made by local governments who act as drivers for stakeholder engagement (Albareda, Lozano, Tencati, Middtun & Perrini, 2008).

 

One way to establish a CSR-supporting policy framework is to adopt relevant strategies and actions in this regard. Such frameworks may be relevant for those countries that may not have a long CSR tradition or whose institutions lack accountability and transparency credentials (Zadek et al., 2013). It may appear that EU countries are opting for a mix of voluntary and mandatory measures to improve their ESG disclosure. While all member states have implemented the EU Modernisation Directive, they have done so in different ways. While the Modernisation Directive ensured a minimum level of disclosure, it was in many cases accompanied by intelligent substantive legislation. National governments ought to give guidance or other instruments that support improvements in sustainability reporting. Lately, there was a trend towards the development of regulations that integrate existing international reporting frameworks such as the GRI or the UNGC Communication on Progress. These frameworks require the engagement of relevant stakeholders in order to foster a constructive environment that brings continuous improvements in ESG disclosures. Regular stakeholder engagement as well as strategic communications can bring more responsible organisational behaviours (Camilleri, 2015). Many corporate businesses use non-governmental organisations’ regulatory tools, processes and performance-oriented standards with a focus on issues such as labour standards, human rights, environmental protection, corporate governance and the like. Nowadays, stakeholders, particularly customers expect greater disclosures, accountability and transparency in corporate reports.

 

At the moment, we are witnessing regulatory pressures for mandatory changes in CSR reporting. Of course, firms may respond differently to reporting regulations as there are diverse contexts and realities. In a sense, this paper reiterates Adams et al.’s (2014) arguments as it indicated that ESG disclosures are a function of the level of congruence between the government departments’ regulatory environment and the use of voluntary performance measures. Somehow, EU regulatory pressures are responding to energy crises, human rights matters and are addressing the contentious issues such as resource deficiencies including water shortages. Notwithstanding, big entities are also tackling social and economic issues (e.g. anti-corruption and bribery) as they are implementing certain environmental initiatives (e.g. waste reduction, alternative energy generation, energy and water conservation, environmental protection, sustainable transport et cetera). In this light, there are implications for practitioners and assurance providers of integrated reports, standard setters and regulators (Simnett & Huggins, 2015). Future engagement research can possibly consider how report content and reporting formats, might impact on organisations’ decision making (Correa and Larrinaga, 2015). This paper indicated that practice and policy issues would benefit from additional empirical evidence which analyse how the European disclosure regulations may positively or adversely affect the corporations’ stakeholders.

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/SAMPJ-10-2014-0065

 

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National Governments’ Regulatory Roles in Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

The governments are usually considered as the main drivers of CSR policy. However, there are other actors within society, such as civil organisations and industry. It is within this context that a relationship framework has been suggested by Mendoza (1996) and Midttun (2005). Inevitably, it seems that there was a need for a deeper understanding of the governments’ role and function in promoting CSR. Societal governance is intrinsically based on a set of increasingly complex and interdependent relationships. There are different expectations and perceptions within each stakeholder relationship, which have to be addressed to develop an appropriate CSR policy. Essentially, this relational approach is based on the idea that recent changes and patterns affecting the economic and political structure may transform the roles and capacities of various social agents (Albareda et al., 2009). The exchange relationships among different actors and drivers which are shaping CSR policy and communications are featured hereunder in Figure 1.

Figure 1

According to Golob et al. (2013) CSR communication is concerned with the context / environment within which CSR communication practices take place. The authors went on to say that it is necessary to observe CSR communication processes between organisations, (new) media and stakeholders. Apparently, several governments have chosen to draw business further into governance issues without strictly mandating behaviour and specifying penalties for non compliance. For example, the UK government’s Department Innovation and Skills, DBIS website states: “The government can also provide a policy and institutional framework that stimulates companies to raise their performance beyond minimum legal standards. Our approach is to encourage and incentivise the adoption of CSR, through best practice guidance, and where appropriate, intelligent (soft) regulation and fiscal incentives”, (DBIS, 2013).

Similarly, in the context of high unemployment levels and social exclusion in Denmark, Ms Karen Jesperson, the Minister of Social Affairs (2003) had unveiled the campaign entitled, “It concerns us all”, which drew attention to the ways in which CSR could assist in addressing public policy problems (Boll, 2005). In a similar vein, the Swedish governments’ CSR initiative had called on the companies’ commitment in upholding relevant international standards. In Australia, the former prime minister, John Howard had formed the Business Leaders’ Roundtable as a means of encouraging business leaders to think about how they could assist government in solving the social problems (Crane et al., 2009). Arguably, the governments can facilitate CSR implementation by setting clear frameworks which guide business behaviour, establishing non-binding codes and systems, and providing information about CSR to firms and industries. For instance, the UK and Australian governments came up with the notion of CSR as a response to mass unemployment. They set public policies which have encouraged companies to engage in CSR practices by providing relevant work experience and training opportunities to job seekers (see Moon and Richardson 1985, Moon and Sochacki, 1996). Similarly, the EU institutions have frequently offered trainee subsidies and grants for education, including vocational training for the companies’ human resources development (EU, 2007). Governments’ role is to give guidance on best practice. Japan is a case in point, where there are close relationships between government ministries and corporations. The firms in Japan report their CSR practices as they are required to follow the suggested framework of the Ministry of Environment (Fukukawa and Moon, 2004). Apparently, there is scope for the respective governments to bring their organisational, fiscal and authoritative resources to form collaborative partnerships for CSR engagement. National governments may act as a catalyst in fostering responsible behaviours.

For instance, India has taken a proactive stance in regulating CSR as it enforced corporate spending on social welfare (India Companies Act, 2013). With its new Companies Bill, India is pushing big businesses to fork out at least two per cent of their three year annual average net profit for CSR purposes. Clause 135 of this bill casts a duty on the Board of Directors to specify reasons for not spending the specified amount on CSR (EY, 2013). It mandates companies to form a CSR committee at the board level. The composition of the CSR committee has to be disclosed in the annual board of directors’ report. The board will also be responsible for ensuring implementation of CSR action plan. The annual Director’s Report has to specify reasons in case the specific amount (2% of the Profit after Tax) has not been utilised adequately. IB (2014) has recently estimated that around 8,000 companies in India will be shortly accounting for CSR-related provisions in their financial statements. These provisions would closely translate to an estimated discretionary expenditure between $1.95 billion to $2.44 billion for CSR activities. In a similar vein, the European Parliament passed a vote to require mandatory disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies and groups on a ‘report or explain’ basis. This vote amended Directive 2013/34/EU and affects all European-based ‘Public Interest Entities’ (PIEs) of 500 employees or more as well as parent companies (EU, 2014).

 

This is an extract of a paper that will appear in the Corporate Reputation Review, Vol. 18 (2).

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Generating Synergistic Value for Business and Society

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Synergistic value integrates insights from the stakeholder theory [1] [2] [3] and the resource based view theory [4] [5].

The stakeholder theory [1] provides opportunities to align business practices with societal expectations and sustainable environmental needs. Businesses ought to reconcile disparate stakeholders’ wants and needs (e.g. employees, customers, investors, government, suppliers etc.). Firms can create synergistic value opportunities by forging alliances with internal and external stakeholders.  This may lead to an improvement in mutual trust and understanding. As a result, there are also benefits for corporate reputation, brand image, customer loyalty and investor confidence. This societal engagement also responds to third party pressures, it lowers criticisms from the public and minimises regulatory problems by anticipating legal compliance.

The synergistic value model [6] as featured in Figure 1. presents the potential effect of the government’s relationship on the organisation’s slack resources. Moreover, scarce resources are a facilitator for quality and innovation. Therefore, discretionary expenditures in laudable practices may result in strategic CSR [7] outcomes  including; effective human resources management, employee motivation, operational efficiencies and cost savings (which often translate in healthier financial results) [6]. business-comment_05_temp-1359037349-510143a5-620x348(source: Camilleri, 2012)

This promising notion suggests that there is scope for governments in their capacity as regulators to take a more proactive stance in promoting responsible behaviours. They can possibly raise awareness of social and sustainable practices through dissemination of information; the provision of training programmes and continuous professional development for entrepreneurs [6]. They may assist businesses by fostering the right type of environment for responsible behaviours; through various incentives (e.g. grants, tax relief, sustainable reporting guidelines, frequent audits et cetera) [6].

 

Synergistic value implies that socially responsible and environmentally-sound behaviours will ultimately bring financial results – as organisational capabilities are positively linked to organisational performance. Synergistic value is based on the availability of slack resources, stakeholder engagement and regulatory intervention which transcend strategic CSR benefits for both business and society.

References:

[1] Freeman, E.E. (1994). The Politics of Stakeholder Theory: Some Future Directions Business Ethics Quarterly, 4(4), 409

[2] Jones, T. M. (1995). Instrumental stakeholder theory: A synthesis of ethics and economics. Academy of Management Review, 20(2), 404–437.

[3] Donaldson, T., and Preston, L. E. (1995). The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, Evidence and implications. Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65–91.

[4] Orlitzky, M., Siegel, D. S. and Waldman, D. A. (2011). Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability. Business & Society, 50(1), 6-27.

[5]McWilliams, A. and Siegel, D. 2011. Creating and capturing value: Strategic corporate social responsibility, resource-based theory and sustainable competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 37(5), 1480-1495.

[6] Camilleri, M. A. (2012). Creating shared value through strategic CSR in tourism.. University of Edinburgh. https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/6564 accessed 10th July 2014.

[7] Werther, W. and Chandler, D. (2006). Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders in a Global Environment. London: Sage Publications.

[8] Porter, M. E. and Kramer, M.R. (2011) Creating shared value. Harvard business review 89.1/2 (2011): 62-77.

 

Links:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131010/business-comment/Unleashing-shared-value-through-content-marketing.489766

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130523/business-comment/Leveraging-organisational-performance-through-shared-value-propositions.470940

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130124/business-comment/Creating-shared-value-for-long-term-sustainability.454548

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Developing Social Marketing Plans

Corporate Social Marketing differs from other marketing activities as it focuses on responsible behaviours that help society and the environment. This contribution suggests that there are many benefits for businesses who carry out laudable initiatives. Social marketing raises the businesses’ profile as it strengthens the brands’ positioning relative to others. It improves the financial performance of firms, especially if it supports the firms’ marketing goals and objectives.

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Of course there may be many cynics among stakeholders (including customers) who view social marketing campaigns as none of your business. Therefore, developing and supporting social marketing campaigns will surely involve more than writing a cheque.

Businesses ought to pick an issue which is closely related to their individual organisation’s core business. The organisation’s resources and the corporate marketing strategies should focus on initiatives that have the potential for long-term sustainability. In addition, every member of staff should be encouraged to engage in socially and environmentally responsible behaviours. Perhaps, there is also scope in forging alliances with the public sector and non-profit organisations. Such external stakeholders can possibly provide relevant expertise, credibility and extended reach into promising customers. For instance, non-governmental organisations can easily identify the needs and wants of the communities around businesses. Finally, strategic marketing entails sequential planning processes which will involve consumer and competitive research as well as the effective utilisation of marketing mix tools.

A cohesive approach is necessary to ensure successful results. Therefore, the following steps and principles are highly commendable for the successful implementation of social marketing plans which will eventually reap fruit in the long term:

  1. Determine a vision for social behaviour: Who is the main sponsor of this concerted effort? What is the purpose of doing this? What social and environmental issue(s) will the plan address and why?
  2. Conduct a situation analysis, which triggers a SWOT analysis: What are the internal strengths and weaknesses? What are the external opportunities and threats?
  3. Segmenting target audiences: Which individuals and/or organisations in the community have the greatest need? Are these potential segments readily accessible?
  4. Set behavioural objectives and change management goals: A key success factor is the setting of specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) objectives that become the core of campaign effort.
  5. Determine potential pitfalls to behaviour change: Perform a cost-benefit analysis of the desired behaviour. At this stage that it is also necessary to look at the competitors’ behaviours. The target audiences can also change their attitudes and perceptions about products and services over time.
  6. Draft a positioning statement: Are the businesses’ target audiences valuing socially and environmentally responsible behaviour?
  7. Develop the marketing mix, marketing strategies and tactics: Businesses need to respond to the barriers (and motivations) that target audiences may have. Some customers may be sceptical of the businesses real intentions. A few issues to consider in each of the 4Ps include: (i) Product – provide tangible products or services in the social marketing campaign, ones that will add value to the brand. (ii) Price – non-monetary forms of recognition can add value to the exchange transaction.(iii) Place – look for ways to enhance the distribution of the product (or service) by reaching out to the desired target market in a convenient way.    (iv) Promotion – develop marketing communication messages prior to selecting media channels. Messages have to be clear, understandable and relevant to particular target audiences .
  8. Develop a plan for evaluation and monitoring: Evaluation of target segments. Where there any behavioural changes in customers? Is the social marketing campaign successful?
  9. Allocate budgets and find additional funding sources: There may be scope in corporate partnerships (for philanthropy) with all sectors in society: e.g. public agencies, non-profit organisations, foundations and special interest groups.
  10. Complete an implementation plan: A three to five year plan may be required to educate staff, dedicate financial resources for infrastructures, change attitudes and perceptions to support behavioural change.

Also Published by the Times of Malta (18th July 2013)

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