This week we look at which factors give rise to corporate responsibility.
Firm-level determinants of political CSR in emerging economies: Evidence from India
Multinational companies (MNCs) frequently adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities that are aimed at providing ‘public goods’ and influencing the government in policymaking.
Such political CSR (PCSR) activities have been determined to increase MNCs’ socio-political legitimacy and to be useful in building relationships with the state and other key external stakeholders. Although research on MNCs’ PCSR within the context of emerging economies is gaining momentum, only a limited number of studies have examined the firm-level variables that affect the extent to which MNCs’ subsidiaries in emerging economies pursue PCSR.
Using insights from resource dependence theory, institutional theory, and the social capital literature, the authors argue that MNCs’ subsidiaries that are critically dependent on local resources, have greater ties to managers of related businesses and to policymakers, and that those that are interdependent on the MNCs’ headquarters and other foreign subsidiaries, are more likely to be involved in PCSR.
The authors obtain support for their hypotheses using a sample of 105 subsidiaries of foreign firms that operate in India. The findings enhance understanding of the factors that determine MNCs’ political CSR in emerging economies.
Vikrant Shirodkar, Eshani Beddewela and Ulf Henning Richter. 2018. Firm-Level Determinants of Political CSR in Emerging Economies: Evidence from India.
Journal of Business Ethics, 148(3), 673–688.
Public governance and corporate fraud: Evidence from the recent anti-corruption campaign in China
Taking advantage of the China’s recent anti-corruption campaign, the authors attempt to examine the effect of public governance on a firm’s incentive to commit fraud.
Using enforcement actions data from the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) from 2004 to 2014, the authors find that, due to enhanced public governance, firms are less likely to commit fraud in the post-campaign period than in the pre-campaign period. The authors further show that the effect of public governance is more evident in privately held listed firms, in firms with weak legal environment, and in firms in areas with poor local economies.
In addition, the authors find that older CEOs respond less actively to the public governance caused by anti-corruption regulations. This paper offers clear policy implications for business ethics by indicating that public governance provides external monitoring of corporate decisions.
Jian Zhang. 2018. Public Governance and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Recent Anti-corruption Campaign in China.
Journal of Business Ethics, 148(2), 375–396.
Antecedents of adopting corporate environmental responsibility and green practices
This paper examines the antecedents of organisational commitment for adopting corporate environmental responsibility and green practices in the case of the logistics industry in South Korea.
Seven hundred and eighty employees and top management from logistics companies were sampled. The data were analysed using factor analysis, structural equation modelling techniques, and one-way analysis of variance. The results showed that social expectations, organisational support, and stakeholder pressure were the important antecedents for the adoption of corporate environmental responsibility and green practices.
In the path analysis, social expectations had the greatest impact on both stakeholder pressure and green practice adoption. Moreover, the authors found that the higher the job titles were, the more willing they were to adopt green practices. This indicated that the current top management of Korean logistics companies is well aware of being mandated to make a commitment to corporate environmental responsibility and green practices.
Jung Wan Lee, Young Min Kim and Young Ei Kim. 2018. Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Green Practices.
Journal of Business Ethics, 148(2), 397–409.
Sustainability in the face of institutional adversity: Market turbulence, network embeddedness, and innovative orientation
Drawing from research on strategic choice, this study investigates the relationship between market turbulence and firms’ sustainable behaviour, in the context of sustainability-related institutional adversity.
It argues that the relationship between market turbulence and sustainability is mediated by network embeddedness, and this mediating role in turn is moderated by a firm’s innovative orientation. Data collected from a sample of Ontario restaurants inform predictions about firms’ propensity to adopt local wines in their portfolios, despite the limited market and normative support that these wines receive compared with imported wines.
The study shows that market turbulence enhances sustainable firm behaviour, through the development of strong network relationships. Furthermore, the mediating effect of network embeddedness is particularly salient among firms that exhibit a stronger innovative orientation.
These findings reveal how and when turbulent market conditions can contribute to a firm’s sustainable behaviours in the presence of limited institutional support for such behaviours.
Dirk De Clercq, Narongsak Thongpapanl and Maxim Voronov. 2018. Sustainability in the Face of Institutional Adversity: Market Turbulence, Network Embeddedness, and Innovative Orientation.
Journal of Business Ethics, 148(2), 437–455.
Anti-consumption for environmental sustainability: Conceptualisation, review and multilevel research directions
Given the potential that environmentally oriented anti-consumption (EOA) has in achieving environmental sustainability, the authors draw upon marketing, management, environmental, and psychology studies to conceptualise and delimit EOA, differentiating it from other (related but distinct) phenomena.
In addition, the authors review the available literature at the individual (micro) level and summarise research on the antecedents and meanings of broad and specific/strict EOA practices with different targets. Furthermore, the authors propose an agenda for future research, which reflects on EOA not only at the individual (micro) level, but also lays out new opportunities for EOA work at organisational (meso), industry, and national (macro) levels.
The work presented here hopes to spark multilevel research on EOA, its antecedents and consequences, and reactions to EOA phenomena.
Nieves García-de-Frutos, José Manuel Ortega-Egea and Javier Martínez-del-Río. 2018. Anti-consumption for Environmental Sustainability: Conceptualization, Review, and Multilevel Research Directions.
Journal of Business Ethics, 148(2), 411–435.
CSR strategies in response to competitive pressures
Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) a tool for strategic positioning? While CSR is sometimes used as part of a differentiation strategy, this article analyzes which specific CSR strategies arise in response to competitive pressures.
The results suggest that competitive pressures lead firms to increase their positive social actions without necessarily decreasing their social weaknesses. This positive impact varies with specific dimensions of CSR and industry specificities:
(1) Competition improves social performance toward core stakeholders to a greater extent than social performance toward peripheral stakeholders.
(2) This effect is more pronounced in B2C industries than in other industries.
(3) Competition leads firms in “dirty” industries to ignore environmental initiatives.
Marion Dupire and Bouchra M’Zali. 2018. CSR Strategies in Response to Competitive Pressures.
Journal of Business Ethics, 148(3), 603–623.
Effect of self-accountability on self-regulatory behaviour: A quasi-experiment
An individual’s accountability to oneself leads to self-regulatory behaviour. A field experiment afforded an opportunity to test this relation, given that external accountability conditions were absent. A single group pre-test/post-test design was used to test the hypothesis.
A group of full-time resident management students, n ≈ 550, take four meals during the day in the institute mess. As a part of the experiment, food wastage in the form of leftovers on the plates of subjects was measured. As a pre-test, the measurement occurred at two levels. Subjects could see how much they are adding to the total waste by looking at a weighing scale placed under a waste basket, and they could also see the total waste data for each of the four meals for the day and a day earlier displayed at a prominent place.
After 105 days, the weighing scale under the basket was removed, and as a post-test measurement, the total waste data for the four meals were noted down for another 72 days. A manipulation test indicated that the experiment has had the desired effect of invoking self-accountability in subjects during the pre-test phase, and diluting it during the post-test phase.
Time series analysis of pre-test and post-test data indicated that the wastage data decreased in the pre-test phase. However, the post-test waste data showed an increase over a period of time. The results indicate that accountability conditions like social norms invoke self-accountability cognition leading to self-regulatory behaviours in individuals.
Amit Dhiman, Arindam Sen and Priyank Bhardwaj. 2018. Effect of Self-Accountability on Self-Regulatory Behaviour: A Quasi-Experiment.
Journal of Business Ethics, 148(1), 79–97.