A selection of interesting articles we came across recently covering international perspectives on ethics and CSR.

Global ethical values in the public relations industry (worldwide)
Globalization has the potential to create a network society where “there is a common cultural code of values that forms the glue of the network” …. This article explores if common cultural codes of values are emerging in the public relations industry by examining the codes of ethics of 41 professional public relations associations across the world.

The method for the analysis was Centering Resonance Analysis, a textual analysis methodology, that uses linguistics theory to assess main concepts, their influence, and their interrelationships … The research team found that six dominant themes emerged from the codes of ethics of professional communication associations: (1) professionalism, (2) advocacy, (3) moral standards, (4) clients’ interests, (5) expertise, and (6) relationships.

The findings suggest that global values that will influence organizational relationships with publics are emerging in professional communication practice.

Read further in: Maureen Taylor and Aimei Yang. 2015. Have Global Ethical Values Emerged in the Public Relations Industry? Evidence from National and International Professional Public Relations Associations.
Journal of Business Ethics, 130(3), 543-555.


Corporate Social Responsibility in international business (Korean & Japanese MNEs in Indonesia)
Employing Porter and Kramer’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) framework, Park et al. explored the strategic CSR programs of two Korean and two Japanese electronics multinational enterprises (MNEs) in Indonesia. The authors observed that the sample MNEs engage in strategic CSR either through investment in competitive context or the transformation of value chain activities.

In addition, these firms strongly favour strategic CSR over responsive CSR, not just because of the economic benefits offered by the former, but also its advantages in managing the programs and communicating with stakeholders. Furthermore, they have developed varied organisational methods and tend to manage their key CSR programs centrally to effectively link them to the competitive strategy.

Lastly, the results suggest that Korean MNEs have customised their strategic CSR programs for emerging countries more actively than Japanese MNEs. In sum, this analysis elucidates several important features of strategic CSR employed by the MNEs in emerging countries.

Read more in: Young-Ryeol Park, Sangcheol Song, Soonkyoo Choe & Youjin Baik. 2015. Corporate Social Responsibility in International Business: Illustrations from Korean and Japanese Electronics MNEs in Indonesia.
Journal of Business Ethics, 129(3), 747-761.


How does CSR affect customer loyalty? (Spain)
Because previous scholars have offered few comprehensive models to understand the benefits of corporate social responsibility image in terms of customer behaviour, the authors of this paper propose a hierarchy of effects model to study how customer perceptions of the social responsibility of companies influence customer affective and conative responses in a service context. The authors test a structural equation model using information collected directly from 1,124 customers of banking services in Spain.

The findings demonstrate that corporate social responsibility image influences customer identification with the company, the emotions evoked by the company and satisfaction positively. Identification also influences the emotions generated by the service performance and customer satisfaction determines loyalty behaviour. The findings have significant implications for service managers because they demonstrate that there are two paths to explain the satisfaction and loyalty of service customers. The first path is composed of the beliefs and emotions generated by the company at the institutional level. The second path is composed of the thoughts, attitudes, emotions and feelings generated by the company’s services.

Read more in: Andrea Pérez and Ignacio Rodríguez del Bosque. 2015. An Integrative Framework to Understand How CSR Affects Customer Loyalty through Identification, Emotions and Satisfaction.
Journal of Business Ethics, 129(3), 571-584.


How do family firms differ in social and environmental disclosure?  (Italy)
Family firms are ubiquitous and play a crucial role across all world economies, but how they differ in the disclosure of social and environmental actions from non-family firms has been largely overlooked in the literature. Advancing the discourse on corporate social responsibility reporting, the authors examine how family influence on a business organisation affects CSR reporting.

The arguments developed here draw on institutional theory, using a rich body of empirical evidence gathered through a content analysis of the CSR reports of 98 large- and medium-sized Italian firms. The grounded theory analysis informs and contextualises several differences in the type and content of corporate social responsibility reports of family and non-family firms. Findings show that in comparison to non-family firms, family firms disseminate a greater variety of CSR reports, are less compliant with CSR standards and place emphasis on different CSR topics.

The authors conclude that this contributes to the family business and corporate social responsibility reporting literatures in several ways, offering implications for practice and outlining promising avenues for future research.

Further details are available at: Giovanna Campopiano and Alfredo De Massis. 2015. Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Content Analysis in Family and Non-family Firms.
Journal of Business Ethics, 129(3), 511-534.


Is monitoring or trust better in extended responsibility? (Sweden)
In line with the current trend toward sustainability and CSR, organisations are pressured to assume extended responsibility. However, taking such a responsibility requires serious and challenging efforts as it appears to involve a wider range of issues and increased need for close interaction between actors along commodity chains. Using a qualitative case study approach, the present article focuses on Swedish public and private procurement organisations with attention paid to textiles and chemical risks.

It focuses on two crucial aspects of buyers’ relationships with suppliers in their efforts to advance environmental responsibility-taking—monitoring and trust—as well as how they intersect. The aim is to demonstrate, both theoretically and empirically, the limits and possibilities of monitoring and trust for developing extended upstream responsibility. The article demonstrates the problems with, on one hand, simple ritualistic monitoring and, on the other, simple trust, and explores potentially constructive pathways to extended upstream responsibility at the intersection of monitoring and trust.

In connection with the findings, the article argues that theories on responsible and sustainable supply chain management must also take the enormous variety of organisations into account: not only large, private, transnational companies, which the literature has until now been preoccupied with.

Read further in: Magnus Boström. 2015. Between Monitoring and Trust: Commitment to Extended Upstream Responsibility.
Journal of Business Ethics, 131(1), 239-255.