This week we mainly highlight some of the interesting articles from a Special Issue of Journal of Business Ethics, 2018, 151(4), on Leadership and the Creation of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Leadership and the Creation of Corporate Social Responsibility: An Introduction to the Special Issue.
Read this introduction for free online
Melanie De Ruiter, Jaap Schaveling, Joanne B. Ciulla, André Nijhof
Journal of Business Ethics, 2018, 151(4), 871–874.
Turning points in leadership in creating CSR
This article uses the life stories approach to leadership and leadership development. Using exploratory, qualitative data from a Forbes Global 2000 and FTSE 100 company, the authors discuss the role of the turning point (TP) as an important antecedent of leadership in corporate social responsibility.
The authors argue that TPs are causally efficacious, linking them to the development of life narratives concerned with an evolving sense of personal identity. Using both a multi-disciplinary perspective and a multi-level focus on CSR leadership, the authors identify four narrative cases. The authors propose that they helped to re-define individuals’ sense of self and in some extreme cases completely transformed their self-identity as leaders of CSR.
Hence, the authors also distinguish the momentous turning point (MTP) that created a seismic shift in personality, through re-evaluation of the individuals’ personal values. The authors argue that whilst TPs are developmental experiences that can produce responsible leadership, the MTP changes the individuals’ personal priorities in life to produce responsible leadership that perhaps did not exist previously. Thus, the authors appropriate Maslow’s (Religions, values and peak experiences, Penguin, New York, 1976, p 77) metaphorical phrase ‘A falling of the veils’ from his discussion of peak and desolation experiences that produce personal growth.
Using a multi-disciplinary literature from social theory (Archer in The reflexive imperative in late modernity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012) moral psychology (Narvaez, in: Narvaez, Lapsley (eds) Personality, identity and character: explorations in moral psychology, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2009) and social psychology (Schwartz, in: Mikulincer, Shaver (eds) Prosocial motives, emotions, and behaviour: the better angels of our nature, American Psychological Association, Washington, 2010), the authors present a theoretical model that illustrates the psychological process of the (M)TP, thus contributing to the growing literature on the microfoundations of CSR.
Read this Open Access article online for free
Christine A. Hemingway and Ken Starkey. 2018. A Falling of the Veils: Turning Points and Momentous Turning Points in Leadership and the Creation of CSR.
Journal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 875–890.
CEO–Top Management Team influences on CSR strategy
In this study, the authors examine the influence of senior leadership on firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR). The authors integrate upper echelons research that has investigated either the influence of the CEO or the top management team (TMT) on CSR.
The authors contend that functional experience complementarity between CEOs and TMTs in formulating and implementing CSR strategy may underlie differentiated strategies in CSR. The authors find that when CEOs who have predominant experience in output functions are complemented by TMTs with a lower proportion of members who have experience in output functions, there is a pronounced effect on the community, product, and diversity dimensions of CSR.
In turn, when output-oriented CEOs are complemented by output-oriented TMTs, the authors observe an effect on the employee relations dimension of CSR. Interestingly, the authors find no influence of CEO-TMT complementarity on the environment dimension of CSR. In general, the empirical results support the relevance of the interaction between CEOs and their TMTs in defining their firms’ CSR profile.
Marko Reimer, Sebastiaan Van Doorn and Mariano L. M. Heyden. 2018. Unpacking Functional Experience Complementarities in Senior Leaders’ Influences on CSR Strategy: A CEO–Top Management Team Approach.
Journal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 977–995.
CSR and ethical leadership affect employees’ socially responsible behaviours
This research investigates the interlinkage between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethical leadership in inducing employees’ socially responsible behaviours (SRBs).
Specifically, building on organisational identification theory and cue consistency theory, the authors develop and test an integrated moderated mediation framework in which employees’ perception of ethical leadership moderates the mediating mechanism between their perceptions of CSR (i.e., perceived CSR–environment and perceived CSR–community), organisational identification, and SRBs (i.e., green and societal behaviours).
The findings highlight the need for consistency between employees’ perceptions of CSR and ethical leadership to foster their propensity to further social good through relationship-building activities with their organisation. The results, which largely verify the theoretical framework, contribute to and have implications for both research and practice.
Kenneth De Roeck and Omer Farooq. 2018. Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Leadership: Investigating Their Interactive Effect on Employees’ Socially Responsible Behaviors.
Journal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 923–939.
Ethical leadership, organic organisational cultures and CSR in social enterprises
While recent studies have increasingly suggested leadership as a major precursor to corporate social responsibility (CSR), empirical studies that examine the impact of various leader aspects such as style and ethics on CSR and unravel the mechanism through which leadership exerts its influence on CSR are scant.
Ironically, paucity of research on this theme is more prevalent in the sphere of social enterprises where it is of utmost importance. With the aim of addressing these gaps, this research empirically examines the interaction between ethical leadership and CSR and, in addition, investigates organic organisational cultures (clan culture and adhocracy culture) as mediators in the above interaction.
To this end, a model was developed and tested on the sample of 350 middle- and top-level managers associated with 28 Indian healthcare social enterprises, using Structural Equation Modeling Analysis, Bootstrapping and PROCESS. Results reveal that ethical leadership both directly and indirectly influences CSR practices.
The indirect influence of ethical leadership involves nurturing clan and adhocracy cultures, which in turn influence CSR. These findings are significant for social enterprise leaders seeking to encourage their organisations’ socially responsible behavior.
Palvi Pasricha, Bindu Singh and Pratibha Verma. 2018. Ethical Leadership, Organic Organizational Cultures and Corporate Social Responsibility: An Empirical Study in Social Enterprises.
Journal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 941–958.
Do firms need environmentally specific transformational leadership?
Previous research reveals that when leaders enact environmentally specific transformational leadership, they positively affect corporate environmental responsibility.
While this research provides important insights into how leaders create and shape corporate environmental responsibility, confidence in the validity of these findings is limited because the psychometric properties of the measurement of environmentally specific transformational leadership has not yet been assessed.
The goal of the current research was to develop and validate a measure of environmentally specific transformational leadership. To this end, four studies were conducted, which together produced a reliable and valid scale from which future research can stem. Theoretical and practical limitations are discussed.
Jennifer L. Robertson. 2018. The Nature, Measurement and Nomological Network of Environmentally Specific Transformational Leadership.
Journal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 961–975.
CEO turnover and CSR performance of French firms
This paper examines the relationship between turnover among chief executive officers (CEOs) and corporate sustainability performance (CSP) by identifying the influence of two major types of succession to the top job (internal or external promotion) and the reasons for change. The model also integrates the firm’s past prioritisation of CSP and the impact of a company’s participation in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
Upper echelons theory and agency theory frameworks are adopted to understand CSP. Using an analysis of panel data for 88 public companies across 13 years in France, the authors find that a change of chief executive has a positive and significant effect on CSP 5 years after the change. This positive effect is stronger when the new CEO is recruited from outside the firm.
The impact on CSP is invariably positive and significant, except for voluntary departures. The arrival of a new CEO affects CSP less when the firm has already achieved a high standard of CSP and participates in the GRI. These results are obtained after controlling CSP determinants already validated in the literature (financial performance, size, profitability, etc.).
The findings show that expectations of CEOs are not solely economic and financial but also concern CSP. In terms of governance, they should prompt shareholders looking to strengthen CSP to choose new CEOs from outside the firm and to encourage the firm to participate in the GRI.
Yohan Bernard, Laurence Godard and Mohamed Zouaoui. 2018. The Effect of CEOs’ Turnover on the Corporate Sustainability Performance of French Firms.
Journal of Business Ethics, 150(4), 1049–1069.