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Effects of corporate sustainability practices on performance: the case of the MENA region

Raed El-Khalil (Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)
Abdul-Nasser El-Kassar (Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 2 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability focuses on the effect of present actions on societies, environments and ecosystems of the future. The purpose of this paper is to discover to what extent the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region corporations carry out various aspects of corporate sustainability. This paper studies corporate sustainability practices and examines the association between corporate sustainability practices and performance in the MENA region.

Design/methodology/approach

A thorough literature review was conducted. The findings indicate six key categories/constructs that can be used as indicators for measuring corporate sustainability and performance. Based on the literature review, a theoretical framework was constructed and tested. Data for this quantitative and explanatory study were obtained through a self-administered survey which was distributed to senior managers at corporations in the MENA region.

Findings

The findings of this study show that the corporations operating in the MENA region are underachieving in all aspects of sustainability except for the energy management facet. Larger-sized companies tend to be more involved in corporate sustainability practices in the categories of internal and external education, external health and resources and energy management. This study finds the existence of a strong positive relationship between each sustainability category and each performance category.

Originality/value

Most studies on sustainability focus on North America, Europe and East Asia, not the MENA region. The findings will help corporations in the MENA region become aware of the importance of increasing their engagement in the sustainability aspects that they lack, as this will lead to a boost of their overall performance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section “Dynamic benchmarking issues in emerging markets: building relevant theories and examining evolving practices”.

Citation

El-Khalil, R. and El-Kassar, A.-N. (2018), "Effects of corporate sustainability practices on performance: the case of the MENA region", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1333-1349. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-06-2015-0065

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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