A cross-country comparison and validation of firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices

Niklas P.E. Karlsson (School of Business, Engineering and Science, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)
Hélène Laurell (School of Business, Engineering and Science, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)
John Lindgren (School of Business, Engineering and Science, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)
Tobias Pehrsson (School of Business, Engineering and Science, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)
Svante Andersson (School of Business, Engineering and Science, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)
Göran Svensson (Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Publication date: 4 June 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare and validate firms’ internal and external stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices across business settings. It aims to assess the validity and reliability of a stakeholder framework appearing in previous studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a questionnaire survey and a cross-industry sample consisting of the largest firms in corporate Sweden. Multivariate analysis tests the stakeholder framework. Each of the 294 key informants was initially identified and contacted by telephone, generating a response rate of 36.5 per cent.

Findings

The tested stakeholder framework appears valid and reliable across countries to assess the internal stakeholders of focal firms, as well as their up- and downstream, market and societal stakeholders. This study provides additional empirical support to categorize firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices.

Research limitations/implications

This study validates previous findings in terms of Swedish firms’ considerations of internal and external stakeholders in sustainable business practices in relation to one similar country (Norway) and one different country (Spain). The study also shows how the three countries perceive the focal company and societal stakeholders differently.

Practical implications

The tested framework sheds light on focal firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices and elucidates the extent to which firms’ account for their internal and external stakeholders in sustainable business practices.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the development of valid and reliable stakeholder theory across contexts and through time. In particular, it contributes to the development of a valid and reliable framework to categorize firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices.

Keywords

Citation

Karlsson, N., Laurell, H., Lindgren, J., Pehrsson, T., Andersson, S. and Svensson, G. (2018), "A cross-country comparison and validation of firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices", Corporate Governance, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 408-424. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-07-2017-0131

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.