Promoting Chinese management study on corporate sustainability, social responsibilities and business ethics

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Wang, X. (2014), "Promoting Chinese management study on corporate sustainability, social responsibilities and business ethics", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 8 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-10-2014-0186

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Promoting Chinese management study on corporate sustainability, social responsibilities and business ethics

Article Type: Guest editorial From: Chinese Management Studies, Volume 8, Issue 4

I feel honored to put together and bring up this selection of papers for the special issue of Chinese Management Studies. I have served for the Chinese Management Studies as an Associate Editor (Regional Editor, China) since the beginning of 2009. Over the past six years, I have personally worked together with the Founding Editor-in-Chief, Dr FOO Check Teck, and mainly helped him with recruiting, reviewing and recommending submissions from the greater China area, proving pieces of advice and suggestions. However, this is my first time acting as a Guest Editor and taking a major role by editing the whole issue, thus I hope the authors, the readers and the staff understand my inconsideration, if there is any.

It was a pleasant journey of assisting Dr FOO to strive for how to make this international-perspective but nationally focused, management-research journal highly recognized and academically successful in its targeted nation, China. I share with Dr FOO the mission that the journal should not only introduce and indigenize the Western management theories, methods and thoughts, but also cultivate and breed the Chinese ones and then extend them to the Western nations. We did exert to look closely at China’s up-to-date hotspots in both the theoretical and practical world, and to excavate deeply from China’s ancient legacy. We are trying our best in continuing to do so.

After more than three and a half decades of extremely high economic growth, China is currently facing the severe situation of sustainable development. In business and management research, unfortunately, corporate sustainability has been lacking of studies. I was lucky to choose this field to be my research and teaching interest and have done a little on the field.

In October 2008, I got a chance to receive a grant from a US-based non-governmental organization, Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), to establish a collegiate organization entitled as “Lingnan-ISC Environment, Health and Safety Academy for Chinese Enterprises (the EHS Academy). The EHS Academy aims at spread and foster cutting-edge knowledge, tools, theories of corporate sustainability on the subfields such as environmental protection, occupational health management, production and personnel safety management, energy saving and emission reduction, labor protection and relations, social responsibilities, business ethics, leadership ethics and workplace justice. I am also working to set up a new platform (a non-profit organization) registered as “Guangdong Academy of Corporate Sustainability” to push Chinese enterprises better deal with sustainability issues and to promote the Chinese academic discipline regarding the theme. It was also a big pleasure to have Dr FOO accept my suggestion of the Chinese Management Studies thematic issue on Sustainability, Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Ethics.

There have been dozens of submissions for this thematic issue. Finally, nine papers are selected and included. Of the nine papers presented here, each of them has a unique feature and stands for a certain value.

Wei, Egri and Lin explored CSR at the base of cross-culture, and compared the different business benefits between Eastern and Western contexts. Yu and Choi discussed relationship between CSR and firm performance from the perspective of employees in Chinese firms, and provided a multi-positive empirical result. Fonseka et al. investigated Chinese firms’ sustainability from the impact of firms’ external financing and internal financial capabilities. Li and Foo documented and illustrated a practical framework for realizing the sustainable development of the high-speed railway industry in China, and the ideas, concepts and methods are beneficial to top management, regulators and policymakers.

Liu and Wang investigated the relationship between ethical leadership and Ba Ling (霸凌) through a survey, and especially proposed a new Chinese-characteristic term of Ba Ling as a substitute of the term workplace bullying commonly used in Western research. The phenomenon of workplace bullying in China has been very prevalent, and in most cases, the victims just bear in silence; more over, researchers seem to ignore the phenomenon. Though the authors are still conceptualizing Ba Ling, no doubt, more study attentions will be paid to the topic.

Dr Berger, used a case study methodology, examined the evolution of Chinese diamond industry and pioneered how external factors affect the firms’ business ethics behavior. Yang and Huang studied whether corporate social performance can benefit corporate financial performance via the data from Taiwan firms, and revealed the supportive findings. Professor Zhou and Professor Du & Associates are both established researchers, and have published a lot the subjects in Chinese. Zhou empirically examined how CSR influenced on employees’ organizational identification in Chinese family firms; given which accounted for majority of China’s firms, the paper contains a worthwhile finding. Du et al explored corporate sustainability from the perspective of corporate governance in Chinese market and institutional arrangement, and provided meaningful findings and insightful implications.

Obviously, all the works shown in this issue are good reflections for the studies on the theme of corporate sustainability, social responsibilities and business ethics in China’s organizational, managerial, socioeconomic and cultural contexts. While being grateful to all the authors and reviewers who contributed to this special issue, I expect more and more researches in high-quality address this theme.

Xiaohui Wang