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Green intellectual capital and competitive advantage: the moderating role of corporate philanthropy during COVID-19

Muhammad Akram Naseem (The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan)
Enrico Battisti (University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Antonio Salvi (University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Muhammad Ishfaq Ahmad (The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 16 November 2023

Issue publication date: 2 January 2024

145

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the relationship between green intellectual capital (GIC) and competitive advantage (CA) and proposes the moderating role of corporate philanthropy types (cash, in-kind and both) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, this study investigates the types of corporate philanthropy, strengthening the link between GIC and CA for Chinese listed firms during a pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional data were collected from 248 chief executive officers (CEOs) of Chinese firms listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange through a structured questionnaire. Regression analysis was employed to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

The findings reveal that all types of GIC positively influence a firm's CA. Furthermore, all three types of philanthropy – cash, in-kind and both – moderate the relationship between GIC and CA. However, the intensity of moderation was higher in the case of in-kind philanthropy than in the other two types.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first empirical study to examine the relationship between GIC (considering its three components: human, structural and relational capital) and CA in China. The study finds different types of philanthropy as moderating variables to better explain the relationship between GIC and CA. Further, it contributes to a new line of research that aims to study philanthropic aspects connected to the GIC debate.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to convey their appreciation to the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and anonymous reviewers for the great effort and time that they have invested in providing constructive reviews.

Since submission of this article, the following author has updated his affiliation: Muhammad Ishfaq Ahmad is at the Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK and can be contacted at M.i.ahmad@tees.ac.uk.

Citation

Naseem, M.A., Battisti, E., Salvi, A. and Ahmad, M.I. (2024), "Green intellectual capital and competitive advantage: the moderating role of corporate philanthropy during COVID-19", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 92-118. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-07-2023-0157

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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