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Stakeholder engagement, flexible proactiveness and democratic durability as CSR strategic postures to overcome periods of crisis

Melchior Gromis di Trana (Department of Management, University of Turin, Torino, Italy)
Simona Fiandrino (Department of Management, University of Turin, Torino, Italy)
Dorra Yahiaoui (Department of Management, Kedge Business School, Talence, France)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 18 February 2022

Issue publication date: 27 September 2022

606

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is twofold. First, the research aims to identify Integrated Thinking (IT) stages of development. Second, the research aims to investigate how IT has reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by accelerating integrated corporate social responsibility (CSR) practises.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs a case study on an Italian multi-utility company, Iren Group. The research method uses triangulated data collected from semi-structured interviews and archival materials and it analyses data with a top-down and bottom-up coding procedure. This allows us to inductively develop a model of IT stages of development and CSR strategic postures as response patterns to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings

The research identifies the developmental paths of IT initiation, IT reactiveness and IT implementation responding to changes and challenges in times of crisis. Furthermore, the research provides stimuli for recovery to overcome periods of crisis through three main CSR strategic postures: stakeholder engagement, flexible proactiveness and democratic durability.

Practical implications

The research suggests that managers can adopt stakeholder engagement, flexible proactiveness and democratic durability as CSR strategic postures in order to integrate CSR practises into the company's DNA and overcome periods of crisis.

Originality/value

This is among the first studies that analyses how IT acts during a crisis in the multi-utility sector. There are three main stages of development, i.e. IT initiation, IT reactiveness and IT implementation, which are characterised by stakeholder engagement, flexible proactiveness and democratic durability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Prof Cantino and Prof. Devalle for their scientific supervision.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Selina Xerra, Dr. Massimiliano Bianco and Dr. Moris Ferretti for their excellent managerial skills and their valuable insights on this field.

The authors also wish to thank the Guest Editors of this Special Issue and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Citation

Gromis di Trana, M., Fiandrino, S. and Yahiaoui, D. (2022), "Stakeholder engagement, flexible proactiveness and democratic durability as CSR strategic postures to overcome periods of crisis", Management Decision, Vol. 60 No. 10, pp. 2719-2742. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-08-2021-1012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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