Stakeholders, Governance and Responsibility: Volume 14

Cover of Stakeholders, Governance and Responsibility
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Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-vii
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Part I Stakeholders’ Roles in Organisations

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a change in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) debate from questioning whether to make substantial commitments to CSR, to questions of how such a commitment should be made. Given that CSR initiatives increasingly are carried out in collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business–NGO (Bus–NGO) partnerships are becoming an increasingly important instrument in driving forward the sustainable development agenda. The aim of this chapter is to explore motivations to partner, the value-added of Bus–NGO partnerships as well as what is enabling and impeding the realization of this value.

An analytical model is developed based on contributions from partnership literature (Austin, 2000, 2007; Austin & Seitanidi, 2012a, 2012b; Seitanidi & Ryan, 2007) and the resourced-based view. This has resulted in a process model with the following three phases: (1) formation and motivation; (2) implementation and execution; and (3) outcomes and challenges.

The empirical part of the chapter focuses on three specific partnerships in Kenya. Kenya is one of the most prosperous and politically stable states in Africa, with high growth rates making it an attractive launch pad for businesses to enter partnerships with NGOs.

The partnerships studied were all pilots still flirting with this new form of collaboration modality and struggling themselves to clearly define the value-added. Partnerships are still experimental efforts involving a steep learning curve, and showing signs that they have to evolve further as well as innovate in order to produce the expected benefits. All three partners referred to learning as one of the most important intangibles.

Business and NGOs had both different and overlapping motivations that made them propel into cross-sector alliances. The partnerships have to be configured to satisfy a variety of different motivations, resulting in complex stakeholder management. For the NGOs, it is about designing new development models, due to an instrumental need of resource enhancement and idealistic need to deliver more sustainable and efficient solutions. The analysis shows clear signs of NGOs beginning to realize the importance of classical business skills, such as management, marketing, and technical systems that companies can provide. Looking at the business, the partnership fit right into the wider strategic sustainability “umbrella” of the corporation, notably the employees are central stakeholders. It is argued that a business’s approach to CSR and perception of its own responsibilities need to evolve to higher levels according to Austin’s Collaboration Continuum to produce valuable synergies in a partnership with an NGO (Austin, 2000).

Finally, the analysis shows a Bandwagon effect throughout the sectors, where the reason to form a partnership is because everybody else is doing it, and both NGOs and businesses do not want to miss out on potential benefits.

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to explain the concept of right to participation from the viewpoint of development and tries to establish nexus between participation and right to development in context of human rights-based approach and try to establish the co-existence between the two terminologies. The term participation is closely associated with the traditional democratic system; under this system people are entitled to participate in governance system directly or indirectly, which can be dated back from the ancient Greek civilization (Faruque, 2002a). In a democratic system, participation is people central and can be treated as “an valuable module of any system that considers itself a democracy” (Kweit & Kweit, 1981) “corner stone of democracy” (Sherry, 1969) or “instrument of legitimacy of government” (Falk & Strauss, 2000). Participation means a right by which one can exercise his/her function in the society and express his/her view or behavior toward the political system and governance. So the notion of participation is “effective in mobilizing and natural resources and combating inequalities, discrimination, poverty and exclusion” (UN.DOC, E/CN.4/1990/9/Rev. 1, 1990, Ch. 7). However, the concept of participation “should be viewed both as a means to an end and as an end itself” (UN.DOC, E/CN.4/1990/9/Rev. 1, 1990, Ch. 7, para 150). In environmental level, public participation has played a vital role in decision-making for measuring the protection of environment. Public participation in decision-making that affects the environment is recognized in the Aarhus Convention (Convention on Access to Information, 2001).

Abstract

The belief that modern organisations have responsibility for their stakeholders, community and society has existed for many decades (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). In this context, there is increasing demand for the non-financial factors (e.g. corporate social responsibility (CSR), natural and human capitals) from stakeholders for making the appropriate business decision (Eccles & Saltzman, 2011). This information of the organisation is therefore required to not only disclose relevant and reliable information, but also monitor corporate executives.

In the other side, corporation reports are criticised as they do not provide the whole business picture of the way organisations organise financial and non-financial elements to creating value yet. It has ignored or reported just a part of the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impact made by an organisation (Flower, 2015). As a consequence, there has been a call for improving firm report on environmental, CSR and corporate governance in particular, and additional factors that can potentially impact on business performance in general.

Recently, various corporation reports related to environmental, social activities and sustainability have been introduced, and integrated reporting (IR) is one of them. IR framework is introduced as a new standard for corporate communication. It is ‘a concise communication about how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects lead to the creation of value over the short, medium and long term’. A number of important outcomes are attributed to IR including satisfying the information needs of stakeholders and driving organisational change towards more sustainable outcomes (Eccles & Krzus, 2010); reducing reputational risk and allowing companies to make better financial and non-financial decisions; and helping to break down operational and reporting silos in organisations and improving systems and processes (Stubbs & Higgins, 2012). Since the IR emphasise the integration of financial and non-financial data into one report, it calls for experience and knowledge from not only the board as management role but also accountant as practice role to deal with this emerging issue.

This chapter considers the problem of the link between how to reporting the ESG information, the management role board and practice role of accountants in organisation to successfully embed ESG information into the overall corporation strategy. We identify the issues with the demand of ESG information from stakeholders and the lack of connecting and integrating the environmental and corporate social sustainability information into organisation report. We explore the development of IR and integrated thinking (InTh) and the opportunities for board in integrating ESG information into practices and eliminating the ESG and reputational risks. Finally, we consider how management accountant via adopting IR and practising InTh can act as the important role in providing and delivering the better ESG information to stakeholders.

Abstract

This chapter critically examines the dynamics that exists between employee well-being, line management leadership and governance as experienced and perceived by employees in the public sector context. This chapter is based on research into employee well-being and line management leadership with a British Local Authority in northern England, focusing on employees’ verbal accounts of their own experiences and perceptions of well-being, line manager leadership and corporate social responsibility. Twenty-six interviews were conducted from a diverse range of employees with each interview lasting (45–60 minutes), tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. The research investigated the subjective perceptions of senior managers, managers, senior officers and clerical/secretarial staff regarding their views concerning line management leadership on employee well-being at work. Using the technique of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) provided insight into the life-world of participants, providing the opportunity for employees to share their personal experience of leadership and governance on the front line and its implication for employee well-being at work. The data revealed line management leadership and governance emerged as central to influencing and enabling well-being at work and were linked to individual, social and organisational factors (blame culture, rewards, trust in management, support and communication). Employees’ accounts of line management leadership, well-being and corporate social responsibility identified salient issues, thus providing a basis for broader research in this area. Thus organisations wishing to enhance employee well-being could focus efforts on creating organisational conditions and line management leadership to encourage well-being through the six identified factors. This research has relevance for the employment relationship, corporate social responsibility, service delivery, performance and for practitioners and academics alike.

Abstract

From the heaps of garbage in street corners and highways, to blocked drains and obstructed waterways, Nigerian cities continue to bear marks of environmental degradation occasioned by the business activities of manufacturers. Globally, the picture is no less different as landfills, oceans and beaches bear indubitable testimonies of plastic pollution. While the manufacturers smile to the bank, governments and municipal authorities struggle with their meagre resources to combat the colossal burden of plastic pollution they generated in the course of creating wealth. The use of non-biodegradable materials such as polythene in product packaging is the primary driver of manufacturing-induced environmental degradation in Nigerian cities and other cities of the world. Recent developments in commerce in Nigeria, such as the emergence of the mobile supermarket, are responsible for the geometric increase in street filthiness in the country. Developing strategic alliances amongst Nigerian manufacturers or between manufacturers and municipal authorities is key in ensuring a healthy environment while doing business. However, such alliances must take a clue from the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) embodied in the environmental consciousness practised in local markets in Nigeria, hereafter referred to as the ‘market-place model’ for environmental stewardship. This model, when replicated in other economies across the globe, would significantly reduce the global burden of plastic wastes and the hazards they pose in the environment. Conscience repayment, provision of refuse collection points, recycling and green packaging are part of ways of operationalising this model in everyday business. Adopting the market-place model in building strategic alliances for environmental stewardship would afford Nigerian manufacturers, and indeed global manufacturers, financial and non-financial business benefits such as cost savings through eco-efficiency, enlightened self-interest and good corporate image.

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to develop the measurement of corporate legitimacy among Government-linked Companies (GLCs) in Malaysia. Corporate legitimacy is important for determining the survival of the corporation. The term of legitimacy can be classified into three different aspects, namely, political, economic, and social legitimacy. Political legitimacy indicates the right to govern and rule; economic legitimacy reflects on success through product selling, customers’ satisfaction, and providing better services and goods. However, in the corporate sectors, corporate social responsibility is used as a platform not only to gain economic legitimacy, but most importantly to achieve social legitimacy. Social legitimacy focuses on corporation as a societal institution that is more complex by combining the social norms, values, and expectation. With the above argument, this chapter explores how corporate social responsibility (or corporate responsibility) can be used to show societal acceptance reflecting their corporate legitimacy. The corporations are expected to be socially acceptable according to social norms, values, and beliefs. The growth of the corporation has faced a number of challenges in gaining and maintaining their existence. While the corporations are expected to deal with the challenges effectively, the corporations must also be relevant in the eyes of the stakeholders. To establish this, corporations emphasized on gaining and maintaining legitimacy through various mechanisms. The principles of legitimacy are related to the conformity to the norms, values, and expectation of their stakeholders’ engagement through corporate social activities. The study employed a cross-sectional sample survey designed to collect data from a pre-selected list of non-governmental organization (NGOs) obtained from the Registrar of Societies, Malaysia. From a list of about 22,000 societies, 377 were shortlisted covering five categories of societies: community welfare, education, sport, social and recreation, and business and trade union. This study measured three dimensions of corporate legitimacy comprising pragmatic, moral, and cognitive legitimacy. Using Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), this study found that there is a high level of corporate legitimacy from the perspective of NGOs, which indicated that the NGOs highly view the corporate legitimacy of Malaysian GLCs through their corporate responsibility activities.

Part II Industry and Stakeholders

Abstract

This chapter guides the reader to an understanding of social responsibility in educational settings, namely on school/university social responsibility (USR). The phenomenon of social responsibility in these settings is nuanced when encountering stakeholders, either external or internal. This chapter conceptualizes school/USR and describes related stakeholders and their management strategies. In addition to this, the chapter discusses eight transition lines of stakeholders developed on the expectations of stakeholders, the degree and the format of engagement and impacts on society and institutions: pupil–student; teachers-academics; parents; alumni; future employers; business sector; funding providers; and society at large. It concludes that a managerial pattern while implementing social responsibility by involving stakeholders differs by educational setting. This is to say that school social responsibility is rather carried out through process, whereas USR concerns both process and outputs. This distinction results in introducing the definition of school/USR as a commitment toward performance based on ethical and other conventional principles that are respectively substantiated in the mission, values and related activities in the interplay with all possible stakeholders in order to create social value foremost.

Abstract

The spotlight of this chapter is to understand the connection between public policy and corporate social responsibility (CSR); in other words – the institutionalization of CSR. What is the role of the government for setting standards and mandating for ensuring responsibility? The emerging accepted wisdom in policy and academic circles is that many sustainability solutions are likely to result from institutional (i.e., governance) reform. A perceptive on CSR evolving as an institution of broader societal governance appears as a promising opportunity to delve into at a point in time when conventional rules, actors, and markets that steered the global economy demonstrate to be undergoing credibility crisis. CSR therefore must be considered within the wider field of institutions for governing the corporation and the economy. This chapter is exploratory as it dwells into theoretical underpinning of emerging mandatory CSR as well as provides empirical mapping of corporate responses to the new enacted legislation. The CSR analysis presented is based on a content analysis of the information contained in the annual reports of some prominent companies, government documents, audits reports, companies websites, and newspaper reports, which will provide us evidences of responses of corporates toward the CSR provisions.

Abstract

While airports traditionally have been seen as classic examples of public enterprises, the government’s role in airport management has been changing throughout the world. This study explores airport governance models with a focus on stakeholder issues. Relatively little is known empirically about how public, private, or public–private partnership (PPP) provision of airport services affects different stakeholders. The main aim of this study is to develop a better understanding of the impact of airport governance forms on stakeholders. For this purpose, a theoretical background focused on identifying airport stakeholders and their conflicting interests is followed by a qualitative content analysis using past studies on airport management. The results suggest that a balanced approach is required to deal with stakeholder interests detached from their governance structures.

Abstract

An efficient corporate social responsibility (CSR) framework in many economies has been linked with human capital development, social and financial inclusion, environmental protection and better stakeholder management. This article examines the level of efficiency of the CSR framework in Nigeria; it underscores the developmental potentials of CSR practices within the Nigerian business community. However, a prevailing trend of haphazard and sometimes dodgy CSR practices by free riding rogue companies mars such potentials. Underpinning these dodgy practices has been a CSR ‘business case’ argument coupled with dysfunctional business (corporate) law assumptions among other causative factors. The article appraises the implications of these causative factors and towards minimising the haphazard practices, proposes corporate law reforms through which the Nigerian CSR framework may become more effective.

Abstract

This chapter aims to examine whether the intransigence of consumers is leading to exploitative conditions in developing countries. It focuses on Bangladesh where the situation is dire for workers in the apparel industry, as they work tirelessly to supply the needs of consumers in the developed world.

The chapter adopts an analytical approach to identify and analyse the key issues within the apparel sector. It assesses the issues on the basis of the ethical trade practices and the duty care theory in determining the roles, if any, that retailers and consumers play in the generation of these mishaps. It uses secondary sources obtained mainly through the media and the literature to review the current debates within the sector.

The chapter presents evidence that shows that the rationale for engaging with and supporting workers in developing countries are important strategic reasons for undertaking global investments. The chapter found that problems within the apparel business could be rectified if people at all stages of the supply chain take responsibility for their actions and inactions. This is particularly relevant in the context of weak states, where negative externalities such as human rights abuses, poor working conditions and low pay levels are often found.

The chapter makes a case for compelling firms to ensure the welfare of workers from those countries they source from. In particular, by focusing on Bangladesh, the chapter has attempted to link the national and local context to global forces in which ethical concerns are seen to have become susceptible to pressures of economic considerations. Such a situation underscores the need to explore the tensions that exist between global governance regimes and national regulations, and how they are likely to become more critical during times of economic development. More specifically, the chapter also believes further research can be done to assess how we should discharge our responsibilities to others within the supply chain of the apparel industry.

The chapter contributes to a discussion that has been of considerable concern to many international retailers, consumers and contractors in the garment industry of late. Its importance lies in the fact that it examines critically the competing claims as to who should take the blame for mishaps in the garment industry. It brings to the fore the ethical obligations that stakeholders have and suggests avenues for a series of engagements that can drive the cause for achieving just and compassionate care relations in the broadest sense within the business environment.

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and mixed technology as ontology for self and distance learning in the state of Meghalaya in North East India. The points of reference are the population of the state, the men/women ratio, gender ratio of learners, the tele-density of the state, the number of colleges and the rural urban divide. Data and statistics are taken from secondary sources. The chapter highlights the specific use of mixed technologies to address the new breed of learners today; a hybrid of text and hypertext; the digital learner, with his or her penchant for technology; and the mobile phone. Distance education is now gradually merging with online ontology of teaching/learning. The chapter has come up with suggestions for improving delivery of educational services in the state of Meghalaya in North East India. The originality/value of this chapter lies in the cross currents of using technology for learning in the mid of the rural urban divide, strongly advocating the course of digital learners in a state of India besotted with poor road connectivity and envisaging mixed technologies: the computer, radio and the mobile phone as integrated methods of learning.

Index

Pages 265-271
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Cover of Stakeholders, Governance and Responsibility
DOI
10.1108/S2043-0523201814
Publication date
2018-09-14
Book series
Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78756-380-3
eISBN
978-1-78756-379-7
Book series ISSN
2043-0523