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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2022

Elzbieta Lepkowska-White, Amy L. Parsons, Bridget Wong and Alexandria M White

Research shows that the majority of investors, consumers and even younger consumers who are interested in social responsibility are unaware of B Corps. Companies spend…

Abstract

Purpose

Research shows that the majority of investors, consumers and even younger consumers who are interested in social responsibility are unaware of B Corps. Companies spend significant time and money to obtain B Corp status that B Lab, the non-profit that certifies companies, wants to use as a force for good. Using signaling theory and corporate communication theory, the study examines whether B Corps market their B Corp status effectively on B Corps' social media sites to determine whether brand equity is being built there for the B Corp label by the B Corp companies themselves.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors content analyzed social media activity of 100 randomly selected US B Corps ranging in size and industry type over a two-month period on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. The sample was selected from the listing of the B Corporations on the B Lab website using a skip interval method. The authors searched for preselected keywords within two main categories, one directly mentioning B Corps (such as B Corp logo and B Corp name), and another discussing company social responsibility activities that directly relate to what B Corps do but did not mention the B Corp name.

Findings

The study finds that half of the B Corps had no social media presence. Of those who were active on social media, most B Corps did not mention B Corp status while many of the B Corps discussed social responsibility activities that directly talked about workers, environment, community, and governance, the areas that B Corp certification covers.

Research limitations/implications

The study indicates that reverse decoupling might better explain communication of B Corp certification on social media than signaling theory. The finding is consistent with more recent research on certifications that shows that obtaining certifications by companies does not have to be followed by marketing certificates even when that could be beneficial. On the other hand, communication of general pro-social claims is consistent with the assumptions of the signaling theory and often used by B Corps. The study suggests why companies market general claims but not a B Corp label. Findings also suggest that when promoting the B Corp label is not done, a firm's internal values are not being expressed externally but when social responsible activities are promoted, a firm's internal values are being expressed externally. The research points to a missed opportunity for B Corps that spend significant resources to get certified. Future studies should employ larger samples with and international companies and venture into other forms of marketing through which B Corp status may be conveyed.

Practical implications

B Corps can easily connect information on the socially responsible activities of B Corps with B Corp status on social media and reap the benefits of B Corps by creating equity for B Corp label on multiple levels. This would also help B-Lab that strives to develop a stronger brand for the B Corps' certification. When consumers know what B Corp stands for, consumers are willing to pay premium prices. Investors are also increasingly interested in companies that care for stakeholders and the environment and are governed in transparent and socially responsible ways.

Social implications

B Corps are described by the B-Lab as a “force for good” that benefits communities, environment and society. Understanding how certifications such as B Corps are communicated to the public and improving how they are communicated can help businesses reap more benefits from B Corps' socially responsible activity and help consumers and investors become educated about such companies so that B Corps can support them. This is important as B-Corps certification is still not well known. Marketing B Corp certification more effectively can help develop a wider and stronger network of businesses that want to do good, investors that want to found socially responsible companies and consumers who want to buy from B Corps. To create such a marketplace B Corps need to be better marketed online.

Originality/value

The study shows that the authors cannot assume that the certifications that companies obtain, often using significant resources and potentially offering many benefits for building brand equity, will be communicated to the stakeholders to reap these benefits. The study provides possible reasons for why companies may not market such endeavors. The study questions assumptions implicit in signaling theory and by using reverse decoupling the study explains why companies may pursue certifications but not market that the companies obtain them even when pro-social certifications have a great potential to differentiate a company among stakeholders that look for socially responsible firms. The study questions what this means for creating a change in business to become a “force for good.”

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Kemal Birdir and Thomas E. Pearson

An in‐depth analysis of hospitality certification programmes was conducted. The study revealed important insights on certification demographics, development processes…

835

Abstract

An in‐depth analysis of hospitality certification programmes was conducted. The study revealed important insights on certification demographics, development processes, certification paths, administration, benefits of certification, credibility and the future of certification programmes. It is found that developing certification programmes commonly involves a long and detailed process. There are serious obstacles in getting association membership to adopt certification programmes. Associations prefer to develop, and manage their certification programmes. Certification programmes seem to benefit both associations and members.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2007

Susan M. Harris

The purpose of this paper is to describe a sustainability certification system and label based on an independent, full life cycle assessment of conventionally produced…

3302

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a sustainability certification system and label based on an independent, full life cycle assessment of conventionally produced goods from “cradle to grave”.

Design/methodology/approach

The design approach used comprised five phases: review of presently available third party environmental certification systems regarding their suitability for use as a sustainability certification tool for conventionally produced goods; identification of desirable scientific and consumer design criteria for a sustainability certification system and label; identification of key performance indicators for sustainability; description of an independent sustainability certification system based on the desirable design criteria, in particular an independent full life cycle assessment; and market trials of the sustainability label to test consumer reactions and commercial benefits of independent sustainability certification using two commercial case studies in Australia and New Zealand.

Findings

None of the third party environmental certification systems reviewed was suitable for use as a sustainability certification tool. Desirable design criteria for a sustainability certification system centred on an independent, full life cycle assessment of operations from “cradle to grave”. A total of eight safety and 12 sustainability key performance indicators were proposed to specifically assess sustainability performance. An instantly recognizable logo comprising a “Green Tick” inside a circle, reminiscent of a government “stamp of approval”, was used as a sustainability label. Market trials of certified household products and lamb meat in Australasia confirmed positive consumer reactions to the “Green Tick” label, and considerable commercial benefits for the companies that used it on their products.

Practical implications

The “Green Tick” sustainability certification system and label addresses an identified gap in the market by providing an easily recognizable, independent, life cycle based sustainability certification of consumer products. Market trials indicated that there was measurable consumer support for independent sustainability labelling, and significant commercial benefits for companies whose products qualified for sustainability labelling.

Originality/value

The paper describes the world's first‐ever independent sustainability certification system and label. It is based on third party, full life cycle assessment of products, in accordance with the European Commission's view that sustainability labelling should be based on independent, full life cycle assessments of products. Market trials of the label in the Australasian FMCG sector indicated that consumers responded positively to an easily recognizable, independent sustainability label, and that independent sustainability certification and labelling have significant commercial potential for manufacturers of genuinely sustainable products.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 December 2008

Yumin Liu

As a sign of international quality system, ISO9000 certification has been adopted by more and more enterprises. In recent five years, there have been 560,000 certified…

Abstract

As a sign of international quality system, ISO9000 certification has been adopted by more and more enterprises. In recent five years, there have been 560,000 certified companies in Europe and America, and there have been more than 390,000 ones in China. It has being attracted many quality scholars’ attentions whether ISO9000 certification can bring more benefits to certified companies or not. This paper investigates the ISO9000 certification effect on market performance by the samples from Chinese list companies in shanghai stock exchange. Considering ISO9000 certification as an event, a certification effect model will be set up by means of the event study method, which takes abnormal return rate as a basic indicator to measure the ISO9000 certification effect on Chinese market performance in different event times. Investigation results show that the Chinese certified companies have some positive effects on market performance in the short term. From a long standpoint, the relation between certification and performance has a positive trend.

Details

Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1998

Alan Brown, Ton van der Wiele and Kate Loughton

Discusses the experience of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with ISO 9000 series certification, based on the results of a Western Australian questionnaire…

3473

Abstract

Discusses the experience of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with ISO 9000 series certification, based on the results of a Western Australian questionnaire survey. It explores issues ranging from why certification was sought, the benefits derived and disappointments. Also examines the problems encountered by SMEs and how they dealt with them. Comparisons are made between those SMEs perceiving more success with ISO 9000 series certification and those which do not. Findings suggest that SMEs are experiencing mixed results from ISO 9000 series certification. Some are reporting considerable internal benefits while many are not experiencing external benefits. An encouraging outcome is that a number of SMEs see ISO 9000 series certification as a useful first step in the quality journey with a view to moving forward in the direction of a broader quality management approach.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Jeroen Singels, Gwenny Ruël and Henny van de Water

In this article, the relationship is studied between certification on the ISO 9000 series and the performance of organizations. It is often claimed that ISO certification

5605

Abstract

In this article, the relationship is studied between certification on the ISO 9000 series and the performance of organizations. It is often claimed that ISO certification generates an improvement in the performance of organizations. This research aims to find out if ISO certification indeed results in better performance outcomes for organizations. This is of importance, for example, for those organizations that seek ISO certification in order to improve their performances. To test the hypothesis, an instrument is developed to measure the performance. The performance of organizations is operationalized through five performance indicators, which were derived from the literature: production process, company result, customer satisfaction, personnel motivation, and investment on means. Besides this main research interest the question is posed if other factors can explain for the performance. The concept of motivation is introduced which is the focus of the second part of the study.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2022

Jialing Zhao, Hongwei Wang, Ying Zhang and Yuxin Huang

The hosts' third-party certifications in the sharing accommodation platforms have largely overlooked how the provision of such certification information could facilitate…

Abstract

Purpose

The hosts' third-party certifications in the sharing accommodation platforms have largely overlooked how the provision of such certification information could facilitate the trust-building process and subsequently influence consumers' purchase intention. Adopting an institution-based trust perspective, the authors differentiate various types of hosts' certification information (i.e. financial certification and social certification) and examine their role in the trust-building process between the hosts and the customers on sharing accommodation platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses the property-month level data of Airbnb Beijing from January 2019 to June 2020. Econometric analyses are adopted to evaluate the impact of institution-based trust on consumers' purchase intention. Specifically, the ordinary least square is used to testify the relationship between institution-based trust and purchase intention.

Findings

The empirical results show that the information on institution-based trust increases the likelihood that customers would reach purchase decisions. More importantly, results show that both financial certification and social certification affect consumers' purchase intention. The results further show that listings' attributes moderate the relationship between institution-based trust and customer purchase intention. Moreover, the authors find that “Superhost” and “Experience” positively moderate such relationships.

Originality/value

This paper confirms that the host certification fosters institution-based trust and reveals the impact of hosts' certification on consumers' purchase intentions. This study is among one of the first studies to incorporate institution-based trust into the trust formation on the sharing economy platform, which can improve the understanding of trust in the sharing economy context. The authors emphasize the importance of trust types on sharing economy platforms.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Hareton K.N. Leung, Keith C.C. Chan and T.Y. Lee

This paper presents the result of a study to identify the costs and benefits of obtaining ISO 9000 certification. Toward this goal, a survey of some 500 ISO 9000 certified…

2945

Abstract

This paper presents the result of a study to identify the costs and benefits of obtaining ISO 9000 certification. Toward this goal, a survey of some 500 ISO 9000 certified companies has been carried out. Among them, more than 65 per cent believe that ISO 9001 certification is worthwhile, and more than 76 per cent believe that the cost of certification is inexpensive. The results indicate that companies which seek certification because of their customers’ request seem to gain less benefit from ISO 9000 certification. We also found that concern for high costs is much less after initial certification. In addition, we discovered that contrary to many people’s expectation, some factors do not have any bearing on whether benefits outweigh costs. These factors include time taken to get certified, number of years since certification, and reason for certification. Besides presenting the results of the survey, we also introduce a new classification scheme based on the company’s view on the “expensiveness” of the certification and the received benefits. There are some differences in responses from companies of different classes.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 16 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Dana J. Landry

This paper aims to focus on the creation of a certification in the science of innovation.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on the creation of a certification in the science of innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Polidoro (2013) states that “Certifications are relevant social cues that assist decision making under uncertainty”. When an employer wants to know if a potential candidate has the necessary competencies and knowledge to perform a set of tasks, they often look to education, experience, certificates and/or certifications. When the experience and education of two or more candidates are similar, the presence or absence of a certificate or certification can make a difference about who will be hired (Carter, 2005). Certification in the science of innovation will assist employers in reducing uncertainty in the hiring process and in the professional development of those who focus on the tasks, goals and processes of innovation.

Findings

This paper begins with a definition and explanation of certification and then presents a framework for the science of innovation. A review of the body of knowledge is presented in the International Association of Innovation Professionals (IAOIP) Global Innovation Science Handbook, 1st Ed (Gupta and Trusko, 2013).

Originality/value

From this, the IAOIP certification program is presented with an explanation of the founding principles and the reasoning for the current framework. This paper ends with describing the current status of the IAOIP program and areas for future development.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Magda Nutsa Kobakhidze

Purpose – The chapter explores the newly launched Teacher Certification Examinations (TCEs) in one of the post-Soviet countries, Georgia, and describes the experiences and…

Abstract

Purpose – The chapter explores the newly launched Teacher Certification Examinations (TCEs) in one of the post-Soviet countries, Georgia, and describes the experiences and perceptions of Georgian teachers going through the process of teacher certification. The qualitative study develops an in-depth understanding of the perceived strength and weaknesses of TCE in Georgia.Methodology – This case study was carried out in the spring of 2012 in 17 Georgian schools. School teachers and school principals from public and private schools were interviewed. A convenience sampling technique was used to recruit all participants. In addition to data obtained from research participants, various policy documents, laws on general education, minister's decrees, and statistical databases are analyzed and incorporated into the study.Findings – The data analyses showed that while the certification policy, in some way, increased teachers’ social status and prestige in the society, it failed to meet teachers’ expectations regarding remuneration policy and professional development opportunities. The TCE, without an adequate compensation policy as well as other types of incentives to increase teacher motivation, creates only a technical threshold for teachers to obtain a teacher certificate to secure jobs, rather than being a catalyst for a genuine professional development opportunity.Value – The study is the first attempt to empirically examine the teacher certification process in Georgia, thus it fills a knowledge gap that exists in the field. The Georgian TCE is the first TCE in south Caucasus; thus, the study of the implementation and outcomes of the Georgian reform provides a unique opportunity for the region and for the rest of the developing world to learn from the successes and failures of the reform process.

Details

Teacher Reforms Around the World: Implementations and Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-654-5

Keywords

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