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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Aikaterini Argyrou, Robert J. Blomme, Tineke Lambooy and Henk Kievit

This paper aims to examine the concept of participatory governance through membership in the context of the tailor-made legal form for social enterprises in Greece, i.e…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the concept of participatory governance through membership in the context of the tailor-made legal form for social enterprises in Greece, i.e. the social cooperative enterprise (Koinsep). As such, the paper aims to contribute to the theoretical discussion regarding the participation of stakeholders in the governance of social enterprises not only as a theoretical construct prescribed by law but also by examining its implementation in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The development of two in-depth case studies demonstrate whether and how the application and implementation of legal requirements regarding governance and membership permit and encourage stakeholders to participate in the decision-making processes of social enterprises. The study accordingly showcases the influence exerted by the legal regime over the social enterprise.

Findings

The case studies demonstrate how participatory governance is not realised in a formal manner in the organisational set-up of two social enterprises. It thereby shows how stakeholders and employees participate informally in the decision-making processes of Greek social enterprises, although legislation is conducive to formal means of participation.

Research limitations/implications

This study is part of a larger project involving a comparative research of tailor-made legal forms of social enterprises and corresponding organisations in three jurisdictions, i.e. Greece, Belgium, and the UK. In this study, the research was limited to the legal form of Koinsep.

Practical implications

This paper also contributes to the development of a better understanding of the Koinsep as a new tailor-made legal form for social enterprises in Greece. It therefore, sheds light in its function and its participatory governance structure.

Originality/value

The study is an original attempt to theoretically and practically examine the subject of participatory governance in the Greek social enterprises context.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Andre Nijhof, Marjolein Bakker and Henk Kievit

This paper aims to elucidate what concepts of encroachment in business-to-consumer markets explain the market share increase of companies with sustainability value…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to elucidate what concepts of encroachment in business-to-consumer markets explain the market share increase of companies with sustainability value propositions. It documents the encroachment field, analyses the practice of ten companies and proposes and defines the additional concept of transparency encroachment.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with representatives of companies with an increase in customers and market share due to their sustainability value proposition. These were supplemented with secondary data, like documented interviews, sustainability reports and reports on market development. The interview transcripts and secondary data notes were coded using template analysis.

Findings

As the literature on encroachment assumes that new value propositions take away market share from incumbents due to advantages for customers, it is questionable whether it can explain how value propositions with advantages for society as a whole can encroach markets. The results of this study show that the dominant forms of encroachment in the current literature – high-end encroachment, low-end encroachment and business model encroachment – can only partly explain encroachment through sustainability value propositions. An additional encroachment form is identified: transparency encroachment.

Research limitations/implications

This research adds greater clarity to what companies do when they encroach markets with sustainability value propositions. Furthermore, the pattern of transparency encroachment is discussed to define the common aspects of this concept and to argue why these aspects are needed for encroachment. It implies that marketing activities should start from the perception that customers are allies – and not kings – in the development toward higher levels of sustainability.

Practical implications

The paper offers practical implications insofar as it deconstructs three aspects of transparency encroachment that are enacted by companies. Customer awareness, unique experience and customer contribution are all needed to enact transparency encroachment. It is argued that other companies introducing sustainability value propositions to encroach markets should find their own application of these three aspects to create the potential for successful encroachment.

Social implications

Because of the focus on sustainability aspects of value propositions, this study generates knowledge about the marketing and encroachment of products with a relatively positive impact on society. Adoption of the identified concept of transparency encroachment contributes to sustainable development.

Originality/value

To date, there has been very little marketing research that explores the role of sustainability value propositions in the encroachment of markets. Nonetheless, nowadays customers seem to look beyond their own benefits and are increasingly demanding a new approach that builds upon the sustainability aspects of products. This research adds greater clarity to encroachment through sustainability value propositions.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Lucas Amaral Lauriano, Heiko Spitzeck and João Henrique Dutra Bueno

– This paper aims to present the state of corporate citizenship in Brazil.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the state of corporate citizenship in Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach

The results of a survey of Brazilian companies is used to analyze the state of corporate citizenship in Brazil. The survey was constructed using the methodology developed by Mirvis & Googins on measuring the stage of corporate citizenship, and 172 valid responses from Brazilian companies were received.

Findings

Data suggest that Brazilian companies have an advanced understanding of corporate citizenship and the strategic intention to integrate citizenship into their business. When it comes to leadership, structures, issue management, stakeholder relationships and transparency, however, their maturity in terms of citizenship stays in less advanced stages. In sum, Brazilian companies are advanced in the concept but less developed in the practice of corporate citizenship.

Research limitations/implications

The sample consists of 172 valid responses from companies in Brazil acting in various sectors and thus does not allow the determination of citizenship maturity in selected sectors.

Practical implications

The research points to a gap regarding understanding and practice in corporate citizenship in Brazil. To foster evolution of corporate citizenship, Brazilian companies are advised to work especially on leadership engagement, organizational structures, issue management, stakeholder relationships and transparency.

Originality/value

This is the first study about the maturity of corporate citizenship in Brazilian companies.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Joris-Johann Lenssen, Nikolay A. Dentchev and Ludwig Roger

The purpose of this paper is to present a granulated governance perspective to face sustainability risks and challenges that our planet is facing. The authors argue that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a granulated governance perspective to face sustainability risks and challenges that our planet is facing. The authors argue that sustainability challenges should be addressed simultaneously at the individual, organizational, sectorial, national and supranational level. Financial institutions have a systemic impact on the economy, and on the functioning of our societies. Therefore, a culture of profit maximization and unbridled risk-taking, notwithstanding the external costs and impacts, contaminates not only the financial system and the economy, but also individual norms of responsibility. In this line of reasoning, the global financial crisis revealed the destabilizing effects on the economy, society and corporations and forms a serious impediment for sustainable business. This is a huge challenge for sustainability business and corporate governance; however, it is an illusion to think that managers can prevent scandals and moral norm deterioration without support from other social players.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper offers a conceptual analysis on the past financial crisis (2008-2012). It questions the focus on sustainability at the corporate level, and suggests a more comprehensive method for governance. The authors argue in favour of sustainability implementation, combining different governance levels.

Findings

The double-dip financial crisis 2008-2012 showed the failure of an unsustainable global system. It becomes clear that corporate responsibility and corporate governance are limited in their contribution to sustainable business in a sustainable economy. Hence, it is important to have a more integrated approach to address sustainability risks, with a solution at individual, sectorial, national and supranational governance levels.

Research limitations/implications

This contribution advances five different levels of governance to mitigate risks for sustainable business, arguing in favour of integrated governance for sustainability risks. However, an empirical validation of these ideas still needs to be developed. Future empirical research is needed to validate the five levels of governance. Future research is also needed to better grasp the mechanisms in support of governance.

Practical implications

Corporate responsibility and corporate governance are necessary but not sufficient conditions to address the sustainability risks one faces. All actors in the economy recognize that governance for sustainable business in a sustainable economy is a collaborative effort for which neither legislative nor institutional or behavioural norms are developed in an integrated way. They should also recognize that integrated governance is not only imperative for the common good, but also in the direct interest of shareholders and other stakeholders.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature on corporate responsibility and corporate governance with the identification of specific roles for regulators, sector representatives and individuals, which are complementary to the role of the companies in creating the conditions for sustainable business in a sustainable economy.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Christina Kleinau and Nick Lin-Hi

This paper aims to conceptually analyse the role of speculation in society to determine whether agricultural commodity index funds, a new form of speculation, contribute…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conceptually analyse the role of speculation in society to determine whether agricultural commodity index funds, a new form of speculation, contribute to sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical arguments justifying the value of the market economic system for generating sustainable development and the positive contribution speculators make too in this context are elaborated. It is then considered whether the arguments justifying traditional speculation hold for agricultural commodity index funds.

Findings

Traditional forms of speculation contribute positively to sustainable development; primarily due to the information they uncover on demand and supply factors which affect prices. Agricultural index funds are a danger to sustainable development, as their transactions are not based on demand and supply factors but simply represent demand for the diversification effect which commodities generate when added to an investment portfolio.

Originality/value

The article offers a new approach to assessing whether agricultural index funds contribute to sustainable development. Empirical research has been conducted on whether speculation via index funds has unjustifiably affected commodity prices. However, results of these investigations have been inconclusive due to stark limitations in data availability. By approaching the issue from a conceptual point of view, the article delivers theoretically sound arguments as to why agricultural commodity index funds are likely to have an unjustifiable effect on prices and, hence, are a danger to sustainable development. This has strong implications for finance practice and regulation.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Fabien Martinez

This article aims to draw on the contingency theory to develop a conceptual model of compatibility between corporate environmental responsibility and business strategy…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to draw on the contingency theory to develop a conceptual model of compatibility between corporate environmental responsibility and business strategy that reflects heterogeneity in this relationship. Four dimensions of compatibility are explored: trade-off, ambidexterity, synergy and symbiosis.

Design/methodology/approach

The intended contribution is essentially conceptual. A company case study is included to contribute to the development of the four dimensions of compatibility and support the practical relevance of the model. Twelve in-depth interviews with six managers in different functions of the company were conducted. A grounded theory approach was used to identify and express the patterns of compatibility that emerge from the qualitative data and how these patterns are grounded in managers’ meaning-in-use.

Findings

The contribution of the compatibility framework is essentially made to the literature on environmental strategy management, evolved from an implicit and, at most, two-dimensional (win–win and win–lose) conceptualisation of the relationship between green and business strategy into an explicit and multi-dimensionally grounded identification of processes and strategic challenges of corporate environmental and social responsibility. The resulting model contributes to a better understanding of corporate greening as a strategic and moral concern to individuals acting on behalf of business organisations and a greater understanding of the linkages between green and business strategies and operations.

Originality/value

By clarifying the construct of corporate environmental sustainability and providing useful directions for theory and practice, this research claims to inform green management decision-making. While the compatibility model is not intended to explain all pathways by which firms may elicit contingencies of relevance to environmental and social responsibility, it is suggested that the model paints a more complete and contextualized picture of environmental management mechanisms in business.

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Nikolai Mouraviev and Nada Kakabadse

This paper aims to investigate the influence of public-private partnerships (PPPs) on social and economic conditions in Kazakhstan and Russia from a public economics…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the influence of public-private partnerships (PPPs) on social and economic conditions in Kazakhstan and Russia from a public economics perspective, namely, through the lens of a market failure and PPPs’ negative externalities.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the concept of a market failure and using the externalities perspective, the paper investigates whether partnerships are instrumental in solving market problems, which is illustrated by the evidence from ongoing PPP projects in Kazakhstan and Russia.

Findings

Results show that citizens face expansion of monopolistic trends in the service provision and decreased availability of public services. Additionally, the government support to partnerships recreates a negative externality in the form of a higher risk premium on loan interest rates that banks use to finance PPPs. The partnerships’ impact on sustainable development often appears detrimental, as they significantly intensify the struggle between sub-national governments for increased transfers from the national budget.

Practical implications

The government agencies must incorporate the appraisal of the PPP externalities and their effects on the society in the decision-making regarding the PPP formation.

Originality/value

The authors suggest that, although government is interested in PPPs’ positive externalities, in reality many negative externalities may offset the positive spillover effects. As a result, the partnerships’ contributions to economic and social sustainability remain controversial. Extending the value-for-money concept to incorporate the assessment of PPP externalities might significantly enhance the partnership conceptualisation by more comprehensive and accurate assessment of PPPs’ economic and social value.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Abhilash Sreekumar Nair and Rani Ladha

– The purpose of this paper is to identify underlying characteristics of Indian investors that influence them to achieve their non-economic investment goals.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify underlying characteristics of Indian investors that influence them to achieve their non-economic investment goals.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual model posits that investors’ choice of non-economic goal (NEG) is determined by their values and beliefs which are measured through survey data collected from 342 respondents with prior experience of investing in the stock market. A structural equation model is specified to estimate the measurement model. Further, the study analyses the mediating effect of social investment efficacy on the impact of investors’ values and beliefs and their pursuit of non-economic investment goals.

Findings

Religiosity and the belief that one’s actions can bring about a change in the society are the two important determinants of Indian investors’ pursuit of non-economic investment goal.

Research limitations/implications

The model ignores aspects of an investor’s financial stability that may influence the urge to pursue non-economic investment goals.

Practical implications

Socially responsible (SR) funds with investment filters designed to propagate religious values of Indian investors can be designed. As a result, it should be possible to channelize a part of the more than $15 billion available in different religious institutions across the country into the capital market.

Social implications

Availability of SRI funds would provide investors with yet another avenue invest in companies that conform to their protected values.

Originality/value

This is the first study that attempts to study investor characteristics (values and beliefs) and its impact on investor’s NEG in the Indian context.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Benjamin Tobias Peylo

The purpose of this paper is first to give an in-depth discussion of the criticism of socially responsible investment's (SRI) alleged incompatibility with the concept of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is first to give an in-depth discussion of the criticism of socially responsible investment's (SRI) alleged incompatibility with the concept of rational investment constituting an inferiority to conventional investment so as to disprove unwarranted arguments and identify potential for improvement of SRI. The second objective is to propose a framework that places SRI and conventional investment on the same level of rationality.

Methodology

The discussion is based on a literature study. The framework uses a previously published multidimensional optimization approach and embeds it into a new, integrated methodology for investment decisions in the presence of SRI objectives. The framework is empirically evaluated using historic stock market data.

Findings

The main findings show that SRI is not necessarily less rational than conventional investment; it can be implemented in an equally stringent and clearly defined methodology. The empirical results prove that investors can pursue SRI objectives without sacrificing performance.

Research limitations

Focus is on the German stock market; in the future, research will be expanded to cover international markets.

Practical implications

The results may contribute to enhance the SRI methodology.

Social implications

Investors may be encouraged to consider SRI, strengthening the concept of sustainability.

Originality/value

In the literature, the question of SRI’s compatibility with rational investment has often been cited but seldom scrutinized. An in-depth analysis combined with a framework to exploit of the learnings has yet been missing.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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