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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Linne Marie Lauesen

Sustainability investors are in need of updated standards, indexes and in general better tools and instruments to facilitate company information on its impacts on people…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability investors are in need of updated standards, indexes and in general better tools and instruments to facilitate company information on its impacts on people, planet and profit. Such instruments to reveal reliable, independent metrics and indicators to evaluate companies’ performances on sustainability exist, however, in research fields that previously have not been used extensively, for instance, life cycle assessments (LCAs). ISO 14001:2015 has implemented life cycle perspective, however, without being explicitly clear on which methodology is preferred. This paper aims to investigate LCA as to improve companies’ transparency towards sustainability investors through a literature review on sustainable investment evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review is conducted through the search engine Google Scholar, which to date hosts the most comprehensive academic database across other databases such as Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge, Science Direct, etc. Search words such as “Sustainable finance”, “Sustainable Investments”, “Performance metrics”, “Life cycle assessment”, “LCA”, “Environmental Management Systems”, “EMS” and “Environmental Profit and Loss Account” were used. Special journals that publish research on LCA such as International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Journal of Cleaner Production and Journal of Industrial Ecology were also investigated in-depth.

Findings

The combination of using LCA in, for instance, environmental profit and loss accounts studied in this paper shows a comprehensive and reliable tool for sustainability investors, as well as for social responsibility standards such as ISO 14001, ISO 26000, UN Global Compact, GIIN, IRIS and GRI to incorporate. With a LCA-based hybrid input-output account, both upstream and downstream’s impact on the environment and society can be assessed by companies to attract more funding from sustainability investors such as shareholders, governments and intergovernmental bodies.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review is based on publicly disclosed academic papers as well as five displayed company Environmental Profit and Loss accounts from the Kering Group, PUMA, Stella McCartney company, Novo Nordisk and Arla Group. Other company experiences with integration of LCA as a reporting tool have not been found, yet it is not to conclude that these five companies are the only ones to work extensively with LCA.

Practical implications

The paper may contribute to the clarification of LCA-thinking and perspective implementation in both ISO 14001 and ISO 26000, as well as in other social responsibility standards such as the UN Global Compact, the Global Impact Investing Networks, IRIS performance metrics, the Global Reporting Initiative and others.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first that evaluates LCA and environmental profit and loss accounts for sustainability investors, as well as for consideration of implementation in social responsibility standards such as the ISO 14001 and ISO 26000, as well as in other social responsibility standards such as the UN Global Compact, the Global Impact Investing Networks, IRIS performance metrics and the Global Reporting Initiative.

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen, Linne Marie Lauesen and Arno Kourula

The purpose of this paper is to examine to what extent the conventional stakeholder model mirrors managerial perceptions of the stakeholder environment in the Swedish…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine to what extent the conventional stakeholder model mirrors managerial perceptions of the stakeholder environment in the Swedish fashion industry. The authors aim to adopt a novel approach to stakeholder measurement, as the traditional stakeholder model is constrained by its static two-dimensional nature, which captures neither the nuances of the stakeholder literature nor the dynamics of the firm’s stakeholder universe.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirically, the paper is based on findings from a survey among 492 Swedish fashion manufacturers and retailers.

Findings

The paper reports significant discrepancy between the conventional stakeholder model and the perceptions of real-life managers of the stakeholder environment. On the surface, their understanding is more in line with the managerial model of the firm from which the stakeholder literature originally departs. It is argued, however, that the discrepancy may be rooted in technology rather than theory as the stakeholder model is constrained by its static two-dimensional nature, which captures neither the nuances of the stakeholder literature nor the dynamics of the firm’s stakeholder universe. The paper, therefore, introduces an animated alternative to the conventional stakeholder model that provides a richer graphical representation of a firm’s stakeholder universe.

Research limitations/implications

The paper refers to the open-ended questions in the survey in terms of descriptive statistics, and not the entire quantitative measures in the survey. This is because these questions are crucial to the authors’ approach to the suggested new stakeholder model, which is not tested quantitatively, but should be perceived as explorative – as a qualitative outcome of the survey. The survey is conducted through the web in the Swedish fashion industry only; thus; the authors’ suggested model needs further quantitative qualification, which the authors plead for in future research.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper is its novel approach to stakeholder measurement based on the perceptions of real-life managers of the stakeholder environment of the Swedish fashion industry. The traditional stakeholder model is constrained by its static two-dimensional nature, which the paper’s animated three-dimensional alternative provides a richer graphical representation of a firm’s stakeholder universe.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Linne Marie Lauesen

This paper aims to examine the literature of CSR motivation and presents research results from a case study of the water sector (water companies from Denmark, the UK, the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the literature of CSR motivation and presents research results from a case study of the water sector (water companies from Denmark, the UK, the USA and South Africa) and its motivation for and maturity in its CSR work.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used in this paper is first a literature review followed by research done with ethnographic methods such as participant observations, interviews and document analysis.

Findings

Based on a literature review and research in water companies’ motivation and maturity based on Crowther (2006) and Crowther and Reis’ (2011) CSR maturity typology, the paper suggests an extension of this into a CSR Maturity Framework by adding profit-making, legitimacy and business ethics as clusters of motives for businesses to engage in CSR work. The concrete findings of the water sector suggest it as semi-mature according to the proposed CSR Maturity Framework, because it has only reached the level of CSR reporting, but neither suggests definitions of sustainability nor shows any particularly good transparency and accountability yet.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to water companies in four regions – Denmark, the UK, the USA and South Africa – which means that such companies in other regions may differ from the findings in this paper. However, these companies are especially chosen according to their similarities, which means that it is not the point of the paper to cover all water companies in the world, but to retrieve findings from a specifically chosen type of water companies that share a specifically institutional setup.

Originality/value

The originality and value of the paper is based on the findings of the research in motivation and maturity in the cases of water companies, which have been used to elaborate on an existing CSR framework – the CSR maturity typology suggested by Crowther (2006) and Crowther and Reis (2011) into a CSR Maturity Framework incorporating businesses’ motives of profit-making, legitimacy and business ethics. The CSR Maturity Framework will be applicable for analyzing the CSR maturity for any business sector, and it adds value for businesses in its clarifying and suggesting themes that business sectors need to elaborate.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 12 July 2016

Abstract

Details

Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-384-9

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Abstract

Details

Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-384-9

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Book part
Publication date: 12 July 2016

Linne Marie Lauesen

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the question of whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be used as a link of trust between business and society…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the question of whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be used as a link of trust between business and society, and which role CSR plays in recovering distrust in businesses. It uses a mixed methods study of processes of moving businesses within the Danish water sector from a general trust-breakdown to trust recovery from 2003 to 2013.

Trust recovery is found to depend on stakeholders’ mutual engagement with each other and their willingness to share knowledge and learn from each other’s professional and institutional cultures and languages. An alignment of vocabularies of motives between regulation and voluntary CSR is found to be useful for building trust between conflicting parties. Furthermore the findings shows that the more stakeholders’ languages, motives and logics can coexist, the more trust can be recovered.

The research is limited by a study of one business sector in one country and the findings have implications greater than the local contexts of which it is researched, because it is usable in other sectors that suffer from severe trust-breakdowns such as government systems in both the public and private sectors.

This chapter suggests a theoretical extension of Bogenschneider and Corbett’s (2010) Community Dissonance Theory to embrace multiple stakeholders each having their own complex and unique culture and communication modus based on their institutional, professional or individual comprehensive language universes. This includes knowledge-sharing and educative diffusion of the stakeholders’ language universes’ vocabularies including its important nouns, verbs, terminologies, semantics, taxonomies and axioms as well as the stakeholders’ motives and logics implemented into these universes.

Details

Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-384-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2016

Linne Marie Lauesen

Most corporations consider their stakeholders to be those, who can be defined in a relatively narrow periphery. Customers, workers, investors, authorities, neighbours…

Abstract

Most corporations consider their stakeholders to be those, who can be defined in a relatively narrow periphery. Customers, workers, investors, authorities, neighbours, suppliers and various interest groups, for instance NGOs. However, during the last decades, phenomena such as the financial crisis, the global warming, the disasters of global consumerism in terms of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in the fashion industry, are examples of how the stakeholder concept cannot continue to be defined as narrow as corporations usually does. The butterfly effect of globalism has shown to be – yes, global. Even the smallest company, the single consumer and the tiniest decision made by anyone may in the future – perhaps even tomorrow – affect stakeholders, we didn’t know existed. The future generation is also to be considered as stakeholders, which decisions made today may affect. Companies, consumers, everyday people including children already know this even from the first day at school if not before. What we need is not knowledge about these phenomena – it is how to think globally when we decide locally: in companies, in daily households, in education of our future generations.

This chapter discusses how to revise the stakeholder concept according to corporate responsibility, company stakeholding and globalism. It points to shortcomings in various global trade systems such as banking, fashion and IT markets, and through these it suggests and discusses a new way of defining the stakeholder concept in a globalised and future perspective considering using the RESIST-model against ‘business-as-usual’ based on the butterfly effect of the smallest decision.

Details

Corporate Responsibility and Stakeholding
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-626-0

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 24 May 2012

Linne Marie Lauesen

Quality is often defined as cognitive perceptual attributes or properties, and researchers often disagree about which terms should be appropriate in determining quality…

Abstract

Quality is often defined as cognitive perceptual attributes or properties, and researchers often disagree about which terms should be appropriate in determining quality(Reeves & Bednar, 1994). Business research in marketing attaches value to the properties of quality (Zeithaml, 1988) and measures this in terms of ‘money’ and customer ‘expectations’. The idea of connecting quality to values through a persistent market – that is determining measurable accounts to products and properties – relies on the idea of an invisible hand controlling the market by competition (March, 1994; Smith, 1776/1976), and it assumes there is a reliable way to control quality and value. But discussions and debates arise when discussing the quality or value of abstract phenomena such as service.

Details

Business Strategy and Sustainability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-737-6

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Abstract

Details

Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-384-9

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2013

Linne Marie Lauesen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the literature of CSR before and in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008. The aim of the research question is to map out…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the literature of CSR before and in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008. The aim of the research question is to map out the consequences upon CSR derived from the crisis and to derive new principles of future CSR models to come consistent with the consequences of the financial crisis, and to suggest new research as well as policy-making possibilities to highlight the importance and necessary survival of CSR as an instrument for sustainable and financial progress.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a literature review of CSR prior to and after the financial crisis 2008, with an emphasis on academic papers published in peer-reviewed journals.

Findings

The findings of the paper reveal that post-crisis CSR-models do not articulate anything that has not been mentioned before; however, they do strengthen former values of CSR, but still lack an overall formula of how the financial sector can adopt CSR in the core of their businesses, and transparently display their products, and the risk adhering to them. The paper proposes a new Four-“E”-Principle that may guide new CSR-models to accomplish this deficit. See under “Originality”.

Practical implications

The paper calls for a discussion on ways in which governments and businesses can enhance social responsibility, though balancing the requirements of more engagement from businesses, as well as public sector companies in CSR. This paper suggests some instrumental mechanisms of how governments can engage, not only multinational companies, but also smaller companies, and other kinds of organizations acting on the market, to make them engage more in CSR.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a new Four-“E”-Principle to guide the development of new CSR-models based upon the core of Schwartz and Carroll's “Three-domain CSR-model”, which the Principle extends and revises to: Economy, L/Egal, Environment, and Ethics. This Principle disentangles the dialectic relationship between economic and social responsibility; takes financial products into consideration; refines the definitions of good stakeholder engagement without the illusions of corporate “Potemkinity”; and considers the benefit of replacing the semiotic meaning of the “C” in CSR from “corporate” to “capitalism's social responsibility” in order to extend the concept towards a broader range of market agents.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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