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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2013

Ludovic Urgeghe

Purpose – These last three years, the global reputation of microfinance has been damaged by some major crises, notably in India. The Microfinance Investment Vehicles…

Abstract

Purpose – These last three years, the global reputation of microfinance has been damaged by some major crises, notably in India. The Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIVs), funded by public money and socially inclined investors, are believed by observers to be part of the causes of the crises (von Stauffenberg & Rozas, 2011). As a consequence, they now have to demonstrate their commitment to the social mission of microfinance. This chapter aims at putting forward the debate on MIVs’ ability to effectively contribute to the social mission of microfinance by analyzing how they integrate social performance in their investment decisions.

Methodology/approach – Analysis of interviews with microfinance fund managers based on a framework of recognized impediments to a socially responsible approach in investing.

Findings – While social performance is recognized by respondents to be an important topic for the industry, fund managers still do not give a strong role to social criteria in investment decisions. The findings of the qualitative analysis in the chapter demonstrate that this is linked to a number of major impediments such as the tendency to believe that microfinance is social per se, the lack of standardization in social performance tools, and also a loose regulation regarding social reporting.

Research limitations/implications – The findings of the study are limited due to the relatively small sample size and the focus on fund managers’ answers only. Future research could investigate the viewpoints of different stakeholders in the investment process, such as the back investors of microfinance funds or the regulatory institutions.

Originality/value – To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to get insights on the impediments to a stronger focus on social performance by MIVs, with the application of a recognized framework from the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) literature.

Details

Institutional Investors’ Power to Change Corporate Behavior: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-771-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Abstract

Details

Institutional Investors’ Power to Change Corporate Behavior: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-771-9

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Abstract

Details

Institutional Investors’ Power to Change Corporate Behavior: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-771-9

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Suzanne Young and Stephen Gates

Purpose – This chapter introduces this book’s topics, purpose, and key themes. It summarizes the purpose of the book which is to explore through both…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter introduces this book’s topics, purpose, and key themes. It summarizes the purpose of the book which is to explore through both descriptive and conceptual means the use of power by institutional investors in bringing about changes to corporate behavior, so that corporations engage in improved environmental, social, and governance actions.

Methodology/approach – This chapter reviews literature and chapters and offers conceptual development.

Findings – The forces driving the actions of institutional investors are different from many other shareholders being determined by a unique set of costs, benefits, and objectives. As such three general categories of institutional elements constrain and guide this behavior: regulative elements which include constitutions, laws, and property rights; normative elements which include informal norms, values, and codes of conduct; and cultural-cognitive elements which include shared beliefs, identities, and mental models. It highlights the role of regulation and “soft” law, the impact of values and customs, and the way sense-making and cognition impacts on decisions and actions.

Practical/social implications – The chapter highlights the interplay between hard and soft law in progressing the agenda. It seems that hard law is a hygiene factor forming the base on which initial gains can be made in the application of institutional shareholder power. Moreover, the use of soft law such as the Global Reporting Initiative and the newly founded Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, institutional investors can gain improved disclosure of sustainability performance to incorporate into their investment decisions. Moreover, it highlights the gaps in the use of the power that exists. The movement is still emerging with the focus on corporate governance and environmental considerations primarily. There are still improvements to be made for institutional investors in the social aspects of the responsibility agenda as well in pushing companies to be more transparent, improve reporting, and engage in more long-term decision-making.

Originality/value – The chapter contributes to the debate on governance convergence between liberal market economies (LMEs) and coordinated market economies (CMEs). It is important to look beyond national characteristics alone and demonstrate that organizations, even though they are impacted by institutions, are not necessarily passive acceptors of their fate. Hence this chapter highlights that in expanding from a dyadic approach comparing LMEs and CMEs, the strategic choice of decision-makers, the power of the actors, and the processes used by institutional investors in changing corporate behavior are important considerations.

Details

Institutional Investors’ Power to Change Corporate Behavior: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-771-9

Keywords

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