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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Daniel Alonso-Martínez, Nuria González-Álvarez and Mariano Nieto

The main goal of this study is to analyze the influence of social capital and corporate ethics on social progress. A theoretical model is proposed, and the hypotheses were…

Abstract

The main goal of this study is to analyze the influence of social capital and corporate ethics on social progress. A theoretical model is proposed, and the hypotheses were tested on a sample of 32 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD countries between 2011 and 2018 that includes data from the Social Progress Imperative non-profit organization as well as from the World Economic Forum database (Global Competitiveness Reports). The results indicate that, although both social capital and corporate ethics have a direct influence on social progress, social capital also influences corporate ethics so that the latter acts as a mediating variable between social capital and social progress.

Details

Strategic Responses for a Sustainable Future: New Research in International Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-929-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Boonlert Jitmaneeroj

Although the Social Progress Index offers a thorough overview of the top-ranked countries with a highly developed social performance, it assigns the same weight to all…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the Social Progress Index offers a thorough overview of the top-ranked countries with a highly developed social performance, it assigns the same weight to all component scores, implying that each component has identical and independent contribution to the SPI. By removing these flawed assumptions, the purpose of this paper is to examine the causal relationships among component scores and identify the critical components for reform priorities.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose an alternative approach to exploring the causal relationships and prioritizing the underlying components of the SPI. The four-step methodology comprises cluster analysis, data mining, partial least square path modeling, and importance-performance matrix analysis.

Findings

The authors find evidence of causal interrelations between the 12 components of the SPI. To accelerate social progress, the authors suggest that policy makers should allocate resources in order of priority to personal freedom and choice, personal rights, access to advanced education, water and sanitation, access to information and communications, tolerance and inclusion, personal safety, shelter, ecosystem sustainability, nutrition and basic medical care, health and wellness, and, finally, access to basic knowledge.

Practical implications

Policy makers in government, business, and civil society should become aware of causal relationships among the 12 components of the SPI and select an appropriate methodology to prioritize areas where social improvement is most needed.

Originality/value

Allowing for unequal weighting and causal relationships between component scores of the SPI, the authors’ methodology is the first attempt to offer a concrete way to identify which areas of social progress should constitute priorities for policy reforms.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Ícaro Célio Santos de Carvalho, Luiz Carlos Di Serio, Camilla Maria Cavalcante Guimarães and Karina Santos Furlanetto

This study aims to evaluate the competitiveness of nations and seeks to answer the following research question: how does the competitiveness of nations include…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to evaluate the competitiveness of nations and seeks to answer the following research question: how does the competitiveness of nations include improvements in the quality of life, thus influencing and contributing to social progress in both social and economic indices?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper collected secondary data from the World Economic Forum and the socioeconomic dimensions of the Social Progress Imperative Index and considered the dimensions of these indices, which were demonstrated using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. The main focus was on the documentary analysis that was carried out to explain the realities of 121 countries from 2014 to 2017 as taken from these indices, considering the 10 countries at the top and bottom.

Findings

This study showed the use of new measures for the performance of nations that are less dependent on economics and focus more on social development, which may be a trend for the future of nations, and produce a more holistic view for the study. “Innovation” is the factor with the weakest relationship with social progress, which is justified by a weaker relationship with one of the subcategories, “basic human needs”, when analyzed in isolation. However, when the authors analyze the best and worst nations, the authors observe that economic factors are still prevalent, with the “institutions” and “infrastructure” factors being effective for improving competitiveness and the quality of life.

Research limitations/implications

The findings represent a new, emerging configuration in country performance, but the study has its limitations, such as the use of only two pooled variables and the fact that it does not correlate their dimensions or variables.

Originality/value

This study can represents an expansion logic for measuring the performance of countries considering social factors. The main contributions of this study are its statistical evidence and documentary analysis of the relationship between economic and social variables. The main contribution of this paper is to show that over time (2014–2017) economic factors, as measured by the competitiveness index of nations, relate to aspects of social welfare, as measured by the social progress index.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2013

Ryan Gunderson

Contemporary sociologists implicitly assume or explicitly state that classical social theorists shared the Enlightenment’s optimistic vision that society would become more…

Abstract

Purpose

Contemporary sociologists implicitly assume or explicitly state that classical social theorists shared the Enlightenment’s optimistic vision that society would become more rational, free, ethical, and just overtime. I reexamine the primary works that laid the foundation for sociology and resituate them in their neo-Romantic origins.

Design/methodology/approach

Close readings of formative texts are provided to revisit modernist critiques of social progress in turn of the century sociology. The works of Ferdinand Tönnies, Thorstein Veblen, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, and Max Weber exemplify this tradition.

Findings

Insights from social theory written during and around the neo-Romantic period mirrored the Zeitgeist, a time fascinated with irrationality, moral decay, unconsciousness, decadence, degeneration, cynicism, historical decline, and pessimism. However, classical sociology’s pessimism should not be interpreted as anti-modern. Rather, it contributed to the Enlightenment’s maturation.

Research limitations/implications

Contemporary sociologists should recover the spirit of classical sociology’s gloomy extension of the modern project and bring societal processes to consciousness through human reason, untainted by the fable of progress. Without rational grounds for optimism, the most honest and sincere way to preserve the hope for alternatives and emancipation is through the continuation and advancement of the pessimistic tradition. To formulate new disillusioned theories of society, sociology ought to draw from its ignored tragic legacy.

Originality/value

Rather than accept accounts of classical sociologists as believers in progress, the tradition reveals a world of increasing disenchantment, atomization, anomie, alienation, confusion, quarrel, rationalization devoid of value, and unhappiness. Providing society thoughtful, systematic accounts of its own estrangement advances the project of modernity.

Details

Social Theories of History and Histories of Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-219-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

1982

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Book part
Publication date: 4 January 2014

Jacqueline Mees-Buss and Catherine Welch

The purpose of this chapter is to examine how a multinational enterprise (MNE) makes sense of the ‘wicked problem’ of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to examine how a multinational enterprise (MNE) makes sense of the ‘wicked problem’ of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Design/methodology/approach

We analyse the single case of an acknowledged leader in CSR, Unilever. We undertake an interpretive textual analysis of how Unilever has accounted for its progress towards greater social and environmental responsibility in its annual social and environmental reports published between 2000 and 2012.

Findings

We identify enduring themes as well as what has changed in this 12-year period. We conclude that while Unilever has made definite progress, becoming more confident and ambitious in its plans and achievements, it potentially runs the risk of reducing CSR to a ‘tame problem’ that can be solved through technical solutions that offer win-win solutions and do not challenge the economic theory of the firm.

Research implications

We show the value of using the perspective of ‘wicked problems’ to understand the complexity of the CSR challenge facing the MNE.

Practical implications

We suggest that the current approach of measuring CSR progress has limitations and potentially negative side effects.

Originality/value

Our chapter offers a novel conceptualisation of CSR, as well as empirical evidence of CSR as a process of corporate sensemaking in the face of ‘wicked problems’.

Details

International Business and Sustainable Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-990-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2022

Sandra G. Hamilton

This paper examines the role of government procurement as a social policy mechanism within a multilateral open trading system. Government regulations globally are being…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the role of government procurement as a social policy mechanism within a multilateral open trading system. Government regulations globally are being transformed to foster more responsible business conduct in multinational enterprises (MNEs). Yet, concern that sustainability may present a discriminatory barrier to trade has stalled the progress of sustainable public procurement (SPP) at the international level, raising questions regarding the role and scope of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) to align taxpayer-funded contracts with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

Design/methodology/approach

With a focus on social sustainability, this paper reviews the grey and academic literature to assess the changing landscape of public procurement policy and supply chain legislation in high-income countries.

Findings

Frontrunner nations are adopting a mandatory approach to sustainable public procurement and due diligence legislation is elevating supply chain risk from reputational damage to legal liability. While technological innovation and the clean, green production of manufactured goods dominates the sustainable public procurement literature, the social aspects of sustainability poverty, inequality and human rights remain underrepresented.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of this paper is limited to the examination of government procurement covered by the WTO-GPA (2012). Smaller value contracts, under the WTO-GPA thresholds and the category of defence are beyond the scope of the paper.

Social implications

The paper focusses on the underserved topic of social sustainability in business-to-government (B2G) – business to government – supply chains arguing that for responsible business conduct to become a competitive advantage, it must be more meaningfully rewarded on the demand-side of all taxpayer-funded contracts in organisation for economic co-operation and development countries. The paper introduces the idea of priceless procurement as a mechanism to build system capacity in the evaluation of non-financial sustainability objectives.

Originality/value

To build the capacity to stimulate competition based on social and environmental policy objectives, the paper introduces the concept of priceless procurement in B2G contracts.

Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2010

Eizo Hideshima

Urbanization is a mode of social progress in history. However, it repeats headway and fallback. In the lifetime of a person, he/she may watch only a certain phase of…

Abstract

Urbanization is a mode of social progress in history. However, it repeats headway and fallback. In the lifetime of a person, he/she may watch only a certain phase of recovery from fallback as if it were a phase of progress. Such a social activity as evocation of sense of togetherness may seem to be so primitive that it might be practicable even in past communities. It is true of water quality issue of river and sea around us. Do you find the more innovative way that has never been seen? Otherwise, do you chant simply a slogan like “Clean the river more!”? Although water quality transition is merely a physical phenomenon, the community nearby may either worsen or improve the quality. The interaction between the quality transition and the action of community continues in a dynamic process. Community should progress, if possible, by managing the process appropriately. This chapter first illustrates a case of social remediation process for water quality issue of Horikawa river in Nagoya City, Japan. Then it considers the issues, concerns, activities, and moreover the relation of them over the water community. It finally refers to more strategic direction through simple mathematical formulation of social remediation process.

Details

Water Communities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-699-1

Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2003

Marc J Epstein

This paper provides a review of the progress made in both academic literature and corporate practice over the last forty years. Although there has been an increase in the…

Abstract

This paper provides a review of the progress made in both academic literature and corporate practice over the last forty years. Although there has been an increase in the number of companies producing social and environmental reports, the quality of the disclosures has not increased. Further, there is little evidence of progress in the integration of social and environmental impacts into management decisions. The paper provides suggestions on research needs to increase the integration of social and environmental impacts into management decisions and improve both the internal reporting and external disclosures and accountability of corporations.

Details

Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-070-8

Book part
Publication date: 14 September 2020

Virginia Munro

A full and adequate Systematic Quantitative Literature Research Analysis of the academic literature and research on creating shared value (CSV) is long overdue. This…

Abstract

A full and adequate Systematic Quantitative Literature Research Analysis of the academic literature and research on creating shared value (CSV) is long overdue. This chapter commences this process by introducing some of the academic literature currently on CSV and examining the strengths and weaknesses of this literature, while identifying gaps for future research. The chapter builds on current academic literature to include writing and research from the business community in an attempt to make this chapter both topical and accessible to anyone interested in CSV, including practitioners interested in implementing these types of projects as direct CSV projects or as part of already existing CSR strategy. It is expected that the inclusion of this type of business literature will add value to academic research going forward. The Appendix brings the chapter together by presenting examples of a variety of CSV case studies to provide ideas for future project implementation and opportunities for future research in both implementation and measurement.

Details

CSR for Purpose, Shared Value and Deep Transformation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-035-8

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