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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2021

Tjaša Štrukelj, Dejana Zlatanović, Jelena Nikolić and Simona Sternad Zabukovšek

The consequences of human social irresponsibility urge socially responsible reactions. The authors expose the consequences of socially irresponsible behaviour and state…

Abstract

Purpose

The consequences of human social irresponsibility urge socially responsible reactions. The authors expose the consequences of socially irresponsible behaviour and state possible requisitely holistic tools to eliminate organisations’ dangerous and socially irresponsible behaviour. This paper aims to examine how the viable system model (the VSM) used as a diagnostic tool can help organisations support socially responsible behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the variety of systems methodologies, the authors selected the VSM as a key methodological tool of Organizational Cybernetics. A case-study approach is used to demonstrate the power of the VSM as a diagnostic tool.

Findings

Humans need to replace recklessness and selfishness by faster re-orientation towards a socially responsible society. By following the cybernetic circle of the preparation and implementation of the management process and practising social responsibility via the VSM, organisations can conduct socially responsible business operations for a socially responsible society. Respecting the pluralist nature of social responsibility and a limited framework of the VSM, the VSM analysis needs to be supported by interpretive systems approaches, such as Strategic Assumptions Surfacing and Testing (SAST).

Research limitations/implications

The presented study’s limitation is the case study of a selected organisation from Europe. The discussion could be relevant to each organisation, which is observed as a viable system. The insights gained with this case study can be broadened by empirical research involving diverse organisations from various countries.

Practical implications

Research results indicate socially irresponsible behaviours of the researched organisation and possible ways of overcoming them. The cybernetic circle of the preparation and implementation of socially responsible management processes through the VSM offers a possible path towards more social responsibility in organisations. Moreover, the VSM should be used in combination with interpretive systems approaches, such as SAST.

Social implications

The generality of the VSM indicates that decision-makers could use the VSM for diagnosing socially irresponsible behaviour in organisations and for redesigning organisations to help develop a more socially responsible society.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a cybernetic framework and methodological support to social responsibility. This study could serve as an essential starting point for organisations wishing to take further steps towards social responsibility.

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2019

Seoyeon Kim and Lucinda Austin

The purpose of this paper is to examine Millennial consumers’ responses to two corporate social initiative types – socially responsible business practices and corporate…

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2376

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Millennial consumers’ responses to two corporate social initiative types – socially responsible business practices and corporate philanthropy – in combination with proactive and reactive CSR communication strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 (corporate philanthropy/socially responsible business practices) ×2 (proactive/reactive CSR communication) between-subjects experiment was conducted.

Findings

The socially responsible business practices were largely perceived more positively than the philanthropic initiatives. Likewise, greater public-serving motives were attributed to the socially responsible business practices compared to the philanthropy. While philanthropic initiatives were perceived more negatively when communicated reactively, there were no significant differences between proactive and reactive socially responsible business practices.

Originality/value

As an attempt to initiate the comparative examination of the effects of different corporate social initiative types, this study suggests outperformance of the socially responsible business practices type of corporate social initiatives over the resources-giving (i.e. philanthropy) type of initiatives even in the reactive communication setting where reputational threat resides.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2021

Peren Özturan and Amir Grinstein

In a world where corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a meaningful trend valued by firm stakeholders, it is still not clear how the marketing department integrates…

Abstract

Purpose

In a world where corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a meaningful trend valued by firm stakeholders, it is still not clear how the marketing department integrates corporate-level social responsibility strategy into its departmental activities i.e. socially responsible marketing activities (SRMA) and whether such activities can benefit the department. Using legitimacy as the underlying theoretical explanation, this paper aims to study two instrumental returns from SRMA at the marketing department level, i.e. marketing department’s performance – impact outside the firm on multiple marketing-related outcomes and influence within the firm – the power of the marketing department compared to other departments.

Design/methodology/approach

Three studies were performed. Study 1 is a survey that offers a validated measure of SRMA and examines its relationship with the focal outcome variables. Study 2 is also a survey that investigates the mediating role of the marketing department’s legitimacy and the moderating role of customers’ interest in social responsibility and uses actual sales data of firms. Study 3 is an experiment that examines the main findings in a controlled setting using participants other than marketing executives i.e. chief executive officers.

Findings

Study 1 shows that SRMA is different than the closely related variable socially responsible business strategy and is positively related to the marketing department’s performance and influence within the firm. Study 2 complements these findings by demonstrating these impacts are mediated by the marketing department’s legitimacy and strengthened with higher customers’ interest in social responsibility. Study 3 sets the causality between the focal variables and the mediating role of legitimacy.

Research limitations/implications

This work extends the study of firm-level CSR to the department- and implementation-level, in the context of marketing departments. It reveals the underlying mechanism driving the positive impact of SRMA, i.e. legitimacy, and identifies a moderating condition, i.e. customers’ interest in social responsibility. It further extends research on the role of the marketing department and its contribution to firm performance.

Practical implications

Marketers can benefit from the reported findings by understanding when and how CSR-related, domain-specific activities that feature the traditional responsibilities of marketing, including market research, customer relationship management and the product, promotions, price and place (4Ps) may be reshaped to include a broader set of stakeholders and a socially responsible angle and thereby generate more legitimacy and impact – inside and outside the firm.

Originality/value

This study provides a novel perspective on how marketing departments evaluate CSR in their daily activities where such engagement vests increasing returns to the marketing department and underpins the successful implementation of CSR.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Mark Anthony Camilleri

Firms are increasingly resorting to responsible supply chain management as they align their economic success with socially responsible initiatives in their value chain…

Abstract

Purpose

Firms are increasingly resorting to responsible supply chain management as they align their economic success with socially responsible initiatives in their value chain. This contribution aims to suggest that there are opportunities for global corporations who are keen on integrating responsible practices into their business operations. It is in their interest to report about their responsible supply chain management, social performance and sustainable innovations to their stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper identifies future research avenues in the promising areas of responsible procurement and global supply chain management.

Findings

The corporations’ differentiated strategies as well as their proactive engagement in responsible supply chain management can lead them to achieve a competitive advantage in the long term. The low-cost producers may be neglecting the marketplace stakeholders, including suppliers, distributors among others. Moreover, the smaller businesses’ could not be in a position to follow responsible procurement practices, as they may lack the scarce resources to do so.

Originality/value

This paper raises awareness about the integration of socially responsible behaviours and sustainable practices in business operations. It contends that a responsible supply chain management necessitates an improved relationship with suppliers and distributors in the value chain. This stakeholder engagement with ultimately create value to the businesses themselves.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2013

Fara Azmat and Ramanie Samaratunge

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the under‐researched area of social responsibility of small scale individual entrepreneurs (SIEs) and how that…

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1112

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the under‐researched area of social responsibility of small scale individual entrepreneurs (SIEs) and how that impacts on customer loyalty at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) in the context of South Asia.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from the literature, the paper expands and builds on the previous work of Azmat and Samaratunge on SIEs and develops a set of propositions that provide insights into the probable link between customer awareness, responsible business practices of SIEs and customer loyalty at the BoP level.

Findings

Findings highlight the uniqueness of SIEs, BoP customers and the contextual variables in developing countries. The authors further contribute to knowledge by developing the concept of blind customer loyalty, where SIEs are likely to experience customer loyalty regardless of being socially responsible.

Research limitations/implications

Given the limited literature on the social responsibility practices of SIEs, this paper makes a significant contribution to two different but important inter‐related discourses on SIEs and their adoption of socially responsible practices, as well as to the BoP literature.

Practical implications

The paper concludes by outlining the implications for SIEs, policy‐makers, and practitioners, advancing the agenda of social responsibility for future research in the fields of both the BoP and SIEs.

Originality/value

Given their unique characteristics and realities, SIEs in developing countries are involved with customers at the BoP on a day‐to‐day basis. However, there is a significant knowledge gap in the literature on their social responsibility and customer loyalty. This paper is the first of this kind to address and link this critical issue.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Jung E. Ha‐Brookshire and Pamela S. Norum

This study seeks to investigate significant factors influencing consumers' willingness to pay a premium for three different socially responsible products – organic cotton…

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8343

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to investigate significant factors influencing consumers' willingness to pay a premium for three different socially responsible products – organic cotton, sustainable cotton, and US‐grown cotton shirts.

Design/methodology/approach

Through random‐digit‐dialing, the study data were collected from 500 respondents nationally via telephone surveys. The survey data were analyzed using stepwise regression and mean comparisons.

Findings

More than half of the respondents indicated that they were willing to pay a premium for organic, sustainable, and US‐grown cotton shirts ($5.00 or more for these cotton shirts at the $30.00 retail value). Consumer attitudes toward socially responsible apparel, attitudes toward environment, age, and gender were found to be significant factors for consumers' willingness to pay a premium. Four apparel product evaluative criteria, brand name, laundering requirements, color, and fit, were also found to be important for consumers' willingness to pay a premium.

Research limitations/implications

Generalization from the study findings must be assumed with care due to the telephone survey mode.

Practical implications

Apparel businesses planning to offer organic, sustainable, or US‐grown cotton apparel products may want to emphasize certain tangible benefits, such as strong brand, reasonable price, easy care, color, and fit, concurrently with intangible benefits, such as feeling good by helping society and environment.

Originality/value

The findings showed relationships among attitudes, product evaluative criteria, demographic characteristics, and willingness to pay a premium for three different options of socially responsible cotton apparel, in order to help close the gap between attitudes and behavior in consumer research.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Mark Anthony Camilleri

This study aims to explain how socially responsible investing (SRI) has evolved in the past few decades and sheds light on its latest developments. It describes different…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explain how socially responsible investing (SRI) has evolved in the past few decades and sheds light on its latest developments. It describes different forms of SRI in the financial markets, and deliberates on the rationale for the utilization of positive and negative screenings of listed businesses and public organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review suggests that the providers of financial capital are increasingly allocating funds toward positive impact and sustainable investments. Therefore, this descriptive paper provides a factual summary of the proliferation of SRI products in financial markets. Afterwards, it presents the opportunities and challenges facing the stakeholders of SRI.

Findings

This research presents a historic overview on the growth of SRI products in the financial services industry. It clarifies that the market for responsible investing has recently led to an increase in a number of stakeholders, including contractors, non-governmental organizations and research firms who are involved in the scrutinization of the businesses’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) behaviors.

Originality/value

This discursive contribution raises awareness on the screenings of positive impact and sustainable investments. The researcher contends that today’s socially responsible investors are increasingly analyzing the businesses’ non-financial performance, including their ESG credentials. In conclusion, this paper puts forward future research avenues in this promising field of study.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2018

María Paula Lechuga Sancho, Domingo Martínez-Martínez, Manuel Larran Jorge and Jesús Herrera Madueño

Regardless of the noteworthy growth in research and practice associating corporate social responsibility (CSR) with human resource management, little has been written in…

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2293

Abstract

Purpose

Regardless of the noteworthy growth in research and practice associating corporate social responsibility (CSR) with human resource management, little has been written in regard to one major dimension of CSR in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as CSR policies and practices are directed toward employees. The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a conceptual framework connecting socially responsible human resource management (SRHRM) to competitive performance that fits small business.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to get empirical evidence, structural equation modeling technique was applied on the data from 481 Spanish SMEs.

Findings

Results confirm both the direct contribution of SRHRM to business competitiveness and the multiple effects resulting from including two variables of additional interest for the relationship under study: employee’s commitment and relational marketing.

Practical implications

One of the main research limitations is that the paper only reflects the perceptions of owners/managers of SMEs. Although it was believed that the respondents give reliable and accurate information about the way their firms are involved in CSR practices, there is a possibility that they might provide incorrect or incomplete information.

Originality/value

The relationships proposed have never been studied before in context of SMEs. This is a worthwhile endeavor, which makes an empirical contribution.

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2010

Seong‐Jong Joo, Hokey Min, Ik‐Whan G. Kwon and Heboong Kwon

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate light on the assessment of operating efficiency of specialty coffee retailers from the perspective of socially responsible

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3536

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate light on the assessment of operating efficiency of specialty coffee retailers from the perspective of socially responsible global sourcing. This paper evaluates the impact of socially responsible sourcing on the operating efficiencies of specialty coffee retailers before and after implementing fair‐trade practices and compares the operating efficiencies of fair‐trade coffee retailers to those of non‐fair‐trade coffee retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes data envelopment analysis (DEA) to measure the comparative efficiency of seven specialty coffee retailers, relative to prior periods and their key competitors. It develops the Charnes‐Cooper‐Rhodes (CCR) model that is designed to derive weights without their being fixed in advance. The CCR version of DEA is adopted to assess the impact of the coffee retailers' policy initiatives (i.e. fair‐trade practices) on their efficiency and measure the change over time (i.e. before and after fair‐trade practices) efficiency of the coffee retailers. As a post hoc DEA analysis, it also performs non‐parametric rank sum statistical tests for any discernable group differences between fair‐trade coffee retailers and non‐fair‐trade coffee retailers.

Findings

The study found that a group of coffee retailers committed to socially responsible sourcing (i.e. fair‐trade) practices tended to perform significantly better than the group which has yet to commit socially responsible sourcing practices with a concern over increased purchasing price. Also, it was found that a premium purchasing price paid to fair‐trade coffee beans did not undermine the coffee retailer's comparative operating efficiency despite its adverse impact on purchasing cost. In other words, a cost increase resulting from socially responsible business conducts might have been offset by the revenue increase resulting from favorable brand recognition attached to social responsibility.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to assess the impact of socially responsible sourcing practices on the multinational firms (MNFs) such as specialty coffee retailers' competitiveness and then investigate whether the MNF's commitment to socially responsible sourcing practices can be developed into its long‐term strategic weapon. In addition, it helps specialty coffee retailers formulate future global sourcing strategies by providing the detailed picture of how socially responsible sourcing can impact their competitiveness.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Md Nazmul Hasan

Drawing on the “ISO 26000: 2010 – Guidance on social responsibility” handbook, this paper aims to investigate the extent to which Bangladeshi small- and medium-sized…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the “ISO 26000: 2010 – Guidance on social responsibility” handbook, this paper aims to investigate the extent to which Bangladeshi small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) are incorporating social responsibility (SR)/sustainability into their regular business activities. It is also aimed at providing insights into how Bangladeshi SME owner-managers perceive the concept of SR, and exploring the key drivers of and barriers to socially responsible and sustainable business practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method research was carried out in two sequential phases. During the first phase, 110 printed questionnaires (59 of which were eventually used) were distributed among the owner-managers of the selected SMEs. The second phase involved seven in-depth semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The findings reconfirm the existence of the so called “attitude-behaviour” gap. The barriers that hinder the sustainable engagement of SMEs include corruption, a weak regulatory environment, inefficient or ill-suited government and external support and a lack of awareness of the environmental aspects of SR. In addition, this research reveals that Bangladeshi manufacturing SMEs do, to a certain degree, implement SR; only those few issues that suit the owner-managers’ personal motives are addressed, while many others (e.g. environmental issues) are neglected. Finally, it has been found that the business type and size, and the owner-managers’ educational attainments have no significant influence on the degree of adoption of socially responsible business practices by Bangladeshi manufacturing SMEs.

Originality/value

This paper develops a tool suited to meaningfully assess the socially responsible and sustainable business activities of SMEs. By using the four key elements identified in ISO 26000, namely, labour practices, the environment, consumer issues and community involvement and development, and by using an innovative and effective technique, a sustainability score and implementation level were calculated quantitatively for the selected SMEs. The tool developed here can be used to study the sustainability related issues faced by SMEs based in other low-income developing countries.

Details

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

Keywords

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