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Article

Athanasia Pouloudi, Xenia Ziouvelou and Konstantina Vassilopoulou

A large amount of research work in e‐business concerns the experiences and lessons learned from developing and implementing innovative e‐business models. The findings of…

Abstract

A large amount of research work in e‐business concerns the experiences and lessons learned from developing and implementing innovative e‐business models. The findings of this research usually concentrate on financial aspects or on the use of information and communication technologies in a specific company or industrial sector. While this is critical for understanding and replicating positive business results, we argue that it is as important to understand the societal context in which business models are developed; it is social issues that define (constrain or enable) the broader context of e‐business adoption. This paper aims to draw research attention to these social issues and suggests societal factors that influence the adoption of e‐business models. Specifically, the paper argues that factors related to region/geography, culture, the legal and regulatory environment, economic, ethical and professional factors, as well as factors related to social capital/social networks and social structure influence, directly or indirectly, the way in which e‐business models are perceived, implemented and evaluated. Three cases are presented to show how these factors become evident in e‐business, followed by a discussion of their managerial implications. The aim of the paper is to sensitise managers and policy makers in shaping an enabling societal context for the proliferation of socially acceptable business models.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Book part

Céline Louche and Tessa Hebb

This chapter interrogates the idea that Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) is ‘making the world a better place’. It explores the issue of the societal impacts of SRI by…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter interrogates the idea that Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) is ‘making the world a better place’. It explores the issue of the societal impacts of SRI by addressing five main questions: (1) Is SRI a viable solution to society’s problems? (2) What are the impediments and limits to SRI’s ability to make a difference in society? (3) Where is ‘ethics’ in SRI? (4) How do we measure societal impacts of SRI? and (5) What is the future of SRI?

Methodology

This chapter is a reflective piece debating the societal impacts of SRI. For the purpose of this chapter, a focus group was organised and interviews were conducted involving both academics and practitioners.

Findings

The chapter highlights and discusses several items that can either enhance or on the contrary hinder the societal impacts of SRI. Some of them are related to understanding of SRI, some concern the practice of SRI, while others are more of an epistemological nature. Based on the discussion, we propose three points of leverage that can enhance the capacity and ability of SRI to create change.

Research implications

The chapter is a call for more research on the societal impacts of SRI. Research in SRI has dominantly focused on the technicalities of the activity and the financial implications, but has hardly touched upon the question of the societal impact.

Practical implications

There are three primary managerial implications highlighted in this chapter: rethink the notion of fiduciary duties, strengthen the interaction between asset owners and asset managers, and encourage changes in public policy.

Details

Socially Responsible Investment in the 21st Century: Does it Make a Difference for Society?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-467-1

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Article

Anna Åslund and Ingela Bäckström

The purpose of this paper is to study management processes within successful societal entrepreneurship to further understand the role of management in customer value creation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study management processes within successful societal entrepreneurship to further understand the role of management in customer value creation.

Design/methodology/approach

Management in three successful societal entrepreneurship initiatives has been studied. Data have been collected through interviews, direct observation, participant observation and documentation. Management tasks, activities and behaviours have been identified and analysed from a system view.

Findings

The result presents essential management processes important for societal customer value creation, their input, output and main focus. Some management processes are inter-related and are sometimes part of another management process. The management seems driven by “need”, “opportunity”, “interest” and “demand”, when creating societal customer value. From a system perspective, management has an indirect role in societal customer value creation and is important for possibilities to create societal customer value. Both the initiative and the surroundings have been found to be of importance to the management’s scope for contributing to societal customer value creation.

Originality/value

The study provides the possibility to understand and learn from management, the management processes and their role in societal customer value creation. Thereby, it describes how to successfully provide customer value to society and work with societal, environmental and sustainability issues.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Article

Benjamin Dreveton and Valérie-Inés De La Ville

This article aims to highlight the need to explore the concept of social responsibility at the very heart of research activity. Questioning the social responsibility of…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to highlight the need to explore the concept of social responsibility at the very heart of research activity. Questioning the social responsibility of research activities in management provides the opportunity to take a fresh look at the criteria used to assess its usefulness.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on a secondary analysis of a longitudinal research process, this paper emphasizes the importance of achieving an ongoing co-monitoring of the issues about social responsibility involved in research.

Findings

This reflection leads to a first characterization of two key dimensions of the societal responsibility of researchers in management: their professional responsibility and their institutional responsibility.

Research limitations/implications

It is meant to encourage researchers to design a relevant instrumentation to help them negotiate, make explicit and co-monitor the issues of social responsibility involved in their empirical investigations as well as in their theoretical elaborations.

Social implications

As research projects are socially situated activities, always infused with values and ideologies, it is crucial that researchers reflect upon the axiology guiding their empirical and theoretical work.

Originality/value

In order to achieve an ongoing co-monitoring of the issues about social responsibility involved in management research, the article suggests a heuristic deviated use of the balanced scorecard.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article

Louise Lee

This paper aims to offer a New Zealand perspective on how business and community organisations engage to develop mutually beneficial partnerships to tackle pressing social

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer a New Zealand perspective on how business and community organisations engage to develop mutually beneficial partnerships to tackle pressing social issues. Specifically, the paper seeks to examine the collaboration motivations for business and community partners involved in seven business‐community partnerships in New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises data from in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews with key business and community managers involved in seven partnerships in New Zealand. The transcripts of the interviews were analysed using elements of content and narrative analysis. Findings to be presented in this paper include: explaining what “partnership” is; understanding a business case; and community organisations' motivations for engaging in partnerships with business.

Findings

This research finds that, while partnerships involving business and community organisations may ideally be associated with shared societal concerns, in this study there was a very strong focus on individual community organisation goals and a dominance of business priorities. This was not balanced by an interest in the broader meta‐goals of the partnership.

Originality/value

This paper draws attention to diverse and often competing motivations that characterise business‐community partnerships. The research demonstrates that, while partnerships are often discussed in the context of societal benefits, individual organisations frequently form partnerships primarily for their own instrumental self‐interests. It is hoped that this paper will stimulate understanding of the practical challenges to developing business‐community partnerships, given differences among the partners in goal orientations and expectations.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article

Fadwa Chaker, Samuel K. Bonsu, Majid K. El Ghaib and Diego Vazquez-Brust

The instrumental-normative divide that has historically characterized approaches to societal sustainability has also resulted in a rift between underlying mental models…

Abstract

Purpose

The instrumental-normative divide that has historically characterized approaches to societal sustainability has also resulted in a rift between underlying mental models and methods destined to address the issue. This separation makes our understanding and tackling of the present global ecological problems only limited and ineffective. The present work aims to draw on theoretical background to develop a conceptual framework for transitioning to integrated corporate sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing inspiration from Luhmann’s (1995) theory of social systems, we consider the instrumental (hard) and normative (soft) methods (Jackson 2019) for corporate sustainability as “conceptual systems” that derive much of traditional social systems’ attributes. These systems are autopoietic, complexity-reducing and functionally differentiated. Following Luhmann’s philosophical grounding, we suggest that integrating the two systems of hard and soft methods boils down to constraining both systems’ internal complexity by imposing limitations on their operational structures. This translates into a decodification–recodification process whereby new methods emerge as a combination of initially disconnected structures.

Findings

The proposed conceptual integration framework is applied to the case of the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard (SBSC) which has been recently subject to inconclusive controversy. Our work demonstrates that redesigning the SBSC’s architecture following the presented framework leads to embracing complexity, tensions and conflict all the while offering a systematic approach for properly identifying and quantifying cause–effect relationships. Moreover, the proposed framework scores high in Complexity and Systemicity measures, making it both durable and practically useful. More generally, this work drives home the point that an integrated approach to sustainability management is not only important but also feasible and theoretically durable.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically, the present work underscores the contribution of systems theory, and particularly the Luhmannian perspective, to transcending some of the most salient “divides” in approaches to societal sustainability. The decodification–recodification process not only enables integrating two distinct conceptual systems, but it also transforms the divide into an opportunity to gain a fresher perspective on one of the most challenging issues of our time. This process may demand, however, some adjustments as we move across various function systems, which requires solid knowledge and understanding of the underlying “codes” that define the systems subject to integration.

Practical implications

This work implies that integration of varied and sometimes outwardly opposed function systems can and must be carried out to achieve larger societal impact. With respect to the illustrated case, the emerging dynamic SBSC offers a viable strategic planning platform whereby managers and stakeholders can concurrently define, forecast and adjust the societal strategy that maximizes triple bottom-line indicators and sustainable development impact.

Social implications

Providing decision and policymakers with integrated sustainability management approaches and instruments will have a direct benefit on enhancing the way systems, and large corporations in particular, treat and deal with nature and human beings.

Originality/value

We propose that proper integration of multiple function systems, employing integrative, unbiased and structured methodologies, can be decisive in challenging current practices in sustainability management and in providing informed guidance for making the high-stake decisions needed in the transition towards sustainable development of business and society.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article

Shyama V. Ramani, Ajay Thutupalli and Eduardo Urias

This paper aims to study how multinational enterprises (MNEs) can best integrate legitimacy concerns into their new product-launching strategy to successfully introduce…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study how multinational enterprises (MNEs) can best integrate legitimacy concerns into their new product-launching strategy to successfully introduce high-value hi-tech innovations in emerging countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical constructs on the role and process of legitimacy construction for the introduction of a new product are built upon the existing literature. Then they are validated and refined through the formulation and analysis of case studies of the launch of genetically modified cotton seeds by Monsanto in India and a HIV/AIDS drug cocktail by Merck in Brazil.

Findings

Legitimacy construction can serve MNEs to face challenges successfully while launching high-value hi-tech products in emerging countries. Challenges to MNEs are likely to be founded on a combination of four types of uncertainties: technological, commercial, organizational and societal. Expected challengers are public agencies and actors representing civil society. An MNE can prepare itself through legitimacy construction along three dimensions: redesign of technology, revision of marketing strategy and non-market investments. To implement the aforesaid, MNEs can engage in outreach in the form of strategic patience, market transaction, business collaboration, compromise and/or confrontation with diverse carefully chosen stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

The authors limited ourselves to tracing only the formal interactions of MNEs, while it is well-known that many informal and backdoor activities can also accompany their growth in emerging economies.

Practical implications

Legitimacy construction can help MNEs face challenges successfully while launching high-value hi-tech products in emerging countries. This calls for an evaluation of the systemic uncertainties followed by the formulation of a strategy for legitimacy construction and implementation through outreach to diverse systemic actors. Strategic patience can yield positive returns. Market transactions can serve as economic anchors. Collaboration can be pursued with parties who can share the costs of legitimization construction and/or reduce technological and marketing uncertainties. Confrontation should be the last choice. Compromise is the most probable but not the only outreach strategy possible after a confrontation.

Social implications

Legitimacy implies product acceptance not only from the targeted consumer but also other societal stakeholders concerned with the safety and equity of the consumption in the emerging country, especially when regulations are not well-defined and/or implemented. The two kinds of societal stakeholders which are likely to monitor MNEs are public agencies and civil society groups. Public agencies will be concerned about the quantity, quality, technology or price of the innovation to be introduced. Civil society and NGOs may help the MNE act as citizen watchdogs for the environment and vulnerable communities.

Originality/value

Theoretical constructs have been developed in this paper on the sources of challenges in new product introduction, the types of challengers and the components of the firm’s legitimacy construction strategy and its implementation through an outreach strategy.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article

Niina Meriläinen and Marita Vos

The purpose of this paper is to better understand agenda setting by international human rights organizations in the online environment and at the same time contribute to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand agenda setting by international human rights organizations in the online environment and at the same time contribute to agenda‐setting theory. The role of non‐governmental organizations (NGOs) in the area of human rights is clarified, and agenda setting and related concepts are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on how attention is drawn to human rights issues in online communication by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International. A content analysis of online forums of HRW and Amnesty International was conducted by monitoring their web sites and Facebook and Twitter pages over a period of three months. In addition, two expert interviews with representatives of Amnesty Finland were conducted to better understand how the organization's online communication activities relate to its policies in drawing attention to human rights.

Findings

Based on this study, drawing attention to human rights issues is a goal that leads to active online communication. NGOs aim at attracting attention to their issues online by initiating a dialogue via online forums and motivating the public to participate in activities that may influence the media and the political agenda. The existing agenda‐setting research tends to emphasize the role of journalists in setting the public agenda, and mentions NGOs primarily as a source for journalists and as a political player. The online environment shows, however, that these NGOs mostly aim at setting the public agenda to create social change, while the media and political agenda are also not forgotten.

Research limitations/implications

This study suggests that the interdependence of the media, public and political agendas is more complex than has thus far been considered in agenda‐setting theory, especially in the current online environment. It investigates online agenda setting by two international NGOs, but does not discuss the role of the media or the public at large in their relationship with these NGOs. As this study has a limited time frame, a content analysis over a longer period and interviews with representatives of a wider variety of NGOs could be a next step. Future research could also compare the online communication of NGOs with that of profit organisations.

Practical implications

The findings show how agenda setting is supported by intricate multi‐platform activities in the present‐day online environment by the organizations studied in order to initiate a dialogue on societal issues. This suggests that in the online environment, the media, public and political agendas are becoming increasingly interrelated and within this triangle the public agenda seems to be gaining further in importance.

Originality/value

The impact that NGOs have on today's society is growing, and hence studying their online agenda setting is valuable from the perspective of corporate communication. International NGOs early on recognised the value of online communication.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article

Gordon Redding

The purpose of this paper is to locate the concept of competitive productivity (CP) within a general theory of societal progress and include new thinking on the challenge…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to locate the concept of competitive productivity (CP) within a general theory of societal progress and include new thinking on the challenge of obstacles to be met at certain stages.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to review the key literature dealing with economic growth and rising societal achievement and to refine out concepts that offer understanding of the dynamics commonly involved, taking illustrative examples from different societies and seeking overall common denominators that appear within the historical processes.

Findings

New understandings of societal progress, using complex adaptive systems theory applied to cities and industrial districts, indicate that two forces are at work to release new positive forms of energy into society. Economies of scale work via the laws of fractal geometry to yield sublinear growth of energy. More intense social interaction works within the core of the society in a different way to yield superlinear growth. These two forms of energy release can feed off each other beneficially in conditions where, as with CP, the forces of competition can work with forces driving efficiency, in conditions where societal order can be supported by appropriate cultural norms.

Research limitations/implications

A wide literature across several disciplines is brought to bear on the very complex question. Some of the theories are new but very well anchored. It is consequently possible to suggest a pattern of multi-determinants able to match the reality and to foster nuanced comprehensive analysis.

Practical implications

Impacts on policy of foreign direct investment and joint venture management.

Social implications

Emphasis on the roles of societal virtues in establishing the cooperativeness needed for CP.

Originality/value

Few studies bring together so many disciplinary perspectives into a complete argument.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article

Eric Deakins and Stuart M. Dillon

In New Zealand (NZ) there are plans afoot to create an e‐government that will automate government‐to‐government and government‐to‐citizen interactions and allow anyone…

Abstract

In New Zealand (NZ) there are plans afoot to create an e‐government that will automate government‐to‐government and government‐to‐citizen interactions and allow anyone, anywhere to go online any time to obtain information, to complete transactions, and to communicate with their elected representatives, cheaply, quickly, and efficiently. A total of 16 key issues, which various authors argue are critical to the success of USA e‐government initiatives, are described and evaluated in light of the NZ e‐government environment. The significance afforded to these issues by NZ local authority e‐government policymakers when they implement their own e‐government initiatives suggests that eight of the issues are considered significant, four are not considered significant, and four remain inconclusive at this time. Of the key issues, six are not well understood. It is also concluded that NZ local authorities are at an early evolutionary stage of e‐government development.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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