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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Mohamed Saeudy, Jill Atkins and Elisabetta A.V. Barone

This paper aims to contribute to a growing literature in sustainable and green banking by exploring the views of senior banking representatives towards the implementation…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to a growing literature in sustainable and green banking by exploring the views of senior banking representatives towards the implementation of sustainability initiatives through extensive interview research. The authors explore the extent to which such initiatives are embedded within the banking industry, whether they represent risk management mechanisms and whether they are imbued with reputational risk management rather than a genuine response to ethical societal concerns.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with UK bank managers. The interviewees’ utterances are interpreted through a sociological theoretical lens derived from the study of Giddens and Beck, allowing us to conclude that external initiatives such as the Equator Principles seem to be adopted as re-embedding mechanisms that can rebuild societal trust, as well as representing mechanisms of reputational risk management.

Findings

The analysis suggested that internal sustainability initiatives were interpreted as coping mechanisms whereby bank employees can recreate their protective cocoon, reinstating their ontological security in response to the high consequence risks of climate change and other related systemic factors that create overwhelming feelings of engulfment.

Originality/value

Using Beck’s risk society theory as a theoretical lens through which to interpret the interview data allows a number of concluding comments and suggestions to be made. The findings resonate with earlier research into institutional investors’ attitudes towards climate change that found their engagement and dialogue with companies around climate change issues to be imbued with a risk discourse: their initiatives and actions were dominated by risk management motivations.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2019

Rocio Rodriguez, Göran Svensson, Nils M. Høgevold and David Eriksson

The purpose of this paper is to compare the similarities and differences relating to sustainability initiatives between health-care organizations. The aim is to provide a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the similarities and differences relating to sustainability initiatives between health-care organizations. The aim is to provide a framework of factors and their determinants to enable a profiling of organizational sustainability initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an inductive approach, judgmental sampling was applied to select relevant health-care organizations. Informants were identified according to their knowledge of their organizations’ sustainability initiatives.

Findings

Several factors and their determinants for characterizing differences and similarities were found. The results also reveal that organizational sustainability initiatives are either value-driven or business-driven.

Research limitations/implications

The reported framework of factors and their determinants serves the purpose of profiling organizational sustainability initiatives. Opportunities for further research are provided.

Practical implications

This paper provides managerial guidance for characterizing the differences and similarities with respect to organizational sustainability initiatives in relation to other organizations.

Originality/value

This study establishes a framework for characterizing organizational sustainability initiatives. It also contributes to reveal whether organizational sustainability initiatives are value – or business-driven and considers intrinsic-oriented differences and extrinsic-oriented similarities.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2018

Rocio Rodriguez, Göran Svensson and David Eriksson

The purpose of this paper is to examine the logic and differentiators of organizational positioning and planning of sustainability initiatives between private and public…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the logic and differentiators of organizational positioning and planning of sustainability initiatives between private and public organizations in the healthcare industry. Sustainability initiatives refer to organizations’ economic, social and environmental actions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on an inductive approach judgmental sampling and in-depth interviews of executives at private and public hospitals in Spain have been used. Data were collected from the directors of communication at private hospitals, and from the executive in charge of corporate social responsibility in public hospitals. An empirical discourse analysis is used.

Findings

The positioning and planning of sustainability initiatives differs between private and public hospitals. The former consider sustainability as an option that is required mainly for social reasons, a bottom-up positioning and planning. It emerges merely spontaneously within the organization, while the sustainability initiatives in public hospitals are compulsory. They are imposed by the healthcare system within which the public hospital, operates and constitutes a top-down positioning and planning that is structured to accomplish set sustainability goals.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that it is undertaken exclusively in Spanish organizations from one industry. This study differs from previous ones in terms of exploring the positioning and planning of the sustainability initiatives, which focus on the organizational logic of such sustainability initiatives. There are both common denominators and differentiators between private and public hospitals.

Practical implications

The logic of determining the positioning and planning of the sustainability initiatives is mainly about satisfying organizational needs and societal demands. Nowadays, organizations tend to engage in sustainability initiatives, so it is essential to understand the logic of how organizations position and plan such efforts.

Originality/value

This study investigates the path that follows sustainability initiatives in public and private organizations. It reports mainly differentiators between private and public organizations. It also contributes to explaining the organizational reasoning as to why companies make decisions about sustainability initiatives, an issue which has not been addressed sufficiently in existing theory studies.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2018

Rocio Rodriguez, Göran Svensson and David Eriksson

The purpose of this study is to compare private and public hospitals’ sustainability actions, as well as to contrast their organizational evolution over time (i.e. past…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare private and public hospitals’ sustainability actions, as well as to contrast their organizational evolution over time (i.e. past, present and expected future) in the Spanish health-care sector. Sustainability initiatives refer to organizations’ economic, social and environmental actions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies an inductive approach based on judgmental sampling and in-depth interviews of key informants at private and public hospitals in the Spanish health-care sector. Data were gathered from the executive in charge of corporate social responsibility in public hospitals and the directors of communication at private hospitals.

Findings

Although the private and public hospitals studied are in the same health-care industry and run similar operations, their organizational sustainability initiatives in the past, present and expected future differ. The scope of sustainability initiatives between private and public hospitals is different, compared through time. Who was and who is promoting, as well as who is going to promote sustainability initiatives, also differs between private and public hospitals.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this study is that it was undertaken exclusively in Spanish organizations from one industry, but this is also a benefit, as it enables a comparison and contrast of the evolution between private and public hospitals. Future research could focus on the evolution of organizational sustainability initiatives in other industries and countries.

Practical implications

The reported comparison of empirical findings between private and public hospitals, as well as the subsequent discussion contrasting these findings, yields various managerial implications in terms of the scope and promotor of sustainable actions.

Originality/value

This study differs from previous ones by exploring the evolutionary details of the organizational sustainability initiatives through time in both private and public hospitals. This study also makes a contribution by revealing common denominators and differentiators between private and public hospitals that operate in the same health-care industry.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Ivete Delai and Sérgio Takahashi

The primary aim of this paper is to develop a reference model for measuring corporate sustainability that can be used by organizations to integrate sustainability measures…

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4683

Abstract

Purpose

The primary aim of this paper is to develop a reference model for measuring corporate sustainability that can be used by organizations to integrate sustainability measures into their current performance measurement system, helping them to embed sustainability into daily activities and to forge a sustainability culture. A secondary intent is to present a critical analysis of some well‐known sustainability measurement initiatives, showing their strengths and shortcomings.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach employed to develop the reference model described in this paper is a qualitative analysis of the complementarity, shortcomings and strengths of eight well‐known sustainability measurement initiatives alongside an extant corporate sustainability literature review.

Findings

The research carried out has found that there is not a single initiative analyzed that tackles all sustainability issues and in fact there is no consensus around what should be measured and how. The main divergences are related to the following aspects: different criteria are applied by the initiatives to classify issues between dimensions; same impacts are evaluated at different levels of a cause‐effect relationship continuum by the same initiative; disagreement about the groups of stakeholders a company should engage and assessing the company impacts that should be taken into account (direct only or those of its whole value chain). Moreover, the way in which most initiatives measure sustainability performance is not the most adequate to embed it into the performance measurement systems, since they evaluate sustainability via presence of management practice and employ absolute values indicators rather than result‐oriented measures and ratio indicators that are more adequate for internal decision making. In this context, a sustainability measurement model was developed that is more comprehensive, objective and value‐oriented, constituting an attempt to shed light on these problems.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation is the fact that the proposed model does not provide any guidance to select the sustainability key issues for an organization to be integrated into its current performance measurement system. It mainly provides a very comprehensive set of sustainability issues and measures that could be used.

Originality/value

This paper sheds light on some sustainability measurement current challenges – lack of consensus of what should be measured and how – and sustainability embedment into daily activities. Academics will find it useful in their research efforts since it presents a broad review of sustainability concepts as well as an analysis of strengths and shortcomings of all and each sustainability initiative focused. Practitioners will also find it useful as a tool to better understand the sustainability concept, to start measuring sustainability performance, to integrate it in, as well as to evaluate, their current performance measurement systems.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Jasmine Tata and Sameer Prasad

Organizations are implementing sustainability initiatives in different countries with varied socio-cultural systems. The literature on sustainability, however, does not…

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6647

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations are implementing sustainability initiatives in different countries with varied socio-cultural systems. The literature on sustainability, however, does not present a clear picture of how national culture can influence interpretations of the meaning of sustainability and how these differences in interpretation can result in different sustainability practices. The purpose of this paper is to build upon the current literature by identifying mechanisms (i.e. sustainability beliefs and perceptions) that mediate the relationship between national cultural values and organizational sustainability initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the literature on culture and sustainability practices, and develop a conceptual model that identifies how cultural values influence the sustainability initiatives of organizations. Several propositions are identified that specify relationships among the constructs, and guidelines are provided for testing the model in future research.

Findings

The model posits that national culture influences sustainability beliefs and perceptions, which in turn influence the quantity and scope of sustainability initiatives. The relationship between sustainability beliefs and organizational sustainability initiatives is moderated by sustainability orientation and organizational capacity.

Originality/value

The model can help researchers and practitioners better understand the meaning of sustainability in the context of international business by identifying the mechanisms that explain the link between culture and sustainability. It can also help researchers generate hypotheses for future research. Finally, the model can guide multinational corporations attempting to drive sustainability programs through their subsidiaries as well as international developmental agencies trying to develop programs in partnership with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Details

Cross Cultural Management, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2021

Saif Mir, Brian S. Fugate, Jonathan L. Johnson and Misty Blessley

The purpose of this paper is to understand communication pathways and factors that cause sustainability initiatives to become contagious from downstream to upstream…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand communication pathways and factors that cause sustainability initiatives to become contagious from downstream to upstream members of a supply chain, which is termed sustainable supply chain contagion (SSCC).

Design/methodology/approach

This study takes an inductive, grounded theory approach, while utilizing established theories.

Findings

The decision to implement a sustainability initiative depends on the business case for the organization. Importantly, the findings outline several network and communication factors that overcome the weak business case and, therefore, foster SSCC. Based on these findings, a communication network model of SSCC is outlined. Network factors include the contagion pathways, the role of sustainability and top management teams and communication channels. Communication factors include the alignment of sustainability initiatives with departmental objectives, the articulation of goals and assuring the endurance of a sustainability initiative.

Practical implications

Managers can utilize the proposed model to create conditions that strengthen the business case of a proposed sustainability initiative, thus fostering SSCC. The presented findings reveal different tactics that can assist organizations in communicating sustainability initiatives in a persuasive manner, to permit the proliferation of sustainability across the supply chain.

Originality/value

This research enables a multilevel examination of the factors influencing SSCC.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

David L. Blenkhorn and H.F. (Herb) MacKenzie

This paper aims to address the questions of why, when and how business-to-business (B2B) firms engage in sustainability initiatives. The authors believe that this is the…

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2239

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the questions of why, when and how business-to-business (B2B) firms engage in sustainability initiatives. The authors believe that this is the first attempt to address all three questions in a single paper, and one of the earliest to focus on these in B2B markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The sustainability initiatives of B2B firms throughout the value/supply chain were examined. Input data came from external sources and the firms themselves. Two conceptual frameworks were developed, illustrating why firms partake in sustainability initiatives and when and how they may do so.

Findings

This paper provides two conceptual frameworks that address why, when and how firms get involved in sustainability initiatives, and how they can better communicate their involvement to stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

To obtain a broader perspective of B2B firms’ involvement in sustainability initiatives, a variety of third-party sources were used, augmented with data from firm websites. Examples of firms the authors selected were constrained by the collection of firms described in student research papers.

Practical implications

This paper suggests useful guidelines for firms considering starting or expanding sustainability initiatives by providing frameworks that address why, when and how firms do so, with examples of firms illustrating engagement in each area. It also provides communication guidelines, necessary for enhancing stakeholder relations.

Social implications

Integrating environmental sustainability within a firm’s strategy can improve corporate image and increase efficiency, while contributing to a better world environment.

Originality/value

A review of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature indicated that most research has focused on business-to-consumer markets. This paper addresses CSR in B2B markets, examining players at all levels of the value/supply chain: manufacturers, channel intermediaries and end-users.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Nils J. Peters, Joerg S. Hofstetter and Volker H. Hoffmann

The purpose of this paper is to address the implementation of proactive interorganizational sustainable supply chain strategies by empirically exploring the relationship…

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3173

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the implementation of proactive interorganizational sustainable supply chain strategies by empirically exploring the relationship between key (inter‐)organizational resources of the initiating company and the establishment of widely accepted voluntary sustainability initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is built on comparative case studies as well as literature on institutional entrepreneurship and the resource‐based view.

Findings

The authors identify capabilities that enable the creation and establishment of company‐driven voluntary sustainability initiatives – namely external stakeholder integration, cross‐functional integration, the management of loosely coupled business units, supply chain implementation, process improvement and cultural framing.

Originality/value

With this study, the authors introduce institutional entrepreneurship theory to supply chain management literature and show that institutional entrepreneurship theory may contribute to the question of how organizations implement their interorganizational sustainable supply chain strategies. Specifically, the study derives propositions for key resources enabling the establishment of voluntary sustainability initiatives widely accepted by participants as well as initiative‐external stakeholders.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Wim Lambrechts, Elli Verhulst and Sara Rymenams

This paper aims to provide insights into the relation between professional development (PD) and organisational change processes towards sustainability, with a specific…

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1153

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights into the relation between professional development (PD) and organisational change processes towards sustainability, with a specific focus on empowerment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds upon a constructivist approach, combining a literature review, a desk research on key publications and reports and a socio-political analysis to reveal the specific context in Flanders, Belgium. Findings are then connected to earlier insights from research on organisational change for sustainability.

Findings

The paper provides a number of PD initiatives that focus on sustainability in general and in a single higher education (HE) institution. Framing such initiatives as an organisational change process offers insights on how elements of empowerment are currently incorporated in PD initiatives and how it can strengthen them to lead to the further integration of sustainability competences in HE.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations are linked with the kind of sources used in the constructivist approach. The analysis only looks at written reports on the topic, albeit it also builds upon the first-hand experiences of educators in the HE institution focused upon in the case.

Practical implications

There is a need to frame PD initiatives as an organisational change process towards sustainability with specific attention towards empowerment. Without this framing, PD approaches comprise the risk of being left in the margins or being understood as single initiatives without any connection to the bigger picture, i.e. the transition towards sustainability in HE.

Social implications

Interlinking PD and organisational change provides opportunities to frame the sustainability transition within the university in a wider societal context.

Originality/value

The paper provides an original contribution to the debate on sustainability competences, as it frames the PD within an organisational context, rather than focusing on the individual role of educators.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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