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Digital Transformation and Corporate ESG

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 5465

Special Issue Editors

School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China
Interests: corporate sustainability; organizational ecology; innovation management
School of Business Administration, Huaqiao University, Quanzhou, China
Interests: corporate sustainability; corporate transformation; corporate innovation
Taiyuan University of Science and Technology, Taiyuan, China
Interests: sustainable development; business strategy and the environment; corporate social responsibility and environmental management; technological and economic development of economy; journal of business economics and management; journal of competitiveness; economic research
BGF, Faculty for International Business and Management, Budapest Business School, 1055 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: corporate sustainability; corporate social responsibility; corporate ethics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, green and low carbon, energy savings, and environmental protection have become the consensus for enterprises wishing to shape sustainable business models, build highly resilient organizational capabilities, and construct responsible innovation ecosystems. Rather than purely examining financial performance, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a new evaluation concept that focuses on the sustainable development of enterprises from three dimensions: comprehensive environment, social responsibility, and corporate governance. ESG is essential for encouraging enterprises to achieve high-quality development, common prosperity, and “carbon peaking & carbon neutrality”. Thus, an increasing number of companies are investing in ESG and strengthening ESG disclosure, aiming to enhance entire value and corporate image from multiple perspectives by responding to stakeholders' needs for non-financial information (Alkaraan et al., 2022). Until December 2021, 114 stock exchanges worldwide promoted ESG information disclosure for listed companies, involving nearly 56,000 listed companies (Wang et al., 2022). Faced with “carbon peaking & carbon neutrality”, how enterprises can achieve better ESG performance has become an important issue.

Due to Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet, the world has entered the era of digital economy. The deep integration of emerging digital technologies represented by Internet+, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain with the real economy has provided effective technical means to boost the digital transformation of enterprises, becoming an essential technical force for ESG development. Digital transformation enables enterprises to gain competitive advantages in products and services, business models, and ecological governance by changing the allocation structure of corporate resources inside and outside enterprises. It also empowers the intelligent transformation and upgrading of traditional industries. Digital transformation presents diversified values (Hu et al., 2022; Gerard & Simon, 2022), such as promoting enterprises’ willingness to innovate green technologies, enhancing their motivation to invest in environmental protection, reducing negative externalities of ESG and information asymmetry, achieving cost reduction and efficiency increases, and enhancing enterprises' ESG practices.

Current studies have mainly focused on the impact of digital transformation on economic performance, enterprise value, and corporate governance structure (Saarikko et al., 2020). As a result, the non-financial value of digital transformation, particularly the mechanism of its impact on ESG, have received little attention. To this end, this Special Issue aims to conduct an in-depth discussion and research on topics related to “Digital Transformation and Corporate ESG” at the theoretical, methodological, and application levels, either by empirically testing existing theories or by attempting to discover or construct new analytical frameworks to solve the practical dilemma of corporate ESG performance in the process of digital transformation. This Special Issue welcomes manuscripts employing qualitative or quantitative methods to conduct rigorous academic research based on digital transformation and ESG practice. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  1. Digital economy and the high-quality development of enterprises;
  2. Factors driving digital transformation of enterprises;
  3. Evaluation of corporate digital transformation capability;
  4. Digital transformation and corporate innovation;
  5. ESG governance and corporate value co-creation;
  6. ESG evaluation systems in the context of digital transformation;
  7. Corporate strategic transformation in the background of digital economy and ESG;
  8. Digital transformation and corporate ESG in the context of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals.

References:

1. Wang, H.J., Wang, S.Z., Zhang C., & Guo, L.F. (2022) Does Digital Transformation Improve ESG Responsibility Performance? Empirical Research Based on MSCI Index. Foreign Economics & Management, Online first. doi: https://doi.org/10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20221128.202.
2. Hu, J., Han Y.M., & Zhong, Y. (2022) How Corporate Digital Transformation Affects Corporate ESG Performance—Evidence from Chinese listed companies. Review of Industrial Economics, Online first. doi: https://doi.org/10.19313/j.cnki.cn10-1223/f.20221104.001.
3. Alkaraan, F., Albitar, K., Hussainey, K., & Venkatesh, V. G. (2022). Corporate transformation toward Industry 4.0 and financial performance: The influence of environmental, social, and governance (ESG). Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 175, 121423. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2021.121423.
4. Gerard, G., & Simon J.D., S. (2022) Digital transformation, sustainability, and purpose in the multinational enterprise. Journal of World Business, 57(3), 101326. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2022.101326.
5. Saarikko, T., Westergren, U. H., & Blomquist, T. (2020). Digital transformation: Five recommendations for the digitally conscious firm. Business Horizons, 63(6), 825-839. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2020.07.005.

Dr. Guanglei Zhang
Prof. Dr. Jiaojiao Qu
Prof. Dr. Jintao Lu
Dr. Krisztina Szegedi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • digital transformation
  • ESG
  • Industry 4.0
  • digital economy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 475 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Digital Transformation on ESG: A Case Study of Chinese-Listed Companies
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 15072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152015072 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1742
Abstract
Enterprise digital transformation involves leveraging digital technologies to optimize and improve business operations. Not only does it augment operational efficiency, but it also establishes favorable conditions for bolstering ESG. To investigate the impact of digital transformation on ESG performance, this study employs a [...] Read more.
Enterprise digital transformation involves leveraging digital technologies to optimize and improve business operations. Not only does it augment operational efficiency, but it also establishes favorable conditions for bolstering ESG. To investigate the impact of digital transformation on ESG performance, this study employs a fixed effects model. The analysis utilizes data from a sample of 1422 publicly listed companies in China, spanning the period of 2012 to 2021. This paper further explores the mechanism and heterogeneity behind this impact. The research findings indicate that digital transformation has a positive impact on the ESG performance of companies. It remains robust even after conducting robustness tests, which include omitted variable and endogeneity tests. Furthermore, the study identifies variations in the influence of digital transformation on different dimensions of ESG performance. Through a mechanism analysis, it is revealed that digital transformation positively affects ESG performance by optimizing the structure of human capital, enhancing operational efficiency, and promoting green innovation. Additionally, heterogeneity analysis indicates that the positive effect of digital transformation on ESG performance is particularly significant in capital-intensive industries, high-tech companies, and companies with low carbon emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation and Corporate ESG)
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16 pages, 847 KiB  
Article
The Impact of General Manager’s Responsible Leadership and Executive Compensation Incentive on Enterprise ESG Performance
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11883; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511883 - 02 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
This paper takes 101 enterprises in high-tech industries as research samples to investigate the impact of a general manager’s responsible leadership on enterprise ESG performance. The results showed that (1) a general manager’s responsible leadership can promote enterprise ESG performance, and (2) organizational [...] Read more.
This paper takes 101 enterprises in high-tech industries as research samples to investigate the impact of a general manager’s responsible leadership on enterprise ESG performance. The results showed that (1) a general manager’s responsible leadership can promote enterprise ESG performance, and (2) organizational resilience has a mediating effect between general manager responsible leadership and enterprise ESG performance. These conclusions were still robust after a series of validity tests. Further analysis showed that a monetary compensation incentive for senior executives positively regulates the indirect effect of a general manager’s responsible leadership on enterprise ESG performance through organizational resilience; that is, when monetary incentive for senior executives is high, the positive impact of a general manager’s responsible leadership on enterprise ESG performance through organizational resilience is strong. However, the influence of executive equity-based compensation incentive on their relationship is not obvious. The conclusions of this study provide theoretical and practical enlightenment for improving enterprise ESG performance, enrich the research on the intermediary mechanism of organizational resilience on responsible leadership and enterprise ESG performance, and provide intervention and decision-making basis for enterprises, regulators, and other relevant departments. The limitations of this study pave the way for further research directions, incorporating equity-based compensation incentive on promoting responsible leadership to achieve high ESG performance, and allowing for a better evaluation assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation and Corporate ESG)
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13 pages, 708 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility Practices on Customer Value Co-Creation and Perception in the Digital Context: A Case Study of Taiwan Bank Industry
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8567; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118567 - 25 May 2023
Viewed by 1557
Abstract
The rapid development of digitalization has introduced greater variability and trust-related risks to the banking industry. Enhancing customers’ perception of value co-creation with banks is a critical issue that requires attention. This study aims to explore the impact and mechanism of a bank’s [...] Read more.
The rapid development of digitalization has introduced greater variability and trust-related risks to the banking industry. Enhancing customers’ perception of value co-creation with banks is a critical issue that requires attention. This study aims to explore the impact and mechanism of a bank’s social responsibility practices on its customers’ value co-creation in the digital context. A cross-level analysis model was developed and analyzed based on in-depth surveys of 30 bank managers and 262 valid customers. The results reveal that (1) CSR practices have no impact on customer value co-creation in the digital context; (2) CSR practices have a positive impact on customers’ perception of a company’s social responsibility; (3) customers’ perception of a company’s social responsibility has a positive impact on customer value co-creation; and (4) customers’ perception plays a mediating role between CSR practices and customer value co-creation. Although corporate social responsibility is becoming increasingly important in the current digital economy, our study found that it does not necessarily lead to more customer value co-creation. Banks must enable customers to perceive their CSR practices in order to foster value co-creation. This study has important implications for banking practitioners seeking to strengthen their social responsibility practices and create value with their customers in the digital era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation and Corporate ESG)
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