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Special Issue "CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. hab. Włodzimierz Sroka

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: alliances; network organizations; coopetition; strategic management; M&A; CSR and business ethics
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jolita Vveinhardt

Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: destructive relationships among employees; business ethics; organizational culture; management culture; corporate social responsibility

Special Issue Information

Dear Authors,

The perception of ethical issues has changed substantially over the past 20 years. Initially, they were treated more in philosophical terms, and to a certain extent referred to business. At present, ethical research is primarily focused on business issues, and thousands of people are involved in research and training on business ethics.

This is mainly a result of the numerous changes in the sphere of modern business operations. Under these new circumstances, the development of a modern company is determined not only by the effective use of resources and the application of appropriate strategies, but also by considering the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and business ethics in management processes.

Ethical behavior and CSR can bring significant benefits to a business. For example, they may 1) attract customers to the company’s products, 2) ensure that employees want to stay with the business, reducing labor turnover and therefore increasing productivity, 3) attract more employees wanting to work for the business, thus enabling the company to hire the most talented employees, and 4) attract investors and keep the company’s share price high, thereby protecting the business from takeover. In contrast to this, unethical behavior or a lack of corporate social responsibility may damage a company’s reputation and make it less appealing to shareholders, leading to a fall in profits.

We believe, however, that the benefits associated with the application of CSR and business ethics—which are very significant—may be used not only as an instrument for the improvement of companies’ competitive advantage (i.e., in a narrow context), but also in a much wider context. In other words, we claim that application of these concepts may be regarded as a useful tool for sustainable development. Thus, this Special Issue on “CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development” fulfils a considerable gap in the literature. It encourages a diverse set of submissions, and we will welcome papers that, inter alia, refer to (but are not limited to), themes such as:

  • Ethics in business: a key aspect of sustainable development? 
  • Modern and responsible business
  • CSR policy—corporate social responsibility
  • Nepotism, cronyism, and favoritism vs. corporate social responsibility
  • Destructive relations among employees—is it suitable for CSR? 
  • Role of employees‘ interrelationship in the context of sustainable development
  • Sustainability as a public declaration to society
  • Quick benefit and striving for short-term goals as opposite to sustainability. 

The insights gained will be useful for students, practitioners, as well as policy makers.

Dr. hab. Włodzimierz Sroka
Prof. Dr. Jolita Vveinhardt
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 papers will be 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 1700 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

  • CSR
  • business ethics
  • sustainable development

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Incorporating the Concepts of Sharing-In and Sharing-Out in CSR: Australian Consumers’ Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2586; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092586
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 May 2019 / Published: 5 May 2019
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Abstract
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is based on attending to concerns beyond a corporation’s shareholders. This concern embraces the concepts of sharing and caring for others. Logically then, the literature on sharing might inform theory and practice around CSR initiatives. To date, however, theory [...] Read more.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is based on attending to concerns beyond a corporation’s shareholders. This concern embraces the concepts of sharing and caring for others. Logically then, the literature on sharing might inform theory and practice around CSR initiatives. To date, however, theory around the theme of sharing is absent from extant CSR literature, and, presumably, it is omitted as a perspective on CSR practice. This paper addresses this gap by empirically investigating consumers’ responses to different types of sharing involved in a range of CSR initiatives. We test the sharing theory to provide generalizable conclusions. Data was collected via an online panel of Australian consumers. Findings reveal two distinct types of sharing across different CSR initiatives: Sharing-in and sharing-out. Sharing-in CSR initiatives are those perceived as being adopted for the benefit of the firm’s direct stakeholders and aimed at providing a direct, reciprocal benefit to the firm. Conversely, sharing-out initiatives are perceived as providing wider and unconditional support to all, irrespective of their proximity to the firm. This research makes an original contribution to the CSR literature by embedding the notion of sharing within the management of CSR initiatives. The sharing perspective adds to knowledge and may assist managers when developing CSR initiatives, and how those initiatives might be perceived by a firm’s relevant stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
From Environmental Reporting to Environmental Performance
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2549; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092549
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 2 May 2019
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Abstract
This paper identifies factors influencing environmental disclosure and environmental performance of the top 100 Fortune Global companies. The analysis identifies whether they follow the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards to gain and maintain legitimacy with relevant stakeholders. Other factors such as sector and [...] Read more.
This paper identifies factors influencing environmental disclosure and environmental performance of the top 100 Fortune Global companies. The analysis identifies whether they follow the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards to gain and maintain legitimacy with relevant stakeholders. Other factors such as sector and region are taken into account, with empirical testing of a model for the relationship between the extent of environmental disclosure (measured by the developed index based on GRI indicators), sector membership, region, and actual environmental performance. Evidence exists that the main factors related to actual environmental performance were the region and level of environmental disclosure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
“Omerta” in Organized Sport: Bullying and Harassment as Determinants of Threats of Social Sustainability at the Individual Level
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092474
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 31 March 2019 / Published: 27 April 2019
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Abstract
The interpretation of the evolutionary theory prevailing in sport, based on the approach that the strongest survive, varies with the rules inherent in the criminal world, forbidding to “take out” negative information about interrelationships, in this case, outside the team or group. Such [...] Read more.
The interpretation of the evolutionary theory prevailing in sport, based on the approach that the strongest survive, varies with the rules inherent in the criminal world, forbidding to “take out” negative information about interrelationships, in this case, outside the team or group. Such traditionally established culture puts pressure on athletes to suffer from bullying and follow the “silence law”. In the long run, this turns into a precondition for unsafe environment for athletes, which, due to negative consequences for the individual, can be identified as threats to social sustainability at the individual level. Such a situation is also indirectly approved by the heads and coaches of organizations. The latter, who lack competencies to resolve conflict situations, are left to solve arising problems on their own and do not receive any support from the management of organizations. Therefore, the aim of this research is to reveal the factors determining the specificity, emergence, and development of bullying and harassment in sport as threats to social sustainability at the individual level. The research was conducted using a semi-structured interview method with eight coaches representing team, individual, and duel sport branches. Inductive content analysis served as the basis for the data analysis. Research results disclosed factors determining the specificity of emergence of bullying and harassment in sport and hindering the entrenchment of social sustainability in sport at the individual level. The results revealed the euphemisms distinguished by coaches, which, in sport, have a positive connotation, such as “combativeness” and “sports anger” instead of the term “aggression”. It was identified that coaches named aggressors as “harder players”, “confident players”, “active persons”, “players-torpedoes”, “emotional players”, and “competitive players”. Sports competition is justified in various forms. The emergence of bullying and harassment is grounded on “mastery differences”, it is stated that abusive actions are experienced by “physically weak” players, while physical actions used by athletes are called “mischief”; verbal actions are “raillery”. In addition, inadequate preparation of Lithuanian coaches to respond to bullying and harassment in their trained teams or groups on time and appropriately was identified. It turned out that sports organizations are not particularly interested in organizing trainings for prevention of destructive interrelations and intervention. Such kind of in-service training is left to the coach’s initiative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Municipal Social Responsibility of Statutory Cities in the Czech Republic
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2308; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082308
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 14 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
Application of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is demanded of an ever-wider range of entities as time goes by, among which are municipalities. However, the topic of social responsibility of municipalities stands outside of the bounds of mainstream research. This article [...] Read more.
Application of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is demanded of an ever-wider range of entities as time goes by, among which are municipalities. However, the topic of social responsibility of municipalities stands outside of the bounds of mainstream research. This article presents the results of a study, the objective of which was to identify the socially responsible practices applied by the statutory cities in the Czech Republic, in order to analyse and evaluate the scope and structure of socially responsible activities performed by them and communicated on the internet. The study shows that statutory cities in the Czech Republic perform similar activities to those performed by enterprises within the framework of application of the concept of CSR, this being in the field of economic, environmental, ethical, social and philanthropic responsibility. They perform and communicate economic responsibility activities to the greatest extent and, by contrast, ethical responsibility activities to the least extent. Examples of good practice in performance and communication of these activities on the internet are documented in the article using the example of the City of Pardubice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practices of the Largest Seafood Suppliers in the Wild Capture Fisheries Sector: From Vision to Action
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2254; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082254
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the seafood industry is on the rise. Because of increasing public awareness and non-governmental organization (NGO) campaigns, seafood buyers have made various commitments to improve the sustainability of their wild seafood sourcing. As part of this effort, seafood [...] Read more.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the seafood industry is on the rise. Because of increasing public awareness and non-governmental organization (NGO) campaigns, seafood buyers have made various commitments to improve the sustainability of their wild seafood sourcing. As part of this effort, seafood suppliers have developed their own CSR programs in order to meet buyers’ sourcing requirements. However, the CSR of these companies, many of which are mid-supply chain or vertically integrated, remain largely invisible and unstudied. In order to better understand how mid-chain seafood suppliers engage in sustainability efforts, we reviewed the CSR practices of the 25 largest seafood companies globally (by revenue) that deal with wild seafood products. Based on literature, existing frameworks, and initial data analysis, we developed a structured framework to identify and categorize practices based on the issues addressed and the approach used. We found companies implement CSR to address four key areas, and through various activities that fit into five categories: Power; Practices; Partnerships; Public policy; and Philanthropy. One of the biggest gaps identified in this study is the lack of accountability mechanisms, as well as robust and consistent accounting of impacts. Indeed, many companies express commitments without clear goals and structures in place to ensure implementation. Therefore, improvements in seafood company performance on social and environmental aspects may not only require creating a better business case for CSR, but also require ensuring that companies have the necessary processes and structures in place through public oversights and regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect the Financial Performance of the Manufacturing Sector? Evidence from an Emerging Economy
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041182
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
The present study analyzed the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting on the financial performance of Indian companies. It used secondary data from 50 manufacturing companies over the period of fiscal years 2011 to 2017. The results suggested that there exists a [...] Read more.
The present study analyzed the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting on the financial performance of Indian companies. It used secondary data from 50 manufacturing companies over the period of fiscal years 2011 to 2017. The results suggested that there exists a significant relationship between the performance of Indian companies and their CSR. The CSR not only improves the firm’s social value and reputation but also improves profitability and performance. According to the results, return on assets is significantly determined by corporate governance, customers, products, number of employees, and board size. The customer has a negative impact on return on assets (ROA). The relationship between return on equity and independent variables is the same as the relationship between ROA and independent variables. Corporate governance and product positively impact ROE, but the relationship between customers, number of employees, and board size are negative. Corporate governance and product positively impact return on capital employed (ROCE), but the relationship between customer and the number of employees is negative. Education has positive impact on profit after tax (PAT) and profit before tax (PBT), but the PAT relationship between environments is negative. Corporate governance and product positively impact PBT. In general, we concluded that in India, socially responsible corporations perform better and vice versa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Millennials’ Awareness and Approach to Social Responsibility and Investment—Case Study of the Czech Republic
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020504
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
We live in a new era with contradictory views on society, industries, and the whole world. Raising consumerism is compensated by raising the responsibility of the new generation, the so-called Millennials. The paper deals with the awareness of Millennials of corporate social responsibility [...] Read more.
We live in a new era with contradictory views on society, industries, and the whole world. Raising consumerism is compensated by raising the responsibility of the new generation, the so-called Millennials. The paper deals with the awareness of Millennials of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and their attitude to sustainable and responsible investment (SRI). The research is focused specifically on students of economically oriented higher education institutions (HEI), studying in the Czech Republic. For the purpose of general awareness of the term CSR, a sample of 1073 HEI students from different institutions was analyzed and evaluated. For the evaluation of their attitude to SRI, 213 respondents from Mendel University in Brno were interviewed. The research brought surprising results—bachelor’s degree students have a better awareness of the term than master’s degree students. This surprising fact can be explained by the fact that CSR courses have been incorporated into studies in recent years. Another important finding from the second research is that 57% of respondents are willing to sacrifice part of their return in the case of an investment in socially responsible instruments. This fact can be used for the design of an investment strategy offered by investment institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Corporate Political Ties and Firm Value: Comparative Analysis in the Korean Market
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020327
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
Although prior studies have viewed corporate political ties as unethical, this study investigates whether changes in the political environment can significantly affect the net value of firms over time in emerging and transitioning economies. Analysis of a panel of South Korean listed firms [...] Read more.
Although prior studies have viewed corporate political ties as unethical, this study investigates whether changes in the political environment can significantly affect the net value of firms over time in emerging and transitioning economies. Analysis of a panel of South Korean listed firms in the Gyeongsang and Jeolla provinces from 1998 to 2013 reveals that political network ties to the regime currently in power provide significantly more positive benefits to politically connected firms than to non-connected firms. However, political network ties to the rival of the regime in power have significantly more negative effects on politically connected firms than on non-connected firms. More importantly, unexpected political regime changes strongly affect the shift from positive to negative effects on firm value over time, and political network ties continue to significantly and positively affect firm value over time during regime changes after political and economic liberalization in South Korea. These results line up with various robustness tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Corporate Social Responsibility Information in Annual Reports in the EU—A Czech Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010237
Received: 6 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 31 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
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Abstract
The commitment of the European Union (EU) to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is projected into EU law about annual reporting by businesses. Since EU member states further develop this framework by their own domestic laws, annual reporting with CSR information is not unified [...] Read more.
The commitment of the European Union (EU) to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is projected into EU law about annual reporting by businesses. Since EU member states further develop this framework by their own domestic laws, annual reporting with CSR information is not unified and only partially mandatory in the EU. Do all European businesses report CSR information and what public declaration to society do they provide with it? The two main purposes of this paper are to identify the parameters of this annual reporting duty and to study the CSR information provided by the 10 largest Czech companies in their annual statements for 2013–2017. Based on legislative research and a teleological interpretation, the current EU legislative framework with Czech particularities is presented and, via a case study exploring 50 annual reports, the data about the type, extent and depth of CSR is dynamically and comparatively assessed. It appears that, at the minimum, large Czech businesses satisfy their legal duty and e-report on CSR to a similar extent, but in a dramatically different quality. Employee matters and adherence to international standards are used as a public declaration to society more than the data on environmental protection, while social matters and research and development (R&D) are played down. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Individual Customers Trust in Internet Banking: Case of Baltic States
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4809; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124809
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The investigation of trust in commercial banks needs to focus specifically on internet banking, as it is the fastest growing banking service. The article explores factors influencing trust in internet banking and estimates this impact in the Baltics states. The factors are as [...] Read more.
The investigation of trust in commercial banks needs to focus specifically on internet banking, as it is the fastest growing banking service. The article explores factors influencing trust in internet banking and estimates this impact in the Baltics states. The factors are as follows: Provided information, e-banking system, the website of a bank, and a bank’s characteristics. Overall, 1013 respondents and 21 experts took part in the current study. The results of the respondents’ survey showed that the factor that is necessary for trust building in all the examined countries differs: In Lithuania, information and the bank, in Latvia, the website, and in Estonia, the bank. According to the experts, the most powerful factor in the trust-building process in Lithuania and Latvia is the e-banking system while in Estonia, the website. The research has the following limitations: The online survey of individual customers (however, internet banking relates to internet users, so this limitation is not essential); the analysis of only the positively affecting criteria of the trust-building process; only experts assessed the subfactors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Socially Responsible Human Resource Management and Employee Perception: The Influence of Manager and Line Managers
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4614; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124614
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 2 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this article is to contribute to understanding the importance of considering the effect of employees’ perceptions of Socially Responsible Human Resource Management (SR-HRM) on employee commitment. Results, applied to different levels of the organization (HR managers, line managers and employees) [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to contribute to understanding the importance of considering the effect of employees’ perceptions of Socially Responsible Human Resource Management (SR-HRM) on employee commitment. Results, applied to different levels of the organization (HR managers, line managers and employees) show, on one hand, that there is a relationship between a SR-HRM and employee commitment, and on the other hand, that employees’ perceptions have an influence on the extent to which these relationships are developed. HR managers and line managers perceived SR-HRM in a similar way and line managers and non-managerial employees generally did too. The frequency with which line managers disagree with employees’ perceptions about socially responsible practices was low. Suggestions for HRM practice and future research are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Fair or Unfair: The Moderating Effect of Sustainable CSR Practices on Anticipatory Justice Following Service Failure Recovery
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4548; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124548
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 24 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 2 December 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates the relative effect of anticipatory justice on organizational legitimacy and consumer trust that further leads to consumer citizenship behavior following service failure recovery in Taiwan. Further, the moderating role of sustainable corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices is explored. A causal [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the relative effect of anticipatory justice on organizational legitimacy and consumer trust that further leads to consumer citizenship behavior following service failure recovery in Taiwan. Further, the moderating role of sustainable corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices is explored. A causal relationship and survey design with a valid sample of 269 respondents was applied. Findings indicated that organizational legitimacy and consumer trust can be restored through anticipatory justice, in particular interpersonal justice and then further mediated consumer citizenship behavior. As a moderator, a high level of sustainable CSR practices had a significantly stronger effect on anticipatory justice and organizational legitimacy than the low level one but only had an effect on interpersonal justice and consumer trust after service recovery. Practical implications are provided for service providers. The value of this research proposes an integrated model with organizational legitimacy and sustainable CSR practice that has not yet been tested in the model of service recovery. In addition, sustainable CSR practice is proposed as a moderator (high and low) that is compared in the level of strength of the relationships. This moderation effect has not been found previously in the process of service recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
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