Special Issue "Comparative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mohammad Nurunnabi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Business Administration, Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;
St Antony's College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Interests: CSR; sustainability; governance; business and society; policy; culture
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is designed to spotlight contemporary research on comparative corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The impact of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require changes in business attitudes and behaviours. For example, in support of the UN SDGs agenda 2030, CSR Europe is setting the foundations for being the European Business Hub for the SDGs. CSR Europe engages and supports over 10,000 enterprises already active in 41 CSR National Partners Organisations (https://www.csreurope.org).

Prior research argues that CSR engagement equals a corporate contribution to sustainable development is currently being challenged. However, the current CSR literature practice addresses systemwide sustainability challenges with a limited context.

The Special Issue will, therefore, provide an opportunity for contributors to the broad fields of business, economics, political science, law accounting, finance, marketing, supply chain, international business and management are all welcome. The following themes would be of particular interest (the list is not exhaustive):

  • What are the contemporary trends of comparative corporate social responsibility (CSR)?
  • What are the relationships between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
  • How the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global agenda may serve as a reference framework from CSR?
  • What are the methodological considerations for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) research?
  • What are theoretical implications of comparative CSR?

Dr. Mohammad Nurunnabi
Guest Editor

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 1900 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
  • Comparative CSR
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Business and society

Published Papers (29 papers)

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Article
From Stakeholder Communication to Engagement for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): A Case Study of LG Electronics
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8624; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158624 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 473
Abstract
While multi-stakeholder engagement is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is less understanding in the literature about how the private sector can enhance such engagement at an institutional level. In this study, we examine the case of LG Electronics (LGE), [...] Read more.
While multi-stakeholder engagement is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is less understanding in the literature about how the private sector can enhance such engagement at an institutional level. In this study, we examine the case of LG Electronics (LGE), one of South Korea’s most sustainable firms. This case study highlights the key strategies that LGE employed in engaging stakeholders for the SDGs, with a focus on stakeholder scope and engagement over three phases: (1) stakeholder communication; (2) stakeholder involvement; and (3) stakeholder engagement. In addition, this paper emphasizes governance mechanisms that facilitated more effective stakeholder engagement, including the company’s Corporate Sustainability Management (CSM) strategies, CSR Committee and Sustainability Management Council. These findings also highlight the usefulness of the common language provided by the SDGs in stakeholder engagement and provide practical implications for the private sector in contributing to the shared global agenda. Full article
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Article
How Could Cooperatives Successfully Develop Their Social Responsibility: The Perspective of Life Cycle
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219282 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
Social responsibility is a natural obligation of cooperatives, and fulfilling social responsibility is of great meaning to the sustainable development of cooperatives and society. This article constructs a “life cycle-cooperative social responsibility framework (LC-CoopSRF)” and analyzes the framework with the case of Chongxin [...] Read more.
Social responsibility is a natural obligation of cooperatives, and fulfilling social responsibility is of great meaning to the sustainable development of cooperatives and society. This article constructs a “life cycle-cooperative social responsibility framework (LC-CoopSRF)” and analyzes the framework with the case of Chongxin Apiculture Specialized Cooperative of Sichuan Province, China. The research results show that cooperatives should respect the law of life cycle, consider conditions such as operational capabilities and ethical expectations, and fulfill social responsibility in a reasonable manner. The successful cooperative highlights the bottom-line responsibility in the establishment phase, internal responsibility in the growth phase, system responsibility in the maturity phase, and the differentiation phase is the phase of system responsibility. Full article
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Article
Employee’s Corporate Social Responsibility Perception and Sustained Innovative Behavior: Based on the Psychological Identity of Employees
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8604; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208604 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Corporate social responsibility refers to the voluntary promises made by an enterprise to achieve sustainable development. When enterprises conduct prosocial activities, they must consider the feelings of their employees including employees’ sense of identification and well-being. However, most existing corporate social responsibility studies [...] Read more.
Corporate social responsibility refers to the voluntary promises made by an enterprise to achieve sustainable development. When enterprises conduct prosocial activities, they must consider the feelings of their employees including employees’ sense of identification and well-being. However, most existing corporate social responsibility studies have focused on the financial performance of enterprises; the effects of corporate social responsibility on employees have seldom been examined. Accordingly, this study conducted an empirical study examining the effects of employee perception of enterprise corporate social responsibility, employee well-being, and organizational identification on employee innovative behavior. A total of 431 valid questionnaires were retrieved. A structural equation modeling analysis revealed that a positive relationship exists between employee perception of enterprise execution of corporate social responsibility and employee innovative behavior. Furthermore, both employee well-being and organizational identification play mediating roles between the two variables. When conducting social responsibility activities, enterprises are suggested to inform their employees or even encourage their participation in their efforts to fulfill their social responsibility. Through interaction between internal and external stakeholders, substantial innovative behavior, beneficial for the subsequent development of enterprises, can be stimulated. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Relationship between Sustainable Projects and Institutional Isomorphisms: A Project Typology
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093668 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
With the increase in awareness about the wide range of issues and adverse effects associated with the use of conventional energy sources came an increase in project management research related to sustainability and sustainable development. Part of that research is devoted to the [...] Read more.
With the increase in awareness about the wide range of issues and adverse effects associated with the use of conventional energy sources came an increase in project management research related to sustainability and sustainable development. Part of that research is devoted to the development of sustainable project typologies that classify projects based on a variety of external factors that can significantly impact these projects. This research focuses on developing a sustainable project typology that classifies sustainable projects based on the external institutional influences. The typology explores the influence of the coercive, normative, and mimetic institutional isomorphisms on the expected level of change, level of uncertainty, project team skills and experience levels, and the level of technology information exchange in sustainable projects. Two case studies are presented to demonstrate the use of the typology to classify sustainable projects based on the external institutional influences. Full article
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Article
Role of SME in Poverty Alleviation in SAARC Region via Panel Data Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6480; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226480 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
The key objective of the formation of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is to join hands collectively for slow economic growth, poverty eradication, deprived health and education sectors. In the 12th SAARC Summit, it has been declared that poverty eradication [...] Read more.
The key objective of the formation of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is to join hands collectively for slow economic growth, poverty eradication, deprived health and education sectors. In the 12th SAARC Summit, it has been declared that poverty eradication is the main area of concentration and SAARC countries would strive their best to minimize all types of poverty with the help of any possible strategy. The main objectives of the current study are to evaluate the development of the agenda of poverty eradication in SAARC countries through small and medium enterprise (SME) development because it would be considered as a short-routed remedy to mitigate poverty. The poorest 20% income holder as a percentage of GDP has been used as the proxy for poverty in the SAARC region. SME development has been measured through the SME share in GDP in respective countries. The panel dataset has been developed for the period of 1990 to 2015. The fixed effect method (FEM) and regression equation techniques were used to analyse the observed data. The results of the FEM were misleading. The regression equations for the respective countries were used for empirical analysis. The results have identified that there are three main factors that are essential in reducing poverty in the SAARC region: SME growth, openness of trade and social sector development. Full article
Article
Organizational Learning and Corporate Social Responsibility Drivers of Performance in SMEs in Northwestern Mexico
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205655 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1114
Abstract
The main objective of this article is to examine the effects of the organizational learning and corporate social responsibility (social, economic and environmental) practices that exert on the financial performance of SMEs (small and medium enterprises). The research is based on a sample [...] Read more.
The main objective of this article is to examine the effects of the organizational learning and corporate social responsibility (social, economic and environmental) practices that exert on the financial performance of SMEs (small and medium enterprises). The research is based on a sample of 343 companies of which 19.8% belong to the primary sector, 26.6% to the secondary sector and 53.6% to the tertiary sector of the northwestern region of Mexico. The data were collected from February to May 2018 with the support of a self-directed structured survey of company managers. For the analysis and validation of the results, the statistical technique of the structural equations model (SEM) based on the variance was used to validate the structured relationships in this investigation through PLS (partial least squares). These analyses were prepared with the support of SmartPLS version 3.2.8 Professional. The results indicate that OLE (organizational learning) is a key element to strengthen CSR (corporate social responsibility) practices and increase financial performance in these types of companies, and that CSR is key to increasing financial performance. In addition, it was found that the OLE is a variable that mediates the relationship between CSR and financial performance. The work contributes to the development of the literature of organizational learning, the theory of resources and capabilities, and stakeholder theory Full article
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Article
Does What Goes Around Really Comes Around? The Mediating Effect of CSR on the Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Employee’s Job Performance in Law Firms
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3366; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123366 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
Leadership is essential for the success of every organization, as people believe in the ability of their leaders to guide change and achieve success. Today’s law firms are operating in a complex business environment and facing huge competition from both clients and talent. [...] Read more.
Leadership is essential for the success of every organization, as people believe in the ability of their leaders to guide change and achieve success. Today’s law firms are operating in a complex business environment and facing huge competition from both clients and talent. Tough competition, business alliances, corporate social responsibleness, and market conditions demand a huge transformation in the law industry. This study was designed to investigate the relationships between transformational leadership (TL), employee’s job performance (JP), and corporate social responsibility (CSR), as well the mediating mechanism of CSR among TL and JP. The data has been collected from 200 employees working in law firms of Pakistan by using a cross sectional research method. The study hypothesized that TL is significantly related to JP and CSR; in addition, CSR mediates the relationship between TL and JP. Results confirm our conjectures, hence allowing us to contribute to the scant literature of TL, CSR, and JP in the law industry. Our study provides important information to the decision makers who are involved in policymaking; that the adoption of TL practices and involvement in CSR activities can improve JP. Moreover, theoretical and practical implementations are provided for generalization. Full article
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Article
Mapping the ESG Behavior of European Companies. A Holistic Kohonen Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123276 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3345
Abstract
In the context of increased awareness for complying with the multiple requirements for sustainable development, the stakeholders need to have the proper information for analyzing the corporate behaviors from various perspectives. Thus, the purpose of this research is to investigate and map the [...] Read more.
In the context of increased awareness for complying with the multiple requirements for sustainable development, the stakeholders need to have the proper information for analyzing the corporate behaviors from various perspectives. Thus, the purpose of this research is to investigate and map the sustainability patterns of European companies at the beginning of 2019, in order to uncover valuable insights into the corporate sustainable behaviors. The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performances of 1165 European companies were considered by applying the Kohonen neural network for clustering purposes at three main levels: (1) ESG overall level, including country and sectoral perspectives; (2) ESG thematic level; (3) ESG four-folded innovative level (stakeholder, perspective, management level and focus views). All three analyses carried out show a three-clustering solution—Lower, Middle and Higher ESG clusters. Most firms are top ESG performers and the companies with good ESG scores also have more related controversies. The results highlight the sustainability profiles of the examined companies. Firstly, the environmental and social priorities are preferred over corporate governance targets. Secondly, companies tend to implement a business-customized ESG approach for achieving organizational efficiency and competitiveness. Thirdly, there is a higher consideration of employees, external-directed measures, operational issues and process-orientation in the corporate ESG performance and development. The ESG approach of the European reporting companies is mainly mature, strategic and long-term oriented, aimed to increase the corporate competitiveness and to support the societal well-being altogether. Full article
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Article
Linking Sustainability-Oriented Marketing to Social Media and Web Atmospheric Cues
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092663 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1643
Abstract
Acknowledging the widespread use of social media and the exponential growth of digital technology, a number of reputable organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have shifted their traditional marketing tools to approach new markets for the growth of their businesses. Such companies [...] Read more.
Acknowledging the widespread use of social media and the exponential growth of digital technology, a number of reputable organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have shifted their traditional marketing tools to approach new markets for the growth of their businesses. Such companies have introduced their business over social media in order to gain greater attention from the consumers. However, the major concern addressed regarding how products and services are promoted online is regarding sustainable marketing. It is explored that most of the consumers tend to view online businesses by visualizing essential factors that reflect sustainability and thus, SMEs have started to analyze specific web atmospheric cues, which contribute in developing social media according to consumer behavior and their perceptions. To assess the research area, the following study is performed to understand possible measures that are significant in bridging business and consumer needs. This research incorporates a quantitative research method for gathering specific data by using questionnaires. From the findings of the research, it is analyzed that consumers are likely to perceive and give attention to social media by analyzing specific cues, including visuals, ethics, information, social, and security. It is concluded that SMEs could foster their online businesses by adopting effective sustainable marketing strategies aligned according to specific web atmospheric cues. Full article
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Article
Performance Evaluation of the Implementation of the 2013/34/EU Directive in Romania on the Basis of Corporate Social Responsibility Reports
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2531; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092531 - 01 May 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
The paper highlights part of the results of an investigation-based analysis. The research was carried out at the level of the 680 public interest entities with over 500 employees, for the first time enforced by law, together with the financial statements for 2017 [...] Read more.
The paper highlights part of the results of an investigation-based analysis. The research was carried out at the level of the 680 public interest entities with over 500 employees, for the first time enforced by law, together with the financial statements for 2017 reported in 2018, to publish non-financial social responsibility, the environment, and promotion of an ethical and sustainable business with sufficient and measurable care for the employees, the environment, and the local community. The analysis was extended to a representative sample of 246 entities, for which we analyzed both the degree of compliance of entities in Romania with their obligation to make non-financial information public and the determination of the level of compliance of the content of non-financial reports in depending on the minimum requirements of the directive. Thus, the most common published non-financial information has been identified, which has allowed for the definition of a sustainable and competitive business. The degree of compliance was also determined at the territorial, structural, and legal level. Moreover, this scientific study emphasizes the strong connections that exist between key concepts, such as: corporate social responsibility, intellectual capital, environmental protection, sustainability, ethics and integrity in today’s contemporary society. Full article
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Article
Is There a Place for Women in the Polish Mines?—Selected Issues in the Context of Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2511; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092511 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
This article demonstrates the situation of women in the Polish mining industry through the prism of the implementation of sustainable development goals. The conducted analysis allowed us to verify the thesis that the actions that have been taken with the aim of gender [...] Read more.
This article demonstrates the situation of women in the Polish mining industry through the prism of the implementation of sustainable development goals. The conducted analysis allowed us to verify the thesis that the actions that have been taken with the aim of gender equality are not enough, and mining is therefore not sustainable. Despite the fact that regulations have changed over the years, and women are now allowed to undertake jobs in mining plants, the sector is still highly masculinized. This phenomenon was found to be particularly disadvantageous after conducting an analysis of data referring to the number of female students graduating each year in mining and geology majors. It can be concluded, based on information concerning the share of women employed in the mining industry in general, as well as information on several other factors, that the majority of women who have pursued higher education in the field of mining will not find a job in this profession. This phenomenon clearly indicates the necessity of changes in the scope of education, and the need for companies to broaden internship and apprenticeship offers. Full article
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Article
Corporate Social Responsibility: Understanding the Mining Stakeholder with a Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2407; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082407 - 23 Apr 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
The social responsibility of corporate mining has been challenged by a significant socio-political risk from local communities. These issues reduce shareholder value by increasing costs and decreasing the market perception of corporate social responsibility. Community engagement is the process of understanding the behavior [...] Read more.
The social responsibility of corporate mining has been challenged by a significant socio-political risk from local communities. These issues reduce shareholder value by increasing costs and decreasing the market perception of corporate social responsibility. Community engagement is the process of understanding the behavior and interests of a group of targeted mining communities through surveys and data analysis, with the purpose of incorporating mining community acceptance into the mining sustainability. While mining organizations have discussed community engagement to varying degrees, there are three main shortcomings in current studies, as concluded in the authors’ previous research. This paper presents a framework to apply discrete choice theory to improve mining community engagement and corporate mining social responsibility. In addition, this paper establishes the main technical challenges to implement the developed framework, and presents methods to overcome the challenges for future research with a case study. The contribution of this research will transform mine sustainability in a fundamental way by facilitating the incorporation of effective community engagement. This will lead to more sustainable mines that local communities support. Full article
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Article
Same Same but Different: How and Why Banks Approach Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082267 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2293
Abstract
Given their intermediary role and resulting influence on other industries, banks are pivotal in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), for which they approach ecological and social challenges in numerous ways. This study aims at creating a typology of the sustainability strategies that [...] Read more.
Given their intermediary role and resulting influence on other industries, banks are pivotal in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), for which they approach ecological and social challenges in numerous ways. This study aims at creating a typology of the sustainability strategies that banks implement. To this end, 26 in-depth interviews were conducted within the German banking industry to detect patterns in the sustainable practices of these financial institutions. The strategy types identified are narrow, peripheral, balanced, and integrative, which are similar in structure but substantially different with respect to the kind of practices. Specifically, three main features distinguish these strategies. First, banks focus on either their core businesses or the peripheries of their business. Second, banks can concentrate on social or environmental issues. Third, within the peripheries of their businesses, banks can support external sustainability projects in terms of finances or content. It is also found that the choice of strategy is driven by varying combinations of business, social, and environmental motives. I thus explore the ways by which financial institutions contribute to the realization of the SDGs. The typology established in this work improves understanding with regards to the implementation of sustainability strategies and serves as inspiration to sustainability managers of banks. It also adds to sustainability research in the service context, which, unlike the manufacturing industry, is a widely under-researched setting. Full article
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Article
Protection of Design in the Textile Industry in Order to Improve the Economic Aspect of Sustainable Development of Serbia—Comparative Overview of the Laws of the European Union and Croatia
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2126; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072126 - 10 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
The authors analyze the protection of industrial design in Serbia, with a comparative overview of the rights of the European Union (EU) and Croatia in industrial property law. In addition to the protection of registered design, the protection of unregistered design within the [...] Read more.
The authors analyze the protection of industrial design in Serbia, with a comparative overview of the rights of the European Union (EU) and Croatia in industrial property law. In addition to the protection of registered design, the protection of unregistered design within the framework of industrial design rights is characteristic of the EU. The unregistered design is acquired without a formal registration procedure, an appropriate disclosure of public design in the EU area. Based on analogy, an initial premise can be established, whereby, after Serbia’s entering into the EU, as well as after joining the EU, physical and legal persons from Serbia will have at their disposal several different forms of industrial design protection and unregistered community design. This form of design protection can be significant for the fashion industry in Serbia characterized by a constant dynamic design change. Full article
Article
Regional Competition, Labor Force Mobility, and the Fiscal Behaviour of Local Governments in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061776 - 24 Mar 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
At present, China is in a critical period of transition from labor-intensive industries to capital- and technology-intensive industries. Accordingly, the increasing labor force mobility among Chinese cities has promoted competition over production factors among regions, having a significant impact on local governments’ fiscal [...] Read more.
At present, China is in a critical period of transition from labor-intensive industries to capital- and technology-intensive industries. Accordingly, the increasing labor force mobility among Chinese cities has promoted competition over production factors among regions, having a significant impact on local governments’ fiscal expenditure structure. A theoretical analysis shows that the competition of livelihood public good expenditures is playing an increasingly important role in the factor flow competition. Different labor forces’ demand for different public goods and local governments’ demand for different labor forces affect the structural preference of local government fiscal expenditures. Based on panel data on Chinese prefecture-level cities in 2010–2016, this paper empirically tests the impact of different labor mobilities on the structure of local government fiscal expenditures, finding that current decision making on labor mobility is increasingly sensitive to the supply of livelihood public goods, and strengthening labor mobility has reversed the expenditure bias historically caused by the government’s simple capital competition. After dividing the mobile labor force based on whether the labor is settled in the current year, the two labor force types’ demand for different livelihood public goods was found to be different. To attract different labor inflows, local governments should promote an increase in relevant livelihood public good expenditures, showing a strategic fiscal expenditure structural bias. Specifically, with increasing new added general labor mobility, local goverments will increase the proportion of fiscal expenditures on education and medical care, combined with the increase of newly added registered labor mobility, which will correspondingly increase the proportion of environmental protection expenditures. Full article
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Article
CSR Maturity in Polish Listed Companies: A Qualitative Diagnosis Based on a Progression Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061736 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
Transformation from a centrally planned economy to a market economy in 1989 created new challenges for the enterprises in Poland. Free market brought economic liberty, but also the need to take responsibility for the business’ impact on the environment. The last 20 years [...] Read more.
Transformation from a centrally planned economy to a market economy in 1989 created new challenges for the enterprises in Poland. Free market brought economic liberty, but also the need to take responsibility for the business’ impact on the environment. The last 20 years have brought intensive development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Polish conditions: The institutional context supporting CSR has improved and so did the implementation of the CSR by the business. Intensive growth of CSR practices demands a reflection on the effectiveness of the implementation. This study’s contribution is a comprehensive diagnosis of CSR maturity of the enterprises in Poland using a conceptual CSR maturity model. The model is comprised of three perspectives: CSR process maturity, CSR formal maturity and CSR developmental maturity. CSR practices of 93 listed companies from nine industries were studied in 2016–2017. A qualitative content analysis of the enterprises websites was used as the method of study. The main finding was that the level of CSR practices of the enterprises in Poland is still rather low. Forty-seven percent of the enterprises implement incidental CSR, 30% tactical CSR and 23% apply strategic CSR. CSR maturity level is company size- and industry-dependent. Full article
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Article
Ownership Reduction in State-Owned Enterprises and Corporate Social Responsibility: Perspective from Secondary Privatization in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041008 - 15 Feb 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
As an emerging economy, China modernized its economy via split-share structure reform. This reform changed the nature of ownership in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Following this reform, we investigated the research question concerning how reductions in state ownership affect the corporate social responsibility (CSR) [...] Read more.
As an emerging economy, China modernized its economy via split-share structure reform. This reform changed the nature of ownership in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Following this reform, we investigated the research question concerning how reductions in state ownership affect the corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance of listed firms. This study tests the hypotheses using data of Chinese listed firms between 2010 and 2015. Applying multiple regressions, we found a negative association between state reductions and CSR performance. We contribute to the existing literature by providing empirical evidence that those firms which reduce state holdings are not taking CSR activities seriously. Our study also sheds light on the worthiness and prominent status of large state owners of SOEs, as they are more likely to engage in social activities. This study provides fruitful implications for policy-makers and practitioners about state holdings, which may either hinder or enhance the corporate social performance. Full article
Article
A Win-Win Outcome between Corporate Environmental Performance and Corporate Value: From the Perspective of Stakeholders
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030921 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2098
Abstract
This paper combines determinants of corporate environment performance (CEP) and the effect of CEP on corporate value together, namely how to motivate firms to conduct environmental protection from the perspective of enhancing firm value. Using a sample of 204 observations of listed corporations [...] Read more.
This paper combines determinants of corporate environment performance (CEP) and the effect of CEP on corporate value together, namely how to motivate firms to conduct environmental protection from the perspective of enhancing firm value. Using a sample of 204 observations of listed corporations in Chinese pollution-intensive industries over the period of 2013–2014, we observed that: (1) compared to investment in a single stakeholder, combinations of multidimensional stakeholders are more likely to affect CEP, and the path is not unique; (2) employees have a positive role, but investors, the community, suppliers, and customers have negative roles; (3) among three patterns for high CEP, both high investment in employees and low investment in the community, suppliers and customers will not detract from firm value, i.e., a win-win outcome; (4) among three patterns for low CEP, one will enhance firm value; and (5) the investor should be seen as an important breakthrough in corporate environmental protection. Such conclusions have stronger promotional value for other emerging countries where corporate social and environmental responsibility is still in the initial stage and the traditional corporate government mode still has a leading position. Full article
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Article
How Responsible Leadership Motivates Employees to Engage in Organizational Citizenship Behavior for the Environment: A Double-Mediation Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030605 - 24 Jan 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3355
Abstract
By collecting and analyzing sample from 384 employees in China, this study explored relationship between responsible leadership and organization citizenship behavior for the environment (OCBE) with structural equation model (SEM). The results are as follows: (1) responsible leadership is positively related to organization [...] Read more.
By collecting and analyzing sample from 384 employees in China, this study explored relationship between responsible leadership and organization citizenship behavior for the environment (OCBE) with structural equation model (SEM). The results are as follows: (1) responsible leadership is positively related to organization citizenship behavior for the environment. (2) responsible leadership has positive effects on both autonomous and external environmental motivation. (3) autonomous and external environmental motivation have a multiple-mediate role in the relationship between responsible leadership and organization citizenship behavior for the environment. Finally, this paper discusses the management implications of the research results and the future research direction. Full article
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Article
How Does CSR Activity Affect Sustainable Growth and Value of Corporations? Evidence from Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020508 - 18 Jan 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
This study explores the relationship between Korean listed companies’ corporation social responsibility (CSR) activities and their sustainable growth and valuation, focusing specifically on the nonlinear aspect. The nonlinear quantile regressions used in this study reported that CSR activities increased corporation value exclusively in [...] Read more.
This study explores the relationship between Korean listed companies’ corporation social responsibility (CSR) activities and their sustainable growth and valuation, focusing specifically on the nonlinear aspect. The nonlinear quantile regressions used in this study reported that CSR activities increased corporation value exclusively in the middle-range groups (i.e., τ_25, τ_50, τ_75) of Tobin’s q, a proxy for corporation growth and value. However, the linear ordinary least squares (OLS) regression did not indicate similar results. Our findings also showed that CSR activities affect the valuation of Korean listed corporations in a nonlinear, rather than in a linear way. Considering that most prior studies are devoted to reporting linear results from classical ordinary least squares estimations between CSR activities and corporation value, our study fills the gap in the literature. The findings of this study may provide corporation managers and researchers with valuable data concerning a corporation’s optimal investment point for their CSR activities for sustainable growth and the maximization of corporation value. Full article
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Article
Study on the Relationship between CSR and Financial Performance
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020343 - 11 Jan 2019
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 11705
Abstract
This study analyzed whether a systematic relationship exists between corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance and corporate financial performance using 191 sample firms listed on the Korea Exchange. The Korea Economic Justice Institute (KEJI) index of 2015 was used to measure CSR performance; profitability [...] Read more.
This study analyzed whether a systematic relationship exists between corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance and corporate financial performance using 191 sample firms listed on the Korea Exchange. The Korea Economic Justice Institute (KEJI) index of 2015 was used to measure CSR performance; profitability and firm value were used to measure corporate financial performance. Return on assets was used as a proxy for profitability, and Tobin’s Q was used as a proxy for firm value. The correlation between these variables and CSR performance was examined through correlation and regression analysis. The results confirm that CSR performance has a partial positive correlation with profitability and firm value. These results are partly consistent with those of previous studies reporting a positive relationship between CSR and Korean firms’ financial performance using the KEJI index before 2011. In the relationship between CSR performance and profitability, only social contribution yields a statistically positive correlation. Analysis of the correlation between CSR performance and financial performance indicators revealed a positive relationship between the growth rate of total assets and corporate soundness and social contribution. Both soundness and social contribution showed a positive correlation with Tobin’s Q, the measure of corporate value. Full article
Article
Does Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Corporate Tax Avoidance of Chinese Listed Companies?
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4549; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124549 - 02 Dec 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2878
Abstract
The primary objective of this paper is to empirically examine whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) influences corporate tax avoidance (CTA) of Chinese listed companies. The study is based on a sample of 3481 firm-year observations from 2009 to 2015 using CSR ratings from [...] Read more.
The primary objective of this paper is to empirically examine whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) influences corporate tax avoidance (CTA) of Chinese listed companies. The study is based on a sample of 3481 firm-year observations from 2009 to 2015 using CSR ratings from the Rankins (RKS) corporate social responsibility ratings agency in China, and all financial data extracted from the China Stock Market and Accounting Research (CSMAR). The authors foundthat CSR is negatively related to the current and cash effective tax rate (proxies of corporate tax avoidance), suggesting that responsible firms are more involved in tax avoidance as compared to less responsible firms. Their findings are robust against different control variables. Additionally, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, the paper is one of the first to document an empirical association between CSR and corporate tax avoidance of Chinese listed companies. Full article
Article
Testing and Verification of a New Corporate Sustainability Assessment Method for Manufacturing: A Multiple Case Research Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4121; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114121 - 09 Nov 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
This paper aims at answering the question of how to design a theoretically sound corporate sustainability assessment (CSA) method that can strengthen the ability of manufacturing companies to contribute to global sustainable development (SD). In our effort to answer this question, we conduct [...] Read more.
This paper aims at answering the question of how to design a theoretically sound corporate sustainability assessment (CSA) method that can strengthen the ability of manufacturing companies to contribute to global sustainable development (SD). In our effort to answer this question, we conduct a case study to test a newly designed CSA method to develop assessment tools for each of four different case companies. The method combines criteria-based indicators development with qualitative system dynamics modeling based on mental models of decision-makers. This strategy ensures a holistic approach to what corporate sustainability and sustainable manufacturing are. The paper is intended to serve, first of all, as a practical guide to the development of CSA tools. The scientific value of the method is discussed in terms of how it assists in the development of a tool that provides the potential to overcome shortcomings of existing approaches to sustainability assessment and to embrace the complexity of the sustainability concept. From the case study results, we demonstrate the capability of the new method by showing how it satisfies scientific requirements to sustainability assessment and fulfills functions of CSA. We also show how it may overcome some of the observed limitations of existing CSA tools. Full article
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Article
The Effectiveness of Internal Control and Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from Chinese Capital Market
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4006; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114006 - 01 Nov 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
From the perspective of the effectiveness of internal control, according to the Stakeholder Theory, Principal-Agent Theory and Reputation Theory, this paper analyzes comparatively the influences of internal control on the assumption of corporate social responsibility (SCPS) from the accrual basis, and the fulfillment [...] Read more.
From the perspective of the effectiveness of internal control, according to the Stakeholder Theory, Principal-Agent Theory and Reputation Theory, this paper analyzes comparatively the influences of internal control on the assumption of corporate social responsibility (SCPS) from the accrual basis, and the fulfillment of corporate social responsibility (CSRF) from the cash flow system respectively. Using a sample of 1767 firms listed in China between 2011 and 2016, we find that effective internal control has significantly promoted enterprises to assume social responsibilities. Meanwhile, effective internal control substantially improves the fulfillment of corporate social responsibility. This study overcomes the current situation that the two concepts of assumption and fulfillment of corporate social responsibility have not been distinguished in previous literature. We suggest that, in the economic transition period, the positive role of internal control in corporate governance should be promoted to protect the legitimate rights and interests of stakeholders; the adverse impact of the principal-agent relationship between shareholders and management on corporate governance should be avoided, building high-quality internal control; enterprises achieve steady and sustainable development process by the positive reputation value and robust external monitoring mechanism. This research is of practical importance to strengthen the subsequent construction of the internal control system and the long-term practice of corporate social responsibility. Full article
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Article
Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mediate the Relation between Boardroom Gender Diversity and Firm Performance of Chinese Listed Companies?
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3591; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103591 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3275
Abstract
Although the relationship between board gender diversity and a firm’s financial performance has been investigated before, the current study provides a valuable contribution by exploring the complex phenomenon of the mediating impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance on a firm’s financial performance. [...] Read more.
Although the relationship between board gender diversity and a firm’s financial performance has been investigated before, the current study provides a valuable contribution by exploring the complex phenomenon of the mediating impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance on a firm’s financial performance. The current study aims to explore whether corporate social responsibility (represented by the proxy variable of CSR reporting) mediates the relationship between boardroom gender diversity and firm performance. We use the pooled ordinary least square (OLS) regression to examine the above relationship by using data from 2008 to 2015. To control the likelihood of endogeneity we also use one-year lagged and two-stage least square (2SLS) regression models. Our results show that boardroom gender diversity is significant, positively correlated with firm performance, and CSR fully mediates the relationship between boardroom gender diversity and firm performance. In addition, four control variables (independent director, Chief executive officer (CEO power), board member meeting frequency, Big4, and leverage) have some influence on firm performance. These findings hold for a set of robustness tests. Our findings have the implication for the investors and regulators. For investors, our results show that the existence of female directors on the board can improve the firm performance. For regulators, our results advise the worldwide policy maker to give the importance to boardroom gender diversity. The paper contributes to the existing studies, by pioneering the investigations of the mediating role of CSR in the relation between boardroom gender diversity and firm performance in Chinese context. Full article
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Article
The Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in “BRICS” Countries
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2513; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072513 - 18 Jul 2018
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 7261
Abstract
This study investigates the adoption and implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). The researchers selected 25 top multinational companies and studied the adoption of UN SDGs through its vision and [...] Read more.
This study investigates the adoption and implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). The researchers selected 25 top multinational companies and studied the adoption of UN SDGs through its vision and mission statements. Using the content analysis method, this study reveals that although companies in BRICS countries have been trying to adopt defined UN SDGs, important goals are missing. Chinese companies stand first while focusing on sustainable industry innovation and infrastructure, and South African companies’ interest in adopting UN SDGs appears to be very low. Overall, the results depict that important UN SDGs—‘Quality Education’, ‘Climate Action’, and ‘Life Below Water’—are missing from the vision and mission statements of companies in BRICS countries. It is recommended that BRICS countries pay more attention to the UN-defined sustainable development goals. This study is unique in that it provides an analytical method to evaluate the implementation of the sustainable development goals in BRICS countries. Future studies should include more countries, in order to study a broader implementation of the goals. Full article
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Review

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Review
Scoping the Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Research in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Era
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5544; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145544 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
Amidst a contemporary culture of climate awareness, unprecedented levels of transparency and visibility are forcing industrial organizations to broaden their value chains and deepen the impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. While it may be common knowledge that the 2030 agenda cannot [...] Read more.
Amidst a contemporary culture of climate awareness, unprecedented levels of transparency and visibility are forcing industrial organizations to broaden their value chains and deepen the impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. While it may be common knowledge that the 2030 agenda cannot be achieved on a business-as-usual trajectory, this study seeks to determine to what ends the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have impacted CSR research. Highlighting linkages and interdependencies between the SDGs and evolution of CSR practice, this paper analyzes a final sample of 56 relevant journal articles from the period 2015–2020. With the intent of bridging policy and practice, thematic coding analysis has supported the identification and interpretation of key emergent research themes. Using three descriptive categorical classifications (i.e., single-dimension, bi-combination of dimensions, sustainability dimension), the results of this paper provide an in-depth discussion into strategic community, company, consumer, investor, and employee foci. Furthermore, the analysis provides a timely and descriptive overview of how CSR research has approached the SDGs and which ones are being prioritized. By deepening the understanding of potential synergies between business strategy, global climate agendas and the common good, this paper contributes to an increased comprehension of how CSR and financial performance can be improved over the long-term. Full article
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Review
Pipeline Spills and Indigenous Energy Justice
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010047 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
The Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan transport their energy resources by pipeline to the eastern and western seaboards, and south into the United States. The used pipeline infrastructure reshapes the landscape and affects sustainability of the environment, traditional Indigenous livelihoods, and drinking [...] Read more.
The Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan transport their energy resources by pipeline to the eastern and western seaboards, and south into the United States. The used pipeline infrastructure reshapes the landscape and affects sustainability of the environment, traditional Indigenous livelihoods, and drinking water, particularly when spills and leaks occur. This scoping review is focused on Indigenous sustainability issues in relation to surrounding pipeline spills/leaks, impacts on drinking water and Indigenous communities in Western Canada. We found that Indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable to pipeline leaks, and have limited capacity to mitigate them. Strategic decisions need to be made about the management of pipeline leaks. For building Indigenous energy justice, the findings of this paper suggest that Indigenous-led databases, programs to monitor and assess impacts, report leaks, and funding of community-based participatory action research are required. Full article

Other

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Concept Paper
Sustainable Supply Chain of Enterprises: Value Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010419 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
An enterprise carrying out operations according to the sustainable development (SD) concept should maximize its business goals without affecting interest groups. It requires not only a rethinking, but also a partial allocation of profit to social goals—used to contribute to and create a [...] Read more.
An enterprise carrying out operations according to the sustainable development (SD) concept should maximize its business goals without affecting interest groups. It requires not only a rethinking, but also a partial allocation of profit to social goals—used to contribute to and create a positive image of the enterprise and improve its competitiveness—over the long-term. Operations should result in an increase in profit—indirectly—by way of demand. This paper explores the sustainable supply chain (SSC) concept and the interplay of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within business objectives. The concept of SSC-compliant CSR is primarily stressed as an executive, top-down centric role. Businesses and societies at large that foster an SD continuum are considered healthy economies. The SD of enterprises and CSR in business are explored in relation to social investment and considered a viable long-term strategy for doing business. A pilot case study of Poland is carried out as a value analysis of the SSCs of enterprises. The key findings illustrate the benefits and problems of SSCs applied at the enterprise level. The problems of applying the principles of SSC within the enterprise and the connection between its levels of strategy and social value in terms of CSR and entrepreneurial operations are examined. Comparative studies indicate a number of overlapping trends in which positive SSC is cross-functional toward business partners, suppliers, customers, investors, and local communities. Full article
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