Matching Items (4)
- All Subjects: Social responsibility of business
- Genre: Academic theses
- Creators: Dooley, Kevin
- Member of: ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Corporations work to reduce their negative impacts on the environment and society by adopting Sustainable business (SB) practices. Businesses create competitive advantages via practices such as waste minimization, green product design, compliance with regulations, and stakeholder relations. Normative models indicate that businesses should adopt similar sustainability practices, however, contingency theory suggests that effectiveness of practices depends on the context of the business. The literature highlights the importance of organizational culture as a moderating variable between SB practices and outcomes, however this link has not been empirically examined. This thesis presents the development and testing of a theoretical model, using configuration theory, that links SB practices, organizational culture, and financial performance.
Published frameworks were utilized to identify SB practices in use, and the Competing Values Framework (CVF) to identify dimensions of culture. Data from 1021 Corporate Sustainability Reports from 212 companies worldwide was collected for computerized text analysis, which provided a measure of the occurrence of a specific SB practice and the four dimensions of the CVF. Hypotheses were analyzed using cluster, crosstab, and t-test statistical methods.
The findings contribute significant insights to the Business and Sustainability field. Firstly, clustering of SB practice bundles identified organizations at various levels of SB practice awareness. The spectrum runs from a compliance level of awareness, to a set of organizations aware of the importance of culture change for sustainability. Top performing clusters demonstrated different priorities with regards to SB practices; these were in many cases, related to contextual factors, such as location or sector. This implies that these organizations undertook varying sustainability strategies, but all arrived at some successful level of sustainability. Another key finding was the association between the highest performing SB practice clusters and a culture dominated by Adhocracy values, corroborating theories presented in the literature, but were not empirically tested before.
The results of this research offer insights into the use of text analysis to study SB practices and organizational culture. Further, this study presents a novel attempt at empirically testing the relationship between SB practices and culture, and tying this to financial performance. The goal is that this work serves as an initial step in redefining the way in which businesses adopt SB practices. A transformation of SB practice adoption will lead to major improvements in sustainability strategies, and subsequently drive change for improved corporate sustainability.
Firms are increasingly being held accountable for the unsustainable actions of their suppliers. Stakeholders, regulatory agencies, and customers alike are calling for increased levels of transparency and higher standards of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance for suppliers. While it is apparent that supplier performance is important, it remains unclear how the stock market weighs the CSR performance of a supplier relative to that of a focal firm. This dissertation focuses on whether these relative differences exist. In addition to capturing the magnitude of the difference in market impact between focal firm and supplier CSR events; I analyze the ways in which these differences have changed over time. To capture this evolution, CSR events ranging over a period from 1994 to 2013 are examined. This research utilizes an event study methodology in which the announcement of over 2,300 CSR events are identified and analyzed to determine the subsequent stock market reaction. I find that while the market evaluated negative supplier CSR events less harshly than events occurring at the buying firm in the early years of the sample, by the turn of the millennium this “supplier discounting" had disappeared. The analysis is broken down by CSR event "type". Findings demonstrate that negative CSR events, particularly those revolving around worker or customer safety, generate the most significant abnormal return. The findings of this dissertation produce valuable managerial insights along with interpretation. Resources are scarce, and understanding where a firm might best allocate their resources to avoid financial penalties will be valuable information for corporate decision makers. These findings present clear evidence that some of these resources should be allocated to supplier CSR performance, not just towards the CSR performance of the focal firm.
Currently, consumers throw away products every day, turning those materials into waste. Electronic waste poses special problems when it is not recycled because it may contain toxic components that can leach into landfill surroundings and reach groundwater sources or contaminate soil, and its plastic, metal, and electronic materials do not biodegrade and are lost rather than recycled. This study analyzes a system that attempts to solve the electronic post-consumer-waste problem by shifting the economic burden of disposal from local municipalities to producers, reducing its environmental impacts while promoting economic development. The system was created in British Columbia, Canada after the province enacted a recycling regulation based on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a policy strategy that is fast growing globally. The BC recycling regulation requires all e-toy corporations in BC to comply with a government-approved product-stewardship program to recover and dispose of e-toys after they have been discarded by consumers. In response to the regulation, e-toy corporations joined a Canadian non-profit entity that recycles regulated waste. I conducted a case study using in-depth interviews with the stakeholders to identify the outcomes of this program and its potential for replication in other industries. I derived lessons from which corporations can learn to implement stewardship programs based on EPR regulations. The e-toy program demonstrated that creating exclusive programs is neither efficient nor economically feasible. Corporations should expect low recycling rates in the first phases of the program implementation because EPR regulations are long-term strategies. In order to reach any conclusions about the demand of consumers for recycling programs, we need to measure the program's return rates during at least three years. I also derived lessons that apply to the expansion of EPR regulations to a broader scope of product categories. The optimal way to expand EPR policy is to do it by gradually adding new product categories to the regulation on a long-term schedule. By doing so, new categories can take advantage of existing stewardship programs and their infrastructure to recover and recycle the post-consumer products. EPR proved to be an effective option to make corporations start thinking about the end of life of their products.
This study investigates how well prominent behavioral theories from social psychology explain green purchasing behavior (GPB). I assess three prominent theories in terms of their suitability for GPB research, their attractiveness to GPB empiricists, and the strength of their empirical evidence when applied to GPB. First, a qualitative assessment of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Norm Activation Theory (NAT), and Value-Belief-Norm Theory (VBN) is conducted to evaluate a) how well the phenomenon and concepts in each theory match the characteristics of pro-environmental behavior and b) how well the assumptions made in each theory match common assumptions made in purchasing theory. Second, a quantitative assessment of these three theories is conducted in which r2 values and methodological parameters (e.g., sample size) are collected from a sample of 21 empirical studies on GPB to evaluate the accuracy and generalize-ability of empirical evidence. In the qualitative assessment, the results show each theory has its advantages and disadvantages. The results also provide a theoretically-grounded roadmap for modifying each theory to be more suitable for GPB research. In the quantitative assessment, the TPB outperforms the other two theories in every aspect taken into consideration. It proves to 1) create the most accurate models 2) be supported by the most generalize-able empirical evidence and 3) be the most attractive theory to empiricists. Although the TPB establishes itself as the best foundational theory for an empiricist to start from, it's clear that a more comprehensive model is needed to achieve consistent results and improve our understanding of GPB. NAT and the Theory of Interpersonal Behavior (TIB) offer pathways to extend the TPB. The TIB seems particularly apt for this endeavor, while VBN does not appear to have much to offer. Overall, the TPB has already proven to hold a relatively high predictive value. But with the state of ecosystem services continuing to decline on a global scale, it's important for models of GPB to become more accurate and reliable. Better models have the capacity to help marketing professionals, product developers, and policy makers develop strategies for encouraging consumers to buy green products.