Responsabilit socitale et dveloppement durable

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Articles scientifiques

Culture’s effects on corporate sustainability practices: A multi-domain and multi-level view

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Publication date: Available online 30 December 2017
Source:Journal of World Business

Author(s): Christof Miska, Ilona Szőcs, Michael Schiffinger

With a triple-bottom-line lens on sustainability, this study examines the effects of culture on companies’ economic, social, and environmental sustainability practices. Drawing on institutional theory and project GLOBE, we delineate cultural practices dimensions that consistently predict sustainability practices related to each of the three domains. Based on a sample of 1924 companies in 36 countries and nine cultural clusters, we find that future orientation, gender egalitarianism, uncertainty avoidance, and power distance practices positively, and performance orientation practices negatively, predict corporate sustainability practices. Further, our findings suggest that these effects might vary according to the country vis-à-vis cluster level of analysis.

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Visions as trading zones: National and local approaches to improving urban sustainability

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Publication date: Available online 26 November 2017

Author(s): Lina Ingeborgrud

Making cities more sustainable is high on the agenda in many countries, but a major challenge is the identification of which actors should contribute, and how. This paper departs from an assumption that visions may guide urban development work, and examines and compares national and local governments’ visions of future sustainable cities in Norway. The case study is the urban multilevel governance program ‘Cities of the Future’. Previous literature on urban sustainability and multilevel governance stresses the importance of shared visions and goals between stakeholders. However, the paper finds that, in the context under investigation, visions were partially dis-aligned between national and local stakeholders. Nevertheless, participants from both national and local governments considered the Cities of the Future program as successful. This was especially due to the learning networks facilitated by the program. The paper critically discusses the assumption of alignment and suggests a shift of attention from the content of vision to the processes of vision making. By this, we may understand visions as possible trading zones for the negotiation of future directions in urban sustainability.

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Multinationals and Skills Policy Networks: HRM as a Player in Economic and Social Concerns

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This paper uses an embeddedness framework to reconceptualize HRM agency over the external labour market, and in so doing bring into focus the societal implications of HRM. Drawing on qualitative data from 53 key informants in two English regions, we identify the ways in which the subsidiaries of foreign multinationals (MNCs) engage with labour market skills actors. Our findings reveal how power structures are mobilized by local economic actors to align labour market skills with MNCs’ demand priorities. We show that multinationals may seek to partially endogenize (i.e. take ownership of) the resources of local labour markets when their competitive value is redefined in social as well as economic terms, and demonstrate that the social structure of sub-national institutional governance arrangements and firm strategic action on skills creates the conduit through which resource endogenization may occur. Theoretically, this paper identifies the social structure of networks as a casual mechanism to bridge divergent skill interests, which is mobilized when network actors have the capacity to frame fields within the social structure of the network around ideas on economic sustainability and moral interest.

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The impact of corporate social performance on the cost of debt and access to debt financing for listed European non-financial firms

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Publication date: Available online 21 October 2017
Source:European Management Journal

Author(s): Fabio La Rosa, Giovanni Liberatore, Francesco Mazzi, Simone Terzani

This study addresses the controversial issue of how non-financial performance affects the cost of debt capital and access to it. The relationship between corporate social performance and two measures of debt cost (accounting-based and market-based) and the measure of debt access are analysed by means of a multi-theoretical framework combining economics with social theories. By observing a sample of listed European non-financial firms over an 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, we find a negative relationship between corporate social performance and interest rate. Consistent with this result, we find a positive relationship between corporate social performance and debt rating. Thus, corporate social performance has a positive role in reducing the cost of debt capital. Moreover, firms with better corporate social performance are more attractive to lenders in terms of leverage allowance. Overall, our findings provide deeper insight into the reasons why companies should improve their corporate social performance.

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