Presentation on theme: "The Social Lives of Firms: Globalizing Norms v. National Corporate Social Responsibility Styles Alvise Favotto, University of Glasgow Kelly Kollman, University."— Presentation transcript:
The Social Lives of Firms: Globalizing Norms v. National Corporate Social Responsibility Styles Alvise Favotto, University of Glasgow Kelly Kollman, University of Glasgow Patrick Bernhagen, University Aberdeen / Stuttgart
Research Question To what extent are large TNCs incorporating global CSR norms and notions of best practice into management procedures and structures? – To what extent is this engagement mediated by a firm’s home country and the variety of capitalism practiced within it?
Private Governance / Global Civil Regulation Literatures Why has private governance emerged and become more prominent? – Governance gaps opened up by economic globalization (Cutler, Haufler and Porter, 1999; Braithwaite and Drahos 2000) – CSR schemes have proliferated but many are underpinned by the core norms of a growing ‘sustainability field’ (Dingwerth and Pattberg 2009) Why do firms participate? – Firm-level characteristics: size and sector (Hillman et al 2004) – Home country characteristics: democracy; national interest group politics, ‘embeddedness’ in transnational networks (Prakash and Potoski 2006; Neumeyer and Perkins 2010) How do CSR norms and code participation affect firm behavior? – Mixed findings (Vogel 2005; Prakash and Potoski 2006; Berliner and Prakash 2012) – Lack of progress due to narrow focus on single codes and a lack of engagement with finer-grained firm-level data that uncovers linkages between participation and performance outcomes
Looking Inside the Black Box of the Firm Examine firms’ engagement with CSR / private governance schemes through analysis of firm-level documents, usually CSR reports (Kolk 2004; Chen and Bovain 2009). Firms from the liberal market economies such as the US engage less substantively with CSR norms than firms from the coordinated market economies of continental Europe (Van Tulder et el 2009; Lim and Tsutsui 2012; Hartman et al 2007). Firms in CMEs are more ‘culturally attuned’ to integrating concerns of societal actors into their practices (Van Tulder et al 2009).
Methods and Data Content analysis of 40 firm CSR reports (20 US and 20 European) drawn from Global Fortune 500 – Two sub-samples are roughly matched in terms of firm size and mix of sectors A self-generated coding frame for three sections of the reports: management statement; environmental section; social section (employee concerns / labour rights / human rights) Management statements: motivation; global CSR codes mentioned; stakeholders mentioned; CSR areas mentioned Environment and social sections: management practices; impact areas; improvement program areas Assess the quality of impact measures and improvement programmes to gauge ‘implementation likelihood’ of individual reports (Kolk 2004)
Results from Management Statements ThemeCodesUS (%)Europe (%) MotivationMarket9560 Ethical – environment6080 Ethical – labor/employee rights4560 Ethical – human rights530 Ethical – community/ giving8050 Ethical – corruption025 Social pressure1050 Risk management525 Legal compliance015 ThemeCodesUS (%)Europe (%) Global CSR normsSustainability3585 Continuous improvement015 Materiality2540 Transparency3040 Stakeholder dialogue540 ThemeCodesUS (%)Europe (%) Codes MentionedGRI030 UN Global Compact1055 ISO 14001010 OECD Guidelines05 UN Guiding Principles535 Sector-specific programs1020 CSR awards1020 Stock market CSR indexes020
Results from Management Statements cont. ThemeCodesUS (%)Europe (%) CSR areas mentionedEnvironment80100 Human rights545 Labor/ employee rights4590 Giving/ community9050 Corruption525 Lobbying55 Remuneration05 ThemeCodesUS (%)Europe (%) Stakeholders mentionedShareholders4550 Business partners5035 NGO’s1520 Employees8095 Community9060 Political regulators2530 Customers7080 Trade unions015 Intergovernmental Organizations1060 Suppliers1025
Social Impact Areas Covered Social Improvement Goals Present
Environmental Impact Areas Covered Environmental Improvement Goals Present
Implications and Conclusions Results support recent findings that suggest firms in CMEs engage more substantively with global CSR norms than firms from LMEs—but only in the social sections. The environmental sections of US and European reports are more similar than the social sections. The environmental sections of US and European reports are of much higher quality than social sections, regardless of home country. Findings challenge VoC accounts of CSR engagement: – Why do US firms engage with environmental norms when they do not appear to engage substantially with the types of non-market stakeholders that promote such engagement? – Why do European firms engage more substantively with environmental than social norms / practices when CMEs are structured to encourage harmonious employee / employer relations?
Implications and Conclusions cont. Why the greater engagement with environmental CSR? – GRI influence – Environmental norms appear to be more embedded in global markets than labour and human rights norms. – Both European and US firms frequently cite market actors and market motivations in their management statements. – Environmental impact areas appear to offer firms greater ‘market’ opportunities than social areas. (Environmental norms ‘fit’ better with market norms). Future research: differential firm engagement across CSR areas in addition to how engagement is mediated by home country / varieties of capitalism Need finer-grained, firm-level data to uncover the nuances of firm engagement and the management processes that link participation with performance outcomes.