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Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility: Empirical Insights on the Impact of the UN Global Compact on Its Business Participants


Schembera, Stefan (2018). Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility: Empirical Insights on the Impact of the UN Global Compact on Its Business Participants. Business & Society, 57(5):783-825.

Abstract

The implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is crucial for the legitimacy of an organization in today’s globalized economy. This study aims to enrich our knowledge of the implementation of the largest voluntary CSR initiative—the UN Global Compact (UNGC). Drawing on insights from stakeholder, network, and institutional theory, I derive a positive impact of UNGC participation duration on the implementation level of the UNGC principles, despite potential weaknesses in the initiative’s accountability structure. Moreover, I scrutinize the validity of the newly introduced UNGC “Differentiation Programme” before applying this framework in the empirical analysis. Results from ordinal, linear, and instrumental variable regression models suggest that, contrary to claims made by UNGC critics, the duration of UNGC participation does affect the level of UNGC implementation. However, this effect appears to be much smaller than previous practitioner studies have suggested. Moreover, strong local UNGC networks affect the implementation level of the UNGC positively. Their hypothesized moderating role between UNGC participation duration and UNGC implementation level, however, is only significant in networks with activities of high quality rather than high quantity.

Abstract

The implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is crucial for the legitimacy of an organization in today’s globalized economy. This study aims to enrich our knowledge of the implementation of the largest voluntary CSR initiative—the UN Global Compact (UNGC). Drawing on insights from stakeholder, network, and institutional theory, I derive a positive impact of UNGC participation duration on the implementation level of the UNGC principles, despite potential weaknesses in the initiative’s accountability structure. Moreover, I scrutinize the validity of the newly introduced UNGC “Differentiation Programme” before applying this framework in the empirical analysis. Results from ordinal, linear, and instrumental variable regression models suggest that, contrary to claims made by UNGC critics, the duration of UNGC participation does affect the level of UNGC implementation. However, this effect appears to be much smaller than previous practitioner studies have suggested. Moreover, strong local UNGC networks affect the implementation level of the UNGC positively. Their hypothesized moderating role between UNGC participation duration and UNGC implementation level, however, is only significant in networks with activities of high quality rather than high quantity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:1 May 2018
Deposited On:15 Aug 2019 14:28
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:05
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0007-6503
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0007650316635579
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:14130

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