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2023 | Buch

Business for Sustainability, Volume I

Strategic Avenues and Managerial Approaches


Über dieses Buch

Part of a two-volume work, this book explores how businesses shape, and are shaped by, sustainability forces and phenomena. These evolutionary transformations have driven scholars, practitioners and decision makers to pay increased attention to sustainability as an integral part of business development. Consequently, and congruently, companies, organisations and governments are modifying their philosophy, processes, activities, and communications, at both the micro- and macro-foundational levels, to comply and adapt to the new realities.

Reflecting the purpose of the series, both volumes offer a cross-section of multi-disciplinary perspectives within business studies. Volume 1 focuses on strategic and managerial approaches to sustainability in business, including accounts on the historic origins of sustainability and its contemporary corporate sustainable models. Volume 2 explores, more contextually, how business and social sustainability constitute indivisible and inextricable components of the same nexus. Taken together, they offer an original perspective on how businesses can help achieve the SDG goals and targets.


1. An Overview of Business for Sustainability: Strategic Avenues and Managerial Approaches
Businesses are transforming themselves rapidly by following sustainable practices as environmental and societal aspects are becoming highly prominent in the business world. Within this ever-changing context, theoretical and practical approaches, including innovation and process improvement, aim at unravelling environmental concerns. Execution of innovative approaches in a sustainable way needs the ability to improve business capabilities on a systematic basis. The growing environmental awareness from consumers is also a drive for businesses to apply sustainable practices, as it is vital for satisfying market needs and stakeholders’ expectations in an environmentally sensitive ecosystem. Similar to businesses, governments make an endeavor towards protecting the environment as well as fulfilling economic objectives. In this chapter, an overview of strategic avenues and managerial approaches is disclosed, towards achieving sustainable business development.
Demetris Vrontis, Alkis Thrassou, Naziyet Uzunboylu, Leonidas Efthymiou
2. Exploring Consumer Boycott Intention towards Corporate Sustainable Business Practices
This chapter builds on the findings emerged from a research study to examine consumer perceptions toward corporate communications regarding sustainable business practices through the constructs of consumer-brand identification and behavioural intention depicted through the intention to boycott. This study explores the mediating effect of socially responsible consumption behaviour and examines if perceived brand hypocrisy changes the strength of the relationships. Data were collected from 416 Japanese millennials through a survey. The results showed that socially responsible consumption behaviour partially mediates the relationship between consumer-brand identification and intention to boycott. On the other hand, perceived brand hypocrisy did not affect the indirect and direct relationships. This study demonstrates the need for corporations to manage their communications regarding their sustainable business practices to ensure consumer support.
Caroline S. L. Tan, Ioanna Papasolomou
3. Sustainability of Youth Development in Drylands: A Systematic Approach
Dryland climate change continues to present serious dangers, that are becoming worse, to rural livelihoods and young people’s prospects for obtaining stable occupations. Sustainable development is crucial for the realisation of economic and environmental development and the building of an innovative and participatory social and economic situation. To identify key elements for young people’s sustainability in drylands, the methodological principles use a systematic approach. When creating sustainable solutions, there are many factors that must be taken into account, including the relative importance of agriculture in national economies, the current level of intensification in agricultural production, the opportunities and constraints presented by the availability of agricultural resources, as well as the requirements that people have in communities.
Aleksandra Figurek, Elena I. Semenova, Alkis Thrassou
4. Investigating the Supply Chain Performance of Agribusiness Firms from the IT Capability and Government Support Perspectives
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the influence of IT capability, such as IT workforce and IT infrastructure, on the supply chain performance of agribusiness firms. Also, the study investigates what moderating effect, if any, government support has on the supply chain performance of firms in this industry. With the help of RBV, DCV, and existing literature, a theoretical model has been developed, which later was validated using the PLS-SEM technique with consideration of 312 respondents employed in different hierarchies at agribusiness firms. The study finds that IT capability has a significant impact on the supply chain performance of agribusiness firms. Also, the study confirmed that government support has a positive and significant impact on improving their supply chain performance.
Ranjan Chaudhuri, Sheshadri Chatterjee, Demetris Vrontis
5. Sustainable Partnership Responses to Prevent Homelessness from Hospital Discharges and Prison Releases: The Case of Leeds City Council in the UK
This chapter examines the impact of sustainable partnership responses to prevent homelessness and discharges from other institutions. It focuses on one of the largest local councils in the UK (Leeds City Council) to explore how homelessness as a key strategic priority for the council is addressed to prevent significant social impacts for the individual and the city. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with partner stakeholders, including the probation service, prison, housing services, health and charities. Empirical findings revealed that despite increasing demands on organisations and partnerships and the constant need to transform to meet changing priorities, the potential for the partnerships to achieve effective place-based governance to deliver sustainable social change is not fully maximised. This could be achieved through self-review to target resources, empower the workforce and integrate strategic goals into their performance management to enable partnerships to learn, develop and celebrate success together.
Kate Daly, Niki Kyriakidou
6. Green Economy and Credit Quality in the European Banking Industry: What are the Opportunities for Sustainability?
The chapter combines environmental, social and governance rating (ESGr), credit risk (CR), and financial performance (FP) of a sample of European banks in an empirical analysis. We analyzed the dynamics of ESGr and CR using the credit default swaps (CDS) spread. The first finding shows that ESGr enhances the mitigation of CR; therefore, the quality of green credit asset (GCA) and FP could be improved. This result is achieved using the regression technique: the GCA increase can reduce the non-performing loans and improve the solvency ratio. The study can be considered the first empirical attempt on the banking sector in UE to discover the variables that might have a positive correlation of CR, ESGr and FP, providing new perspectives on the financial sustainability in the banking sector.
Elena Bruno, Giuseppina Iacoviello, Mavillonio Maria Saveria
7. Corporate Environmental Performance and Bond Ratings: European Evidence
The environmental dimension of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been considered as the most significant feature of CSR since it has implications for the wellbeing of society and the sustainability of national economies. Corporate environmental performance (CEP) is one specific aspect of firms’ investment that is being closely monitored by stakeholders and investors and has been a prominent determinant of firms’ financial performance and creditworthiness. Nevertheless, CEP is a multi-dimensional issue, a fact that has not been considered extensively by the literature. The scope of this chapter is to examine the impact of corporate environmental performance (capturing three dimensions namely emission reduction, environmental innovation, and resource use efficiency) on firms’ creditworthiness, measured through bonds credit ratings. The chapter quantitatively analyzes a sample of 3329 unique listed firms originating from 24 EU countries, over the period 2003–2020. Empirical evidence documented a positive association of enhanced CEP performance on the ratings of bonds. The results remain robust after a series of sensitivity tests. Finally, useful policy implications for investors and managers are derived from this research.
Panagiotis E. Dimitropoulos, Konstantinos Koronios
8. Are Football Societies Aware of the Relevance of Diversity in Good Governance? The Case of “Pink Quota”
Diversity and inclusion are business imperatives in a global and increasingly complex environment to meet sustainability. In this chapter, we report the analysis of the impact of gender composition on the board of directors of a small sample of Italian business and sports companies (Enel, Generali, and Roma Calcio), on the subjective perception of belonging and communication ability of participants, eliciting also individual beliefs about how gender inclusion contributes to company performance. We believe that if differences exist from a gender point of view, they should not only respect rules and obligations but introduce different cultural backgrounds in core business characteristics. We find that this wider interpretation of “pink quota” increases firms’ capability of benefitting from diversity and increases performance while improving the external image.
Nicola Davola, Francesca Vicentini
9. How Do Companies Conceive Sustainable Infrastructure? Evidence from Construction Companies’ Reports’ Content Analysis
Infrastructure plays a crucial role in the advancement of sustainable development. The concept of ‘sustainable infrastructure’ (SI) has been put forward by scholars and professionals; however, further reflection is needed. By adopting a company-centric perspective, this chapter provides evidence of how the notion is conceived by ‘Big Players’ in the construction industry by means of a content analysis of corporate reports. Findings suggest that SI is largely anchored to the early phases of a project’s lifecycle. ‘Green’ aspects of SI are commonly recognised—in line with a prevailing use of environmental assessment criteria—but the emphasis placed on other sustainability issues and the broadness of stakeholders addressed vary considerably across companies. This supports that SI is a still fragmented and lively concept.
Silvia Gordano, Daniel Torchia, Laura Corazza, Dario Cottafava
10. Weak Sustainable Development Trajectories and Evolving Organisational Physiologies: Empirical Evidence from Greece
This chapter investigates the physiological transformation of small firms in a less developed regional business ecosystem facing multiple development problems, barriers, and inadequacies. We present four field surveys we recently conducted in the peripheral Greek region of Eastern Macedonia–Thrace, on a sample of 230 small entrepreneurs, exploring their perception of the following conceptual triangles: (a) Crisis–Innovation–Change Management, (b) Strategy–Technology–Management, and (c) Human Resource Management–Education and Training–Innovation. We conclude that the sample firms exhibit symptoms of monad-centric business structuring and perceptual-functional weaknesses, which are due to their “traditional” physiology. These comparative weaknesses seem structurally and bi-directionally linked to the low competitiveness of this regional socioeconomic system.
Dimos Chatzinikolaou, Charis Vlados
11. Sustainability for Healthcare Organisations and Systems: Cultivating Strategy and Governance Processes for a Better Future
Healthcare organisations and systems worldwide are facing complex challenges due to the growing demand for health services which do not accompany growth in financial resources. This gap threatens healthcare today and its future sustainability. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated processes of change worldwide, especially in the medical field, forcing changes. This chapter will present a pilot qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with medical staff. The finding highlights digital transformation in healthcare organisations as a crucial process for achieving sustainability, efficiency, and better use of the system’s resources. Deepening and expanding knowledge of this topic may help decision-makers and managers to make system-wide decisions, adoption of efficient managerial tools, avoidance of resistance to change, and transformation of the system, so it is more efficient and sustainable.
Lior Naamati-Schneider, Fiorella Pia Salvatore
12. Cause-Related Marketing and Philanthropy at Times of Crisis and Increasing Digitisation
The current chapter is a longitudinal study, which sheds light on social partnerships between non-profit organisations and multinational retail corporations at times of severe economic, health and societal crisis. At the same time, it explores the potential utilisation of digital technology at the intersection of cause-related marketing and philanthropy. The study draws on repeated interviews in two organisations (with the President of the Board, the Communication and PR manager of the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society (CAS) and the Team Manager of Communications at Lidl Cyprus) over a period of seven years. During the pandemic, technology played an important role since it enabled social partnerships to remain successful and CAS to remain committed to charitable giving. Lidl’s brand and reputation have been enhanced, whereby, the retailer is able to measure this success through metrics and analytics in a systematic and institutionalized manner. Also, digitization opens up new dimensions and measurable results to cause-related marketing.
Marlen Demetriou, Leonidas Efthymiou, Avros Morphitis
13. Correction to: Weak Sustainable Development Trajectories and Evolving Organisational Physiologies: Empirical Evidence from Greece
Dimos Chatzinikolaou, Charis Vlados
Business for Sustainability, Volume I
herausgegeben von
Demetris Vrontis
Alkis Thrassou
Leonidas Efthymiou
Yaakov Weber
S. M. Riad Shams
Evangelos Tsoukatos
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN

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