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Business Ethics A European Review

Impact factor: 0.544 Print ISSN: 0962-8770 Online ISSN: 1467-8608 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subjects: Business, Ethics

Most recent papers:

  • How can mindfulness enhance moral reasoning? An examination using business school students.
    Ashish Pandey, Rajesh Chandwani, Ajinkya Navare.
    Business Ethics A European Review. October 10, 2017
    Given the comprehensive influence of mindfulness on human thought and behavior, and the importance of moral reasoning in business decisions, we examine the role of mindfulness as an antecedent to moral reasoning through two studies. In Study 1, we propose and test a theoretically derived model that links mindfulness and moral reasoning, mediated by compassion and egocentric bias using a survey design. In Study 2, we examine whether mindfulness training enhances moral reasoning using an experimental design with graduate students of business management. The findings of Study 1 substantiate the positive association of mindfulness with moral reasoning. We found that this relationship is fully mediated by compassion and egocentric bias. The results of Study 2 suggest that mindfulness meditation training has a positive impact on individuals' states of mindfulness, compassion, and moral reasoning, and decreases egocentric bias. We relate the findings of the study with contemporary neurological research and discuss the theoretical, pedagogical, and managerial implications.
    October 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12171   open full text
  • The ethical use of crowdsourcing.
    Susan Standing, Craig Standing.
    Business Ethics A European Review. October 10, 2017
    Crowdsourcing has attracted increasing attention as a means to enlist online participants in organisational activities. In this paper, we examine crowdsourcing from the perspective of its ethical use in the support of open innovation taking a broader system view of its use. Crowdsourcing has the potential to improve access to knowledge, skills, and creativity in a cost‐effective manner but raises a number of ethical dilemmas. The paper discusses the ethical issues related to knowledge exchange, economics, and relational aspects of crowdsourcing. A guiding framework drawn from the ethics literature is proposed to guide the ethical use of crowdsourcing. A major problem is that crowdsourcing is viewed in a piecemeal fashion and separate from other organisational processes. The trend for organisations to be more digitally collaborative is explored in relation to the need for greater awareness of crowdsourcing implications.
    October 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12173   open full text
  • Brands as labour rights advocates? Potential and limits of brand advocacy in global supply chains.
    Chikako Oka.
    Business Ethics A European Review. October 05, 2017
    There is a growing phenomenon of brand advocacy, where brands pressure a producer country government to take pro‐worker actions such as respecting the rights of activists and raising minimum wages. This article examines the potential and limits of brand advocacy by developing a conceptual framework and analysing three recent cases of brand advocacy in Cambodia's garment industry. The study shows that brands' action and influence are shaped by issue salience, mobilization structures, political opportunities/contexts, and resource dependency. This article makes both empirical and theoretical contributions. This is one of the first studies delving into the advocacy role of brands in promoting labour rights and conditions vis‐à‐vis government. Moreover, the article develops a testable framework specifying the conditions under which brands are likely to respond, act collectively, and influence government for pro‐worker change. It also offers novel insights by applying social movement lenses and casting brands as social movement actors.
    October 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12172   open full text
  • Machiavellianism, social norms, and taxpayer compliance.
    William E. Shafer, Zhihong Wang.
    Business Ethics A European Review. September 19, 2017
    This study is the first to examine the relationships among Machiavellianism, social norms and taxpayer intentions to fraudulently overstate their deductions. We theorize and empirically document that (a) high Machiavellian taxpayers report significantly less ethical social norms, suggesting that reported social norms are influenced by cognitive biases such as social projection and Machiavellian cynicism; (b) reported social norms are, in general, significantly associated with tax evasion intentions; (c) social norms partially mediate the relationship between Machiavellianism and evasion intentions. Our findings imply that experimental research that controls for key personality traits such as Machiavellianism will be necessary to test the effectiveness of potential interventions designed to enhance social norms and tax compliance. Our findings also raise questions regarding the validity of certain social norm measures used in recent studies, particularly in the case of high Machiavellians. In contrast to much prior research, gender was not associated with the likelihood of committing tax fraud in our multivariate models, suggesting that the higher levels of tax compliance often associated with females may be eroding.
    September 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12166   open full text
  • Effects of responsible human resource management practices on female employees’ turnover intentions.
    Dan Nie, Anna‐Maija Lämsä, Raminta Pučėtaitė.
    Business Ethics A European Review. September 19, 2017
    This study focuses on the effects of socially responsible human resource management (SR‐HRM) practices on female employees’ turnover intentions and the moderating effect of supervisor gender on this relationship. With a sample of 212 female employees from eight different industries in Finland, the results indicate that SR‐HRM practices promoting equal career opportunities and work–family integration play a significant role in reducing women's turnover intentions. The study adds to the academic discourse of corporate social responsibility by highlighting the impact of the organizational‐level HRM determinants on the individual‐level outcome. In addition, supervisor gender makes a difference in the studied relationship: female supervisors have a stronger and more significant impact on the relationship than male supervisors. Our findings suggest that organizational measures which support work–family integration should be taken seriously to decrease female employees’ turnover intentions. Male supervisors could adopt some gender‐incongruent leadership behaviors, such as individualized emotional concern and caring when dealing with female employees. In the future, other gender combinations in the supervisor–employee relationship would merit research.
    September 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12165   open full text
  • Family firms and the interests of non‐family stakeholders: The influence of family managers' affective commitment and family salience in terms of power.
    María de la Cruz Déniz‐Déniz, María Katiuska Cabrera‐Suárez, Josefa D. Martín‐Santana.
    Business Ethics A European Review. August 08, 2017
    The goal of this research is to analyze the heterogeneity of family firms in the normative attention to their non‐family stakeholders. With this aim, we suggest that the psychological process of top family managers in terms of individual affective commitment to their firms is a key variable to explain that heterogeneity. However, we also suggest a moderator effect of the family stakeholder salience in the relationship between the managers' affective commitment to the firm and the establishment of firm goals toward non‐family stakeholders. The results of a hierarchical regression analysis on data obtained from 207 family executives show a significant positive influence of managers' affective commitment on the establishment of goals related both to internal (employees) and external (customers and community) non‐family stakeholders. In addition, we can observe a negative moderator effect of the family utilitarian power—as an indicator of the family stakeholder salience—on the relationship between the family managers' affective commitment and the goals related to non‐family employees.
    August 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12155   open full text
  • Investigating critical organizational factors toward sustainability index: Insights from the Taiwanese electronics industry.
    Chia‐Wei Hsu, Dong‐Shang Chang.
    Business Ethics A European Review. August 02, 2017
    To improve sustainable practices and attract investors, companies in emerging markets have increasingly embraced strategies for inclusion in rapidly expanding sustainability indices. However, most early studies on socially responsible investment or sustainability investment have only focused on exploring the relationship between corporate sustainability and firm value. Moreover, little has been done to explore the practices of emerging market companies for engaging with a sustainability index. To address this research gap, we employed the decision‐making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method to identify critical factors that influence the inclusion of emerging market companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). Five critical factors and best practices were identified based on the analysis of seven Taiwanese electronics companies that have been listed in the DJSI for several consecutive years. Our results provide insights on the critical factors and best practices that reinforce the sustainable practices of emerging market companies for inclusion in the DJSI. This study also contributes to the literature by investigating the engagement of emerging market companies with the DJSI.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12154   open full text
  • Sense and sensibility: Testing an attention‐based view of organizational responses to social issues.
    Luciana Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira.
    Business Ethics A European Review. August 02, 2017
    According to attention‐based theories, to explain organizational attention is to explain organizational behavior. In our study, we test the model of situated attention and firm behavior by examining the effects of attention structures and allocation of attention on organizational outcomes. We hypothesize a positive relationship between attention structures and the allocation of organizational attention that, in turn, has an effect on financial performance. Using a unique data set composed of indicators of social responsibility published by 338 Brazilian organizations between 2001 and 2007, we find support for our hypotheses. Our findings suggest that organizational attention to social issues fully mediates the relationship between attention structures and financial performance.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12156   open full text
  • A complementary perspective on business ethics in South Korea: Civil religion, common misconceptions, and overlooked social structures.
    Sven Horak, Inju Yang.
    Business Ethics A European Review. July 27, 2017
    Following the recent call for advancement in knowledge about business ethics in East Asia, this study proposes a complementary perspective on business ethics in South Korea. We challenge the conventional view that South Korea is a strictly collectivist country, where group norms and low trust determine the norms and values of behavior. Using the concept of civil religion, we suggest that the center of the South Korean civil religion can be seen in the affective ties and networks pervading the economic, political, and social institutions, embedded in and guided by Confucian ideals. We argue that South Korea should be seen not as a collectivist low‐trust society, but rather as an affective‐relational society, in which the relational context determines whether collectivism or individualism prevails. Further, we assert that trust, the cohesive factor of affective ties and networks, has until now been inadequately captured by conventional surveys. Our proposed perspective contributes to a more holistic picture and a more firmly grounded understanding of business ethics in South Korea.
    July 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12153   open full text
  • Aligning responsible business practices: A case study.
    Angeli E. Weller.
    Business Ethics A European Review. July 06, 2017
    This article offers an in‐depth case study of a global high tech manufacturer that aligned its ethics and compliance, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability practices. Few large companies organize their responsible business practices this way, despite conceptual relevance and calls to manage them comprehensively. A communities of practice theoretical lens suggests that intentional effort would be needed to bridge meaning between the relevant managers and practices in order to achieve alignment. The findings call attention to the important role played by employees who broker understanding between managers and practices, and the boundary objects used to create shared meaning and engagement. They also highlight that an organizing logic is necessary but not sufficient to align practices. This study describes the dynamics of alignment and provides a practical road map for scholars and managers interested in understanding how responsible business practices may be collectively organized.
    July 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12150   open full text
  • Sustainability assurance and cost of capital: Does assurance impact on credibility of corporate social responsibility information?
    Jennifer Martínez‐Ferrero, Isabel‐María García‐Sánchez.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 14, 2017
    This paper aims to examine the credibility value of sustainability assurance and the type of assurance provider on cost of capital. A large sample of international companies from the period 2007–2014 was used to develop our models of analysis. We find a greater decrease in cost of capital for companies that publish and assure their social and environmental reports. Thus, voluntary sustainability disclosures decrease the cost of capital. However, companies also have the opportunity to reinforce this decrease by providing an assurance statement, so increasing the credibility of corporate social responsibility information. In addition, the decrease in the cost of capital is significantly higher when such assurance is provided by a top‐tier accountancy firm instead of by engineering or consultancy firms; this result supports also the reputational capital of accountancy firms.
    June 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12152   open full text
  • Green intentions under the blue flag: Exploring differences in EU consumers’ willingness to pay more for environmentally‐friendly products.
    Diana Gregory‐Smith, Danae Manika, Pelin Demirel.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 14, 2017
    Recent research on consumer social responsibility highlights the need to examine psychological drivers of environmentally‐friendly consumption choices in a global context. This article investigates consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) more for environmentally‐friendly products across 28 European Union (EU) countries, using a sample of 21,514 consumers. A multigroup structural equation modeling analysis reveals significantly different patterns and relationships, in how (a) subjective knowledge about the product's environmental impact, (b) environmental product attitudes, and (c) the perceived importance of the products’ environmental impact influence consumers’ WTP more for environmentally‐friendly products across countries. The hypothesized model predicts WTP for 20 out of 28 countries and the findings show that a “one‐size‐fits‐all” approach is inadequate in capturing the heterogeneity of EU consumers. Hosfstede's cultural dimensions of uncertainty tolerance and individualism explain differences in WTP for environmentally‐friendly products across EU countries. Business, marketing communications, and policy making implications are discussed.
    June 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12151   open full text
  • Corporate volunteering: A bibliometric analysis from 1990 to 2015.
    Suska Dreesbach‐Bundy, Barbara Scheck.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 29, 2017
    This article describes a quantitative examination of corporate volunteering research in the form of a bibliometric analysis. Using author, journal, geography, epistemological, and industry data from 115 refereed and 445 non‐refereed publications published during 1990–2015, we identify corporate volunteering as a rather young research field. Although the field has progressively developed, it is still limited in magnitude, with recent signs of stagnation. The current state is characterized by moderate publication and author activity rates, with a shift toward more peer‐reviewed publications conducted in coauthorship, mostly in the disciplines of business, management, and ethics; a focus on financial services as well as the professional service sector; few high‐impact studies; and a narrow geographic spread, with North America as the market leader and a rising interest in Western European countries. Findings on the field's prevalent research orientation further indicate a strong employee‐centered focus emphasizing the underlying business case. However, in contrast to the overarching concept of corporate social responsibility research, a relatively large share of the corporate volunteering literature also addresses society‐related issues, namely, corporates' relationship with non‐profits.
    March 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12148   open full text
  • Assessing mission drift at venture capital impact investors.
    Dilek Cetindamar, Banu Ozkazanc‐Pan.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 13, 2017
    In this article, we consider a recent trend whereby private equity available from venture capital (VC) firms is being deployed toward mission‐driven initiatives in the form of impact investing. Acting as hybrid organizations, these impact investors aim to achieve financial results while also targeting companies and funds to achieve social impact. However, potential mission drift in these VCs, which we define as a decoupling between the investments made (means) and intended aims (ends), might become detrimental to the simultaneous financial and social goals of such firms. Based on a content analysis of mission statements, we assess mission drift and the hybridization level of VC impact investors by examining their missions (ends/goals) and their investment practices (means) through the criteria of social and financial logic. After examining eight impact‐oriented VC investors and their investments in 164 companies, we find mission drift manifest as a disparity between the means and ends in half of the VC impact investors in our sample. We discuss these findings and make suggestions for further studies.
    March 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12149   open full text
  • CSR and the workplace attitudes of irregular employees: The case of subcontracted workers in Korea.
    Mohammad A. Ali, Heung‐Jun Jung.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 07, 2017
    In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in organizational trends to hire irregular workers. This inclination, in a time of great flux and uncertainty, exacerbates human resource issues faced by firms. We argue that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be an important antecedent to improve the workplace attitudes of irregular workers and as a result reduce the negative impact on organizations of the increased use of an irregular workforce. Hence, we explore the relationship between perceived CSR (composite and disaggregated) and unfairness perception and social relations of subcontracted workers with regular workers. We further attempt to explain these relationships through the mediating effects of psychological contract violation and organizational identity, respectively. Our analysis supports a negative effect of composite and external CSR on unfairness perception and positive effect on social relations. Additionally, our results support partial mediating roles of psychological contract violation and organizational identity. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are also discussed.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12146   open full text
  • Desire to be ethical or ability to self‐control: Which is more crucial for ethical behavior?
    Tuvana Rua, Leanna Lawter, Jeanine Andreassi.
    Business Ethics A European Review. February 23, 2017
    Promoting ethical decisions and behaviors is challenging for any organization. Yet managers are still required to make ethical decisions under conditions which deplete their self‐control resources, such as high stress and long hours. This study examines the relationships among symbolic and internal moral identity, self‐control, and ethical behavior, and investigates whether self‐control acts as the mechanism through which moral identity leads to ethical behavior. Findings indicate that internal moral identity overrides symbolic moral identity in the relationship with self‐control and that self‐control fully mediates the relationship between internal moral identity and ethical behavior. The implications for organizations is that while rules, procedures, and ethics training are useful, managers with a strong moral compass will be more likely to practice self‐control leading to more ethical behaviors.
    February 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12145   open full text
  • When organizations are too good: Applying Aristotle's doctrine of the mean to the corporate ethical virtues model.
    Muel Kaptein.
    Business Ethics A European Review. February 22, 2017
    Aristotle's doctrine of the mean states that a virtue is the mean state between two vices: a deficient and an excessive one. The Corporate Ethical Virtues (CEV) Model defines the mean and the corresponding deficient vice for each of its seven virtues. This paper defines for each of these virtues the corresponding excessive vice and explores why organizations characterized by these excessive vices increase the likelihood that their employees will behave unethically. The excessive vices are patronization, pompousness, lavishness, zealotry, overexposure, talkativeness, and oppressiveness.
    February 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12147   open full text
  • Institutional investors as stewards of the corporation: Exploring the challenges to the monitoring hypothesis.
    Mila R. Ivanova.
    Business Ethics A European Review. February 03, 2017
    The study explores the challenges UK‐based institutional investors face when trying to monitor investee companies and influence their social, environmental, and governance practices. Consistent with previous research, I find that misalignment of interests within the investment chain and dispersed ownership are factors which inhibit investor activism. However, other underexplored challenges include lack of investee company transparency and investor experience in activism, as well as low client demand for engagement and internal conflicts of interest. The results contribute to the literature on institutional investor activism by using direct empirical evidence to systematically discuss the challenges to stewardship. Given the intensification of media and regulatory attention on shareholders in the post‐global financial crisis era, coupled with investors’ growing awareness and practice of stewardship, the research opens new avenues for enquiry which go beyond the on‐going debate about the monitoring versus short‐termism roles of institutional investors.
    February 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12142   open full text
  • Political dependence, social scrutiny, and corporate philanthropy: Evidence from disaster relief.
    Yongqiang Gao, Taïeb Hafsi.
    Business Ethics A European Review. February 02, 2017
    This study explores why and how firms respond to social demands through philanthropic giving in the context of a severe natural disaster. Drawing on Marquis and Qian's organizational response model to government signals, we integrate resource dependence theory and institutional theory to build a two‐step model of organizational response to social needs, in situations of disaster relief. We argue that firms depending more on the government for support are more likely to donate in disaster relief, while firms who receive more scrutiny from the government and the general public and firms having more slack resources are likely to donate more. Evidence from Chinese listed companies' donations to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake largely supports our predictions. This study provides a more precise understanding of the corporate philanthropic decision process, decoupling the drivers of philanthropic giving, and those determining the amount given. Theoretical and practical implications are suggested.
    February 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12144   open full text
  • The influence of media, positive perception, and identification on survey‐based measures of corruption.
    Heungsik Park, Jimoon Lee.
    Business Ethics A European Review. January 25, 2017
    This study examines the influence of some suspected sources of bias on perceptions of public sector corruption. These sources include dependence on two types of media as information sources about corruption: traditional and social media, positive perception of public employees, and social identification with public employees. Data were collected through a face‐to‐face survey of the general public in South Korea. The sample comprised 472 respondents evenly dispersed across the country. Through regression analysis, we found that dependence on traditional media—but not social media—significantly increased the perceived level of corruption. However, positive perceptions of and social identification with public employees were negatively associated with it, showing that these factors may skew respondents' perceptions of corruption. The results have implications for practitioners and researchers who design, implement, or evaluate anti‐corruption policies, suggesting the need for caution when making use of survey results.
    January 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12143   open full text
  • Business ethics searches: A socioeconomic and demographic analysis of U.S. Google Trends in the context of the 2008 financial crisis.
    Christophe Faugère, Olivier Gergaud.
    Business Ethics A European Review. January 23, 2017
    A socioeconomic and demographic analysis of U.S. Google Trends for queries about Business Ethics and Greed is proposed in the context of the 2008 financial crisis. The framework is grounded in the ethical decision‐making literature. Two models using micro and macro‐type variables are tested using GLM and GEE regression techniques. The frequency of these Google queries varies positively with the ratio of females, educational attainment, younger adult age, some measures of economic hardship or inequalities, and the lesser the weight of the finance industry represented in each State. The frequency of queries intensifies for these same socioeconomic and demographic categories, in the aftermath of the financial crisis. This article is the first to study the salience of business ethics as an issue in the empirical literature using a nationwide database. It also provides a first empirical study in the specialized literature on “ethics in a time of crisis”. This study lays a preliminary groundwork to identify pro‐ethical reform segments of the population, with practical use for financial regulatory agencies.
    January 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12138   open full text
  • Engaging with environmental stakeholders: Routes to building environmental capabilities in the context of the low carbon economy.
    Polina Baranova, Maureen Meadows.
    Business Ethics A European Review. January 18, 2017
    The transition to a low carbon economy demands new strategies to enable organizations to take advantage of the potential for “green” growth. An organization's environmental stakeholders can provide opportunities for growth and support the success of its low carbon strategies, as well as potentially acting as a constraint on new initiatives. Building environmental capabilities through engagement with environmental stakeholders is conceptualized as an important aspect for the success of organizational low carbon strategies. We examine capability building across a range of sectors affected by the sustainability agenda, including construction, rail, water, and health care. We identify a number of emergent environmental stakeholders and explore their engagement with the development of environmental capabilities in the context of the transition toward a low carbon economy. Our conceptual framework offers a categorization of environmental stakeholders based on their position in relation to a focal organization and the potential for the development of environmental capabilities.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12141   open full text
  • The role of female directors in promoting CSR practices: An international comparison between family and non‐family businesses.
    Lázaro Rodríguez‐Ariza, Beatriz Cuadrado‐Ballesteros, Jennifer Martínez‐Ferrero, Isabel‐María García‐Sánchez.
    Business Ethics A European Review. January 10, 2017
    This article analyzes a panel of 550 international firms, for the period 2004 to 2010, to compare the role of female directors in family and non‐family firms in promoting responsible practices. Many studies have associated the presence of women on the board with a higher degree of socially responsible commitment. However, we found that this is much less so in family firms than in non‐family firms. In family firms, corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment does not vary significantly with the presence of female directors, as the latter tend to behave in accordance with the family orientation toward CSR. This orientation depends on the stakeholders being addressed, with greater social responsibility shown toward external stakeholders than internal ones.
    January 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12140   open full text
  • Leadership styles and corporate social responsibility management: Analysis from a gender perspective.
    Maria del Mar Alonso‐Almeida, Jordi Perramon, Llorenc Bagur‐Femenias.
    Business Ethics A European Review. January 05, 2017
    Companies' perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have been only partially analyzed from an individual perspective that focuses on personal characteristics and professional backgrounds. However, a gap exists in the research on manager leadership styles and CSR perceptions from a gender perspective. Therefore, this article analyzes differences in attitudes toward various dimensions of CSR by focusing on the leadership styles—transformational, dominance, and dual perspectives—of male and female managers in Spain. A total of 391 respondents in top management positions in Spain were surveyed. The findings revealed similarities and differences between genders with respect to leadership styles and CSR perceptions by dimension using a univariate analysis. A causal model that employed structural equation modeling was also estimated. The findings suggest that for transformational and dual leadership styles, Spanish women may be more adaptable and effective at pursuing company sustainability than Spanish men. However, dominance leadership was found to be the worst leadership style for deploying a CSR strategy. A number of conclusions for business management can be drawn, and some directions for future research are provided.
    January 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/beer.12139   open full text
  • The assessment of individual moral goodness.
    Raymond B. Chiu, Rick D. Hackett.
    Business Ethics A European Review. December 08, 2016
    In a field dominated by research on moral prescription (business ethics) and moral prediction (behavioral ethics), there is poor understanding of the place of moral perceptions in organizations alongside philosophical ethics and causal models of ethical outcomes. As leadership failures continue to plague organizational health and firms recognize the wide‐ranging impact of subjective bias, scholars and practitioners need a renewed frame of reference from which to reconceptualize their current understanding of ethics as perceived in individuals. Based on an assessment and selection perspective from the field of human resource management, an alternative to conventional deductive‐prescriptive approaches is proposed based on a pluralistic concept referred to as moral goodness. An inductive‐descriptive theory‐building framework is constructed based on three interrelated streams of inquiry to yield insight concerning both formal and informal instances of assessment. Recommendations are proposed for the application of the framework to future research and practice.
    December 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12137   open full text
  • Green governance? Local politics and ethical businesses in Great Britain.
    Tony Bradley, Curtis Ziniel.
    Business Ethics A European Review. December 08, 2016
    One of the least understood aspects of the world‐wide “greening of markets” is the emergence of local “ethical marketplaces” and the subset of alternative business models described as “ethical businesses.” But previous research has demonstrated the ability of local politicians to encourage their regions toward more ethical marketplaces. This paper explores the impact radical centrist third party representation has on the emergence of ethical businesses across Great Britain. To understand this relationship, we utilize a novel data set of organizations with membership in Ethical Junction, the United Kingdom's largest network for ethical businesses. We use a zero‐inflated Poisson regression to model the connection, and find a meaningful relationship, between third‐party political representation on British local councils and the presence of ethical businesses within local authorities. This presents an example of the way in which radical political change may be part of a wider social movement toward greening markets.
    December 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12134   open full text
  • Bridging the gap: How sustainable development can help companies create shareholder value and improve financial performance.
    Fernando Gómez‐Bezares, Wojciech Przychodzen, Justyna Przychodzen.
    Business Ethics A European Review. December 08, 2016
    This study examines the effect of integrating sustainability into corporate strategy on various aspects of shareholder value creation and financial performance in the British capital market. The employed method is based on the content analysis of corporate disclosures and a new technique for assessing the adoption of the corporate sustainability concept (embracing the environmental, social, and financial aspects of a company's policies at the same time). Using extensive data of FTSE 350 firms covering the years 2006–2012, 65 companies were selected as meeting corporate sustainability criteria. For the above period, we find that these firms were characterized by higher financial risk exposure, lower asset growth rates, lower BV/MV ratios, lower EVA ratios, and higher MVA ratios. Such relations were generally present among different size and industry groupings. The results support the thesis that firms that incorporate sustainability issues into their business operations are better able to leverage their resources toward stronger financial performance and shareholder value creation than other companies. The paper contributes to the literature by offering a more holistic approach to corporate sustainable performance measurement and shedding additional light on its relation to financial performance in the context of the recent global financial crisis and its direct aftermath.
    December 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12135   open full text
  • Intra‐stakeholder alliances in plant‐closing decisions: A stakeholder theory approach.
    Yves Fassin, Simone de Colle, R. Edward Freeman.
    Business Ethics A European Review. December 06, 2016
    This article discusses plant‐closing decisions by multinational enterprises (MNEs) applying a stakeholder theory approach. In particular, we focus on the emergence of “intra‐stakeholder alliances,” that is, alliances among the various stakeholder groups of a specific corporation. We analyze the emergence of stakeholder alliances in reaction to MNEs' decisions to terminate production locally and discuss their influence on the outcomes of such decisions. Our research is inspired by two exceptional case studies of two multinational breweries that announced their decisions to close niche breweries in small towns in Italy and Belgium. In both cases, the initial decision was ultimately reversed through the actions of intra‐stakeholder alliances. We combine insights from stakeholder theory and the social movement literature to analyze the action and influence of intra‐stakeholder alliances in seven cases of plant‐closing decisions. We conclude by formulating four general propositions that can provide guidance to MNE management in plant‐closing decisions. Our findings extend managerial stakeholder theory, show how this approach can improve strategic management analysis, emphasize the importance of the relationships among (local) stakeholders in the (global) value‐creation process, and shed light on the collective action and influence of intra‐stakeholder alliances.
    December 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12136   open full text
  • Autocratic tensions, cronyism, and the opacity of business information: party newspapers and circulation figures during the Francoist dictatorship (1939–1975).
    Susana Gago‐Rodríguez, Manuel Núñez‐Nickel.
    Business Ethics A European Review. October 21, 2016
    Autocracies draw their political power from cronyism and organized repression. The opacity of business information (economic censorship) protects these regimes and their crony firms from any opposition. However, autocracies might also desire to eliminate cronyism (and therefore opacity) because it dampens economic growth. Autocracies survive through repression that engenders tensions, as evident in the Spanish newspaper industry during the Francoist dictatorship. State control over this industry was important because the press disseminated news to the public. From 1939 to 1957, the autocracy institutionalized both cronyism and the opacity of circulation figures to sustain the political powers of Franco and the single party state. Opacity concealed the economic performance of newspapers owned by sole legal party and any distribution of resources in its favor. Franco authorized voluntary disclosure of reliable circulation figures in 1964, after eliminating cronyism in favor of a freer market. Repression guaranteed support for this industry until Franco's death.
    October 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12133   open full text
  • Corporate recidivism in emerging economies.
    Qinqin Zheng, Rosa Chun.
    Business Ethics A European Review. October 21, 2016
    Prior research on corporate misconduct pays extensive attention to single misconduct behaviors. However, little research has addressed recidivism – the repeated behaviors of corporate misconduct. Based on institutional theory and using the context of emerging economies where recidivism plays a considerable role, we propose the path dependency of corporate recidivism and suggest that three influential factors exist: internal preconditioning, inter‐organizational imitation, and the prevailing external evaluation. Our event history analysis of 1,036 listed companies in China over the period 2001–2008 statistically confirms our hypotheses. We conclude the paper by outlining the implications for both theory and practice.
    October 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12132   open full text
  • When deeds speak, words are nothing: a study of ethical leadership in Colombia.
    Iliana Páez, Elvira Salgado.
    Business Ethics A European Review. September 06, 2016
    Using a sample of 124 managers and 248 subordinates, this study examines the mediating effect of subordinates’ job satisfaction in the relationship between ethical leadership and subordinate organizational citizenship and counter‐productive work behaviour in the Colombian context. We additionally analyse the effect of ethical leadership on subordinates’ perception of leaders’ performance. Factor analyses of the ethical leadership scale revealed two factors, ethical person (EP) and ethical guidance (EG), which were differentially associated to the outcomes. We offer an explanation from three cultural dimensions (in‐group collectivism, institutional collectivism, and power distance) by which Colombian employees seem to be more willing to follow leaders’ ethical example as a way to strengthen their membership to the leader's group, than leaders ethical disciplining by which norms are imposed. These findings have a number of implications for organizations and managers who aim to improve their employees’ behaviour. Our advice to them is that leaders’ deeds have a greater impact than their ethical words.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12130   open full text
  • The human experience of ethics: a review of a decade of qualitative ethical decision‐making research.
    Kevin Lehnert, Jana Craft, Nitish Singh, Yung‐Hwal Park.
    Business Ethics A European Review. September 06, 2016
    Qualitative studies are an important component of business ethics research. This large amount of research covers a wide array of factors and influences on ethical decision making published between 2004 and 2014. Following the methodology of past critical reviews, this work provides a synopsis of the diverse array of qualitative studies in ethical decision making within the business ethics literature. We highlight the distinct and investigative nature of qualitative research, synthesize and summarize findings, and suggest opportunities for future research. We conclude with a recommendation for developing qualitative studies in business ethics and a call for an increased openness when considering this valuable and underrepresented strategy of inquiry.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12129   open full text
  • Socially responsible consumption: an application in Colombia.
    Lida Esperanza Villa Castaño, Jesús Perdomo‐Ortiz, Sebastián Dueñas Ocampo, William Fernando Durán León.
    Business Ethics A European Review. September 06, 2016
    This study constructs a measurement scale for Socially Responsible Consumption in the particular context of Colombia. It uses a mixed qualitative and quantitative methodological approach, beginning with four focus groups and ending with a quantitative validation exercise employing Exploratory Factor Analysis. The result is a Socially Responsible Consumption measurement scale consisting of four dimensions that reflect paradigms found in the existing literature. These are, however, expressed differently in Colombia. In particular, Socially Responsible Consumption involves consumer behavior that favors corporate social responsibility practices and the rational consumption of resources and products while recognizing the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through healthcare.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12128   open full text
  • Are environmental social governance equity indices a better choice for investors? An Asian perspective.
    Ramiz Ur Rehman, Junrui Zhang, Jamshed Uppal, Charles Cullinan, Muhammad Akram Naseem.
    Business Ethics A European Review. September 06, 2016
    This article examines the risk and return profiles of stock indices composed of companies meeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) screening criteria [such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI)] and conventional composite indices of eight Asian countries from 2002 to 2014. The results indicate that there are no significant differences in the returns or risk‐adjusted returns between the ESG indices and the composite indices within countries. The results do reveal that the market volatility of the ESG indices is higher than the market volatility of the conventional indices. Market betas of DJSI and ESG equity indices are significantly lower than betas of the composite equity indices. The overall results indicate that the performance of ESG equity indices of many Asian countries is similar to the performance of conventional indices, suggesting that investors can pursue socially responsible investing objectives without a material difference in portfolio performance from conventional investing.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12127   open full text
  • Humanistic and economistic approaches to banking – better banking lessons from the financial crisis?
    Michael Pirson, Anuj Gangahar, Fiona Wilson.
    Business Ethics A European Review. September 06, 2016
    We sketch out two basic paradigms informing banking practice: the economistic paradigm focusing on profit maximization and the humanistic one, serving the common good. We then highlight paradigmatic cases to explore how each of these business models fared during the quasi‐natural experiment of the financial crisis. We find that many humanistic banks outperformed traditional economistic banks. Despite the uneven playing field humanistic banks fared remarkably well with regard to traditional financial performance judgements, muting criticisms of competitiveness. We find that overall both paradigms can provide a basis for successful banking as long as social and financial value generation are blended. We conclude by providing lessons learned for better banking.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12131   open full text
  • The influence of cooperative relations of small businesses on environmental protection intensity.
    Sonia Benito‐Hernández, Manuel Platero‐Jaime, Pablo Esteban-Sánchez.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 21, 2016
    This study examines the relationship between cooperative business relations in small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) and environmental protection, one of the most important policies of social responsibility in manufacturing. We reviewed the literature and carried out an empirical study of 930 small manufacturing firms in Spain. Results indicate that small businesses that maintain and improve their cooperative relations through business networking with universities, competitors, suppliers and customers spend more on environmental protection. The managerial, practical, research and policy implications of the obtained research findings are discussed.
    June 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12126   open full text
  • Integrated reporting: an international overview.
    Natalia Vaz, Belen Fernandez‐Feijoo, Silvia Ruiz.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 10, 2016
    This article analyses the determinants associated with the use of the Integrated Report (IR) as a corporate reporting model for sustainability information. IRs provide information regarding the use and interdependence of different company resources. The previous literature has identified determinants behind the presentation of IRs at the country level (legal system, investor protection, economic development, cultural characteristics) as well as at the company level (size, industry, verification of the sustainability report). Our work contributes to the literature by using a novel statistical approach that addresses the likelihood of the non‐independence of data: companies in the same country are more similar to one another than are companies from different countries. Our results confirm significant inter‐country variance, which may be partially explained by the existence of specific regulations and the individualism vs. collectivism dimension. Although we confirm the effect of company‐level determinants, our results do not support the role of specific variables tested as determinants.
    June 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12125   open full text
  • Organizational attention to corporate social responsibility and corporate social performance: the moderating effects of corporate governance.
    Xiaoping Zhao, Shouming Chen, Chan Xiong.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 09, 2016
    Many studies have explored the antecedents of corporate social performance (CSP), such as institutional forces and stakeholder pressures. However, few studies examine CSP from a socio‐cognitive perspective. To address this research void, this study adopts an attention‐based approach to examine the relationship between managers' attention to social issues and CSP. More important, this study reports that this relationship will be moderated by governance mechanisms that constrain managerial discretion. Using a sample of Chinese listed firms, this study provides empirical support for these arguments. Therefore, our study adds new insights to the literature addressing CSP from a socio‐cognitive perspective and speaks to the structural features, both inside and outside organizations, that guide managers' attention.
    June 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12124   open full text
  • Corporate governance, female directors and quality of financial information.
    María Consuelo Pucheta‐Martínez, Inmaculada Bel‐Oms, Gustau Olcina‐Sempere.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 27, 2016
    The aim of this study is to examine whether gender diversity on audit committees (hereinafter, ACs) influences financial reporting quality by using panel data of Spanish listed firms. The financial reporting quality of firms is measured by the type of opinion received in the audit report. We estimate various panel data models of audit opinions and control for factors that are traditionally found to impact audit opinions. This study provides evidence to support the hypotheses that the percentage of females on ACs reduces the probability of qualifications due to errors, non‐compliance or the omission of information. Furthermore, the results also find that the percentage of female directors on ACs, the percentage of independent female directors on ACs and ACs chaired by females increase the likelihood of further transparency by disclosing audit reports with uncertainties and scope limitation qualifications.
    May 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12123   open full text
  • Does gender influence managers’ ethics? A cross‐cultural analysis.
    Chung‐wen Chen, Kristine Velasquez Tuliao, John B. Cullen, Yi‐Ying Chang.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 23, 2016
    The relationship between gender and ethics has been extensively researched. However, previous studies have assumed that the gender–ethics association is constant; hence, scholars have seldom investigated factors potentially affecting the gender–ethics association. Thus, using managers as the research target, this study examined the relationship between gender and ethics and analyzed the moderating effect of cultural values on the gender–ethics association. The results showed that, compared with female managers, their male counterparts are more willing to justify business‐related unethical behaviors such as bribery and tax evasion, and that the gender difference in ethics becomes more pronounced under the cultural dimensions of collectivism, humane orientation, performance orientation, and gender egalitarianism. This study used data obtained through surveying 2,754 managers in 27 nations.
    May 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12122   open full text
  • Islamic corporate financing: does it promote profit and loss sharing?
    Marizah Minhat, Nazam Dzolkarnaini.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 23, 2016
    Islamic financing instruments can be categorised into profit and loss/risk sharing and non‐participatory instruments. Although profit and loss sharing instruments such as musharakah are widely accepted as the ideal form of Islamic financing, prior studies suggest that alternative instruments such as murabahah are preferred by Islamic banks. Nevertheless, prior studies did not explore factors that influence the use of Islamic financing among non‐financial firms. Our study fills this gap and contributes new knowledge in several ways. First, we find no evidence of widespread use of Islamic financing instruments across non‐financial firms. This is because the instruments are mostly used by less profitable firms with higher leverage (i.e. risky firms). Second, we find that profit and loss sharing instruments are hardly used, whilst the use of murabahah is dominant. Consistent with the prediction of moral‐hazard‐risk avoidance theory, further analysis suggests that users with a lower asset base (to serve as collateral) are associated with murabahah financing. Third, we present a critical discourse on the contentious nature of murabahah as practised. The economic significance and ethical issues associated with murabahah as practised should trigger serious efforts to steer Islamic corporate financing towards risk‐sharing more than the controversial rent‐seeking practice.
    May 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12120   open full text
  • The morals of moral hazard: a contracts approach.
    Matthew McCaffrey.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 16, 2016
    Although moral hazard is a well‐known economic concept, there is a long‐standing controversy over its moral implications. The language economists use to describe moral hazard is often value‐laden, and implies moral judgments about the persons or actions of economic agents. This in turn leads some to question whether it is actually a scientific concept, or simply a convenient tool for criticizing certain public policies. At present, there is no consensus about the moral meaning of moral hazard, or about whether the concept can be salvaged by economists. As a first step toward resolving this problem, I suggest a contracts approach to moral hazard. I use the ‘title‐transfer’ theory of contract to clarify the moral content of moral hazard, thereby increasing its value to scholars in numerous disciplines. A contracts view is useful for economic policy discussions because it does not include hidden value judgments. At the same time, however, it is also valuable for ethicists because it directly explains a moral dimension of behavior under moral hazard, namely, the violation of property rights.
    May 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12121   open full text
  • Does it really pay to be good, everywhere? A first step to understand the corporate social and financial performance link in Latin American controversial industries.
    Pablo Rodrigo, Ignacio J. Duran, Daniel Arenas.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 10, 2016
    Most research studying the corporate social performance (CSP)–corporate financial performance (CFP) link has utilized developed country samples. Also, this literature has generally focused on a wide variety of industries, ignoring the fact that certain sectors – such as controversial industries – have graver social and environmental issues. Hence, a gap exists in this tradition when it comes to emerging markets and controversial industries. This paper attempts to fill this void by providing preliminary evidence and insight on the matter. Based on an exploration in six Latin American countries and five controversial industries, we find a negative bidirectional association (or a non‐significant one at best) between CSP and CFP. These results tend to contradict the mainstream conclusion of a positive bidirectional link, suggesting that institutional and market‐level forces play a major role in shaping this relationship.
    May 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12119   open full text
  • The influence of ability, benevolence, and integrity in trust between managers and subordinates: the role of ethical reasoning.
    Álvaro Lleó de Nalda, Manuel Guillén, Ignacio Gil Pechuán.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 28, 2016
    Numerous researchers have examined the antecedents of trust between managers and subordinates. Recent studies conclude that their influence varies depending on whether what is being examined is a manager's trust in a subordinate or a subordinate's trust in a manager. However, the reasons given to justify this phenomenon present limitations. This article offers a new theoretical approach that relates the influence of each antecedent to Aristotelian forms of reasoning, ethical, and instrumental. The proposed approach shows that the influence of each antecedent depends on which rationality prevails in the person who trusts. The contribution of this article is to better explain the phenomenon of interpersonal trust formation and its logic, while offering at the same time several practical implications for managers interested in developing an organizational culture based on trust. The article begins with a literature review of more relevant empirical studies analyzing superior–subordinate trust formation and presents some theoretical limitations of the arguments described in these works. Then, it offers a new theorerical approach based on Aristotelian thought to explain the influence of the antecedents of trust in management–subordinate relationships. The theoretical contribution is then confirmed in an empirical study of 163 mid‐level managers in Spain.
    April 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12117   open full text
  • In search of the right fusion recipe: the role of legitimacy in building a social enterprise model.
    Yung‐Kai Yang, Shu‐Ling Wu.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 18, 2016
    Social enterprises, as typical hybrid organisations, are embedded in a plural institutional environment in which some stakeholders regard achieving social goals as fundamental, while others see economic profit as the priority. A great challenge for social enterprises is dealing with the conflicts resulting from the diverse expectations of stakeholders. Based on the existing works on organisational legitimacy and the social business model, we propose a legitimacy‐based social enterprise model composed of three main phases, namely, legitimacy proposition, legitimacy strategy planning, and legitimacy strategy implementation. Our model is meant to serve as an effective legitimacy‐building tool for social enterprises of various kinds.
    April 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12118   open full text
  • Gaining legitimacy through CSR: an analysis of Turkey's 30 largest corporations.
    Emel Ozdora‐Aksak, Sirin Atakan‐Duman.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 06, 2016
    Grounded in institutional theory, this study provides an overview of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Turkey's 30 largest corporations through a thematic content analysis. The study focuses on the G‐20 member Turkey and investigates the influence of isomorphism mechanisms on the adoption of CSR initiatives in a developing country context. The aim of this study is to integrate Carroll's CSR dimensions, the type of CSR engagement and coercive, mimetic and normative isomorphism mechanisms proposed by institutional theory. Through this integration the study makes a unique contribution to the literature by providing a different perspective. Findings reveal industry characteristics do not influence the selection of CSR initiatives. While business‐to‐business companies focus on CSR activities linked to their core business functions, business‐to‐consumer companies focus on CSR initiatives that are more discretionary, varied and philanthropic. In addition, findings show that multinational corporations implement CSR initiatives at the global level rather than focusing on local needs.
    April 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12114   open full text
  • Unpacking transnational corporate responsibility: coordination mechanisms and orientations.
    Daniel Arenas, Silvia Ayuso.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 31, 2016
    This article aims to advance the discussion of how multinational companies manage the tension between global integration and local responsiveness in their corporate social responsibility (CSR). In particular, it studies the relationships between headquarters and subsidiaries in a transnational CSR strategy and the types of coordination mechanisms used. Building on a qualitative study of a multinational bank, we find that in addition to formal and informal coordination mechanisms, a transnational CSR strategy cannot be fully understood without considering lateral learning and participatory decision making. Further, we suggest that discussions about the transnational approach to CSR should not be disentangled from the question about a company's CSR orientation. Finally, we propose some characteristics of transnational CSR and discuss its theoretical and practical implications.
    March 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12113   open full text
  • Corporate social responsibility: review and roadmap of theoretical perspectives.
    Jędrzej George Frynas, Camila Yamahaki.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 24, 2016
    Based on a survey and content analysis of 462 peer‐reviewed academic articles over the period 1990–2014, this article reviews theories related to the external drivers of corporate social responsibility (CSR) (such as stakeholder theory and resource‐dependence theory) and the internal drivers of CSR (such as resource‐based view [RBV] and agency theory) that have been utilized to explain CSR. The article discusses the main tenets of the principal theoretical perspectives and their application in CSR research. Going beyond previous reviews that have largely failed to investigate theory applications in CSR scholarship, this article stresses the importance of theory‐driven explanations of CSR and the complementarity of different theories. The article demonstrates that the current mainstream theorizing of CSR is dominated by theories related to the external drivers of CSR and is less developed with regard to the internal dynamics. The article outlines several productive avenues for future research: the need for multi‐theory studies and more research at multiple levels of analysis, particularly at the individual level of analysis. It suggests that CSR scholarship can benefit from combining theoretical insights from a range of established theoretical lenses such as institutional theory and RBV, and can gain new insights from theoretical lenses such as Austrian economics and micro‐level psychological theories.
    March 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12115   open full text
  • The effect of CSR evaluations on affective attachment to CSR in different identity orientation firms.
    Barbara Fryzel, Nina Seppala.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 16, 2016
    The goal of the present research was to examine the way in which organisational identity orientation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) interact to produce affective attachment and related beneficial behaviours among organisational members. Using a questionnaire administered in Poland, it was shown that when CSR activity was viewed as authentic by employees, it led to affective attachment to the organisation's CSR stance, while an instrumental evaluation was correlated with a negative attachment to the CSR stance. The results suggest that CSR motives were particularly important for organisations with relational and collectivistic identity orientations because of the focus of these organisations on mutual or collective good that could be demonstrated through CSR. The results contributed to social identity literature by establishing a clear relationship between the concepts of identity orientation and CSR and showing that only authentic CSR produces affective attachment and behaviours that benefit the organisation.
    March 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/beer.12116   open full text
  • The ethical profile of global marketing negotiators.
    Jamal A. Al‐Khatib, Mohammed I. Al‐Habib, Naima Bogari, Najah Salamah.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 02, 2014
    As international trade and business opportunities grow globally, insight into trading partners’ strategies is essential. One of the major strategies that impact trading partners’ relationships is negotiation strategy employed by each partner. These strategies assume even greater importance when these strategies have ethical content. This study examines the effects of marketing executives’ preferred ethical ideologies (relativism and idealism), opportunism and Machiavellianism on their perceived appropriateness of unethical negotiation tactics. Utilizing a sample of 995 marketing executives from six countries, cluster analysis and multivariate analysis of variance revealed two types of marketing negotiators: principled and corrupt negotiators. Corrupt negotiators tend to be more Machiavellian, more relativist, more opportunistic and less idealistic than their principled counterparts. Principled negotiators tend to perceive unethical negotiation tactics less favorably than their corrupt counterparts. Implications of these results for practitioners and directions for future research are discussed.
    June 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12062   open full text
  • What does ‘solidarity economy’ mean? Contours and feasibility of a theoretical and political project.
    Pepita Ould Ahmed.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 02, 2014
    The market relationships are being contested. This can be seen in the increasing number of alternative social experiments in the ‘North’ and the ‘South’ which propose to think out the present market relationships in a different way, in particular in establishing exchange value and in facilitating access to trade. These practical alternatives are supported by trends in academic circles that over the past three decades have opposed neoliberal capitalism and individualism in today's commercialised society. Calling for greater solidarity and social justice in economic relationships, in particular, partisans of social and solidarity economics (SSE), identifying with these trends, demand new forms of exchange. The objective of this article is to re‐examine these demands. What exactly do the SSE mean by ‘solidarity’ and ‘solidarity‐based economy'? We would like to trace the contours of this theoretical and political project and to assess the practicability of the proposed alternative to neoliberal capitalism.
    June 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12063   open full text
  • Does integrity matter for CSR practice in organizations? The mediating role of transformational leadership.
    José M.C. Veríssimo, Teresa M.C. Lacerda.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 02, 2014
    Scholars have long debated whether leader's integrity affects managerial decision making with respect to social responsibility. In this paper, we propose a model in which transformational leadership mediates integrity and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and examine the relationship between these concepts. A survey of 170 senior managers from 50 organizations was conducted. Results indicate that integrity is a predictor of transformational leadership behavior and that transformational leaders’ behaviors are linked to CSR practices. It was also found that leaders rated with higher integrity are engaged in CSR because they exhibit more transformational leadership behaviors. These findings add to the extant literature by demonstrating that integrity is important as transformational leaders engage more actively on ‘responsible’ behaviors. Practical implications call for an understanding among corporate leaders of the benefits of integrity and how it relates to transformational leadership. Organizations can improve their selection and leadership development processes by focusing on these two dimensions.
    June 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12065   open full text
  • Do brokers act in the best interests of their clients? New evidence from electronic trading systems.
    Annilee M. Game, Andros Gregoriou.
    Business Ethics A European Review. June 02, 2014
    Prior research suggests brokers do not always act in the best interests of clients, although morally obligated to do so. We empirically investigated this issue focusing on trades executed at best execution price, before and after the introduction of electronic limit‐order trading, on the London Stock Exchange. As a result of limit‐order trading, the proportion of trades executed at the best execution price for the customer significantly increased. We attribute this to a sustained increase in the liquidity of stocks as a result of limit‐order trading, regardless of market capitalisation. We discuss the ethical implications of our findings and conclude that market structures that enhance market competitiveness may help reconcile broker and client interests.
    June 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12066   open full text
  • Understanding instrumental motivations for social responsibility engagement in a micro‐firm context.
    Erlend Nybakk, Rajat Panwar.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 23, 2014
    Firms engage in social responsibility activities for diverse reasons. This study focuses on understanding firms' instrumental motivations for engaging in socially responsible activities. We suggest that the instrumental motivations underlying firms' corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement are associated with their market, learning, and risk‐related behaviors; thus, we identify market orientation, learning orientation, and risk‐taking attitudes as three constructs that influence firms' CSR engagement. This research was conducted in the Norwegian firewood sector, in which CSR expectations are high and in which we expect CSR engagement to be encouraged by both instrumental and normative motivations. The firms in this study are micro‐firms with fewer than 10 employees and represent an important but highly neglected segment of firms in CSR research. Data obtained from 230 firms were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Our results indicate that market orientation, learning orientation, and risk‐taking attitudes affect social responsibility toward different stakeholder groups in different ways. In some cases, the size and age of firms also affect these relationships.
    May 23, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12064   open full text
  • Sustainability reporting and corporate identity: action research evidence in an Italian retailing cooperative.
    Massimo Battaglia, Lara Bianchi, Marco Frey, Emilio Passetti.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 23, 2014
    Cooperatives are facing the challenge to be competitive in the market, without losing their traditional values of mutuality and democracy. To do that, they need to re‐construct open and participative dialogue with their employees and members based on more democratic forms of communication and engagement. From this point of view, the measurement and communication of sustainability aspects may allow a dialogue to be mobilized with shareholders and stakeholders without losing the attention on competitive factors. Based on these premises, the article analyses the experience of a 5‐year action research project (from 2006 to mid‐2011), carried out within Unicoop Tirreno, an Italian consumers' cooperative, and aimed to implement different tools for sustainability accounting and to embrace a more open dialogue with stakeholders, in particular with employees and members. In this process of change, the tools implemented for sustainability accounting played a key role in supporting the cooperative to reinterpret its own values and in stimulating a new and participative management approach. The results indicate a virtuous circle between the management and measurement of cooperative principles and the management and measurement of sustainability issues.
    May 23, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12067   open full text
  • Practicalities bottleneck to pension fund responsible investment?
    Riikka Sievänen.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 01, 2014
    We found that pension funds may face a bottleneck as practical impediments to engaging in responsible investment with respect to the role played by defining and implementing responsible investment. Furthermore, pension funds seek additional coherence and practical guidelines in this field to enable them to take into account ethical considerations in their investment strategies and in implementing them. These findings indicate that the availability of information may affect the stance that key decision makers of pension funds adopt towards responsible investment.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12048   open full text
  • Critical points of CSR‐related stakeholder dialogue in practice.
    Ursa Golob, Klement Podnar.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 01, 2014
    This paper examines the roles of dialogue in the process of communication with stakeholders. The conceptual frameworks of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and stakeholder relationships frequently present the initiation of a dialogue with stakeholders as a way for an organization to respond to criticisms of its social and environmental policies and actions. The paper discusses dialogue in the stakeholder and CSR literature. This is followed by the analysis of in‐depth semi‐structured interviews in the empirical section. Theoretical discussion and empirical examples demonstrate that the role of stakeholder dialogue in implementing CSR strategy is crucial in many ways. The case examples taken from the interviews with the heads of two large companies and two non‐governmental organizations illustrate the practical difficulties that may be encountered in applying the principle and practice of dialogue to the implementation of CSR programs in the real world.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12049   open full text
  • Three tiers of CSR: an instructive means of understanding and guiding contemporary company approaches to CSR?
    Helle K. Aggerholm, N. Leila Trapp.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 01, 2014
    Heightened concern with global issues has led to shifts in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. To capture the distinct nature of this global focus, researchers have developed a three‐generation CSR typology. In this paper, we first evaluate the usefulness of this typology for understanding corporate approaches to CSR by examining how several companies position themselves thematically in CEO introductions to sustainability reports. On the basis of this, we then evaluate the practical value of this typology for assisting those who work with CSR strategy. The analysis revealed expressions of all three CSR generations, with third‐generation thinking being apparent, but not dominant. It also verified that the three‐generation CSR typology can be an instructive means of both evaluating as well as framing a company's approach to sustainability, though with modifications. On the basis of the identified strengths and weaknesses of the typology, we develop a practitioner‐focused, three‐tiered model that can strategically guide the development of CSR programs.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12050   open full text
  • Analyst coverage, corporate social responsibility, and firm risk.
    Hoje Jo, Maretno Harjoto.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 01, 2014
    This article examines the empirical association between analyst coverage and corporate social responsibility (CSR) by investigating their simultaneous and causal effects, and its joint effects of CSR engagement and analyst coverage on firm risk. We find a positive association between the level and change of CSR engagement and the level and change of analyst coverage after considering simultaneity and causality. Based on the first‐difference approach, we further find that the change in analyst following from the previous year affects the change in CSR in the current period, whereas the change in CSR from the previous period does not influence the change in analyst following in the current period. Furthermore, we find that the change in CSR engagement as well as the interaction effect of changes in CSR and analyst coverage reduces the change of firm risk. When we examine the CSR strengths and concerns separately, analyst following does not significantly influence firms’ CSR strength but CSR concern activities decreases significantly as firms have more analyst followings. We further find the mediating role of financial analysts between CSR concerns (but not CSR strengths) and firm risk. We maintain that analysts provide indirect but additional social pressure to the firms to eventually reduce their irresponsible activities. Taken together, we interpret these results to support the stakeholder theory‐based conflict‐resolution explanation that considers CSR engagement as a vehicle to reduce conflicts of interest between managers and noninvesting stakeholders but not the overinvestment hypothesis that views CSR as a waste of valuable resources at the cost of shareholders.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12051   open full text
  • Embracing ambiguity – lessons from the study of corporate social responsibility throughout the rise and decline of the modern welfare state.
    Anselm Schneider.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 01, 2014
    In the work of Karl Polanyi, the negative effects of a self‐regulating market economy are described as being limited by societal forces such as the policies of the welfare state. With the decline of the modern welfare state since the late 1970s, social activities of business firms are increasingly regarded as an important complement to or even as a substitute for welfare state policies by a part of the literature. However, and controversially, another stream of argumentation regards these activities as being aimed at advancing the reach of market forces. To fully grasp the ambiguous nature of the social activities of business, in this paper I provide an account of affirmative as well as of critical interpretations of these activities throughout the history of modern capitalism. On this basis, the power of critique to disentangle the diverse motivations that underlie the social engagement of business is highlighted as a condition for facilitating a role of business in society that balances economic and social considerations.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12052   open full text
  • To blow or not to blow the whistle: the effects of potential harm, social pressure and organisational commitment on whistleblowing intention and behaviour.
    Ching‐Pu Chen, Chih‐Tsung Lai.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 01, 2014
    This study uses a rational ethical decision‐making framework to examine the influence of moral intensity (potential harm and social pressure) on whistleblowing intention and behaviour using organisational commitment as a moderator. A scenario was developed, and an online questionnaire was used to conduct an empirical analysis on the responses of 533 participants. The mean age and years of work experience of the respondents were 31 and 8.2 years, respectively. The results show, first, that while moral intensity is correlated with whistleblowing intention, only the potential harm is positively correlated with such intention. Second, potential harm and social pressure differentially affect whistleblower choice of using an internal or external channel. Third, organisational commitment has a moderated mediation effect among moral intensity, whistleblowing intention and behaviour. Fourth, whistleblowers may be grouped into four conceptual types: indifferent, rebel, mature and spoil. Finally, theoretical and managerial implications of the findings are discussed.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12053   open full text
  • Exogenously driven CSR: insights from the consultants' perspective.
    Antonis Skouloudis, Konstantinos Evangelinos.
    Business Ethics A European Review. April 01, 2014
    This paper offers insights into corporate social responsibility (CSR) consulting in Greece. It sheds light on perspectives of how socially responsible business conduct is shaped by consultancies in a national business environment where such an essential aspect of organizational commitment and behavior exhibits comparatively little resonance among companies and is primarily induced by supranational and international policy schemes as well as foreign competitors. Drawing from long interviews with consulting professionals, we explore key topics: the domestic CSR (consulting) industry's characteristics, issues pertaining to the engagement with clients, the endorsement of CSR standards and initiatives, along with the consultants' perspective on institutional dynamics and their prospects with respect to the future of CSR in Greece. In this context, we aim to indicate trends on CSR implementation, pressures exerted on consultants, and managerial attitudes towards corporate responsibility. Our findings illustrate an oligopolistically structured market that encourages consultancies to compete intensely, the consultants' limited capacity to influence the business behavior of their clients, with the latter to adopt a promotional communicative approach to CSR, as well as a lack of institutional coordination and mechanisms that will materially embed social responsibility in the strategic management of business.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12054   open full text
  • Socially responsible investment: insights from Shari'a departments in Islamic financial institutions.
    Shakir Ullah, Dima Jamali, Ian A. Harwood.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 04, 2014
    Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) are emerging as prominent players in the financial world and are increasingly known for their conservative socially responsible investment (SRI). Being the Shari'a regulators and monitors of IFIs, the Shari'a departments are expected to implement the Islamic perspective of SRI – drawn from Shari'a principles – in their respective institutions. The purpose of this paper is to develop an SRI framework applicable to IFIs and other Shari'a compliant entities and assess its applicability within Shari'a departments of two Islamic banks. This paper involves cross‐case analysis based on interviews with Shari'a department officials in two settings differentiated by their respective independence. The proposed framework consists of required, expected and desired SRI aspects as applicable to IFIs. The findings reveal that the required aspects are uniformly observed by the two cases. There are, however, variations when it comes to observing the expected and desired ethical SRI aspects that may be driven by the independence of the Shari'a boards. This inconsistency and non‐adherence of expected and desired aspects may lead to reputational risks in the long run.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12045   open full text
  • Ethno‐cultural considerations in negotiation: pretense, deception and lies in the Greek workplace.
    Abraham Stefanidis, Moshe Banai.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 04, 2014
    A retrospect into ethos, this study examines the impact of individualism, collectivism, ethical idealism and interpersonal trust on negotiators' attitudes toward questionable negotiation tactics in Greece. A thousand survey questionnaires were administered to Greek employees, of which 327 usable responses were collected. Our findings empirically corroborated a classification of three groups of negotiation tactics, namely, pretense, deception and lies. Individualism–collectivism and ethical idealism were found to be related, and interpersonal trust was found to be unrelated, to attitudes toward questionable negotiation tactics. Emphasizing the non‐US and non‐Western European nature of the empirical data collected, the originality of this research further stems from the development of a comprehensive research framework about questionable negotiation tactics in Greece.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12047   open full text
  • When idealists evade taxes: the influence of personal moral philosophy on attitudes to tax evasion – a Lebanese study.
    Yusuf M. Sidani, Abdul Jalil Ghanem, Mohammed Y. A. Rawwas.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 04, 2014
    This paper explores attitudes regarding tax evasion and the relationship between personal moral philosophy and such attitudes in a weak tax environment. The results confirm the multidimensionality of tax evasion attitudes. Idealism was negatively related to self‐interest tax evasion attitudes while relativism was positively related to such attitudes. Idealism was also positively related to tax evasion attitudes stemming from concerns about the justice of the tax system. Idealists in a weak tax environment seemingly go through a cognitive reframing process where they recognize that the tax system is unfair, and accordingly tax evasion is a way to serve a different moral absolute, that is of equity, rather than another different moral absolute, which is fulfilling obligations to governments. The results are also explained in light of the suggested low moral intensity of tax evasion among respondents. Policy implications are presented.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12046   open full text
  • The impact of organizational pressures on environmental performance of firms.
    Ramakrishnan Ramanathan, Boonchan Poomkaew, Prithwiraj Nath.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 04, 2014
    The role of various organizational pressures in influencing performance of firms has been an interesting research topic in a variety of fields and has received the attention of researchers working in the field of environmental strategy. Although there are previous studies that have looked at the influence of various pressures in influencing firms’ environmental strategies, our study provides a more holistic analysis considering a variety of such pressures in a single framework. We discuss a research study to analyze how pressures from internal and external stakeholders of a firm, economic pressures, environmental regulations, and pressures of environmental compliance have affected environmental performance of firms using data collected from manufacturing firms in the United Kingdom. We have found that internal stakeholders provide the greatest impact in shaping environmental performance of firms, closely followed by economic pressures, environmental regulations, and external stakeholders in that order. Fears of penalties due to environmental compliance have the least impact, although this pressure also has a positive and significant impact on environmental performance.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12042   open full text
  • Business practices and peace in post‐conflict zones: lessons from Cyprus.
    John E. Katsos, John Forrer.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 04, 2014
    Existing literature on business and peace is in need of more examples of business practices, and at a more dissaggregated level, within conflict‐sensitive regions that promote peace. This article examines whether business practices within a conflict‐sensitive region, the island of Cyprus, are consistent with existing business and peace literature and how the specific business practices promote peace. In particular, the article examines in detail two business practices: Green Line Trade and cross‐territorial joint ventures and promotions. Our findings suggest that existing business activities in Cyprus are consistent with those proposed by the literature, but their significance in promoting peace was limited. We propose an alternative explanation for why such business practices were pursued in Cyprus at the time, drawing on studies of identity‐based conflicts. And we suggest that business has a unique role to play compared with other public institutions when addressing identity conflict. Finally, we suggest that both theoretical and empirical studies of business and peace should include consideration of how business practices might help alleviate identity‐related issues in conflict‐sensitive regions.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12044   open full text
  • Determinants of corporate social responsibility and business ethics education in Spanish universities.
    Manuel Larrán Jorge, Francisco Javier Andrades Peña.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 04, 2014
    The current economic crisis, unsustainable growth, and financial scandals invite reflection on the role of universities in professional training, particularly those who have to manage businesses. This study analyzes the main factors that might determine the extent to which Spanish organizational management educators use corporate social responsibility (CSR) or business ethics stand‐alone subjects to equip students with alternative views on business. A web content analysis and non‐parametric mean comparison statistics of the curricula of undergraduate degrees in all universities in Spain were conducted. The main conclusion of this paper is related to the Bologna effect in Spanish universities. Comparing our results with prior research in this matter, it is demonstrated that the main reason that explains the increase of CSR and ethical education in Spain is the Bologna process and its adaptation to the European Higher Education Area. Also, private universities in Spain are more likely to require an ethics course than public universities. Other factors, such as size, political orientation, or related to CSR chairs are not statistically explanatory of CSR and ethical education.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12041   open full text
  • Corporate governance reform: character‐building structures.
    Patricia Grant, Peter McGhee.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 04, 2014
    This paper argues that corporate governance reformers in Anglo‐American jurisdictions should consider a different approach in their quest for better corporate governance. Traditionally, corporate governance reform has taken a structural approach, tightening the rules around the number of independent directors required on boards and committees and fine‐tuning the definition of independence. However, such an approach has failed to achieve effective corporate governance. Moreover, this approach is informed by the arguably discredited assumption that individuals are rational self‐interest utility maximizers. This conceptual paper questions why corporate governance scholars and regulators remain uncritical of this assumption and suggests an approach to reform inspired by a different view of human nature. Indeed, incorporating an actor‐based approach to reform into existing structures may better achieve effective corporate governance while addressing an unjustified adherence to this flawed assumption.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/beer.12043   open full text
  • Explaining employers' illicit envelope wage payments in the EU‐27: a product of over‐regulation or under‐regulation?
    Colin C. Williams.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 13, 2013
    The aim of this paper is to evaluate the prevalence in the 27 member states of the European Union of a little discussed illicit wage arrangement in which formal employees are paid two wages by their formal employers – an official declared salary and an additional undeclared wage, thus allowing employers to evade their full social insurance and tax liabilities. Reporting the results of a 2007 Eurobarometer survey involving 26,659 face‐to‐face interviews, the finding is that one in 18 formal employees received such an envelope wage from their formal employer and that envelope wage payments are more prevalent in member states with lower (rather than higher) levels of state intervention. The tentative conclusion is that illicit envelope wage payments are a product of under‐regulation, rather than over‐regulation, and that further research is now required to test the validity analysis of this thesis in other global regions.
    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/beer.12022   open full text
  • Corporate political activity, social responsibility, and competitive strategy: an integrative model.
    Alan E. Singer.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 13, 2013
    Many tensions exist within the nexus of corporate social responsibility, competitive strategy, and political activity. Previously, these aspects of strategic management have been considered in relative isolation or at best in pairs. Accordingly, an attempt is made here to set out a general strategic problem of the corporation, in which all three aspects are combined. This project reveals a particular need to explicate the political assumptions held by or on behalf of the corporation. Examples might include the classical liberal model, global hypercompetition, or variants of the stakeholder model. The project also reinforces the broader notion that when one adopts the perspective of a corporate strategist, one can sometimes find potentially productive ways of reframing issues in ethics, economics, and politics.
    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/beer.12023   open full text
  • To challenge the world view or to flow with it? Teaching sustainable development in business schools.
    Fernando Lourenço.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 13, 2013
    This paper explores the fundamental question of what ‘responsibility’ means to different sets of world views adopted implicitly by business students. The exploration adopts the stakeholder theory and three subsets of the Friedman mentality to explain how individuals may value sustainability initiatives. Subsequently, it explores whether it is better to flow with the dominant economic‐driven world view as prescribed by the business school or to challenge it in order to cultivate business students with sustainability‐driven values. The conclusion highlights implications for business and management education, as well as the role of entrepreneurship to promote sustainability values.
    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/beer.12021   open full text
  • Fairness and microcredit interest rates: from Rawlsian principles of justice to the distribution of the bargaining range.
    Marek Hudon, Arvind Ashta.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 13, 2013
    This paper addresses the fairness of microcredit interest rates. Since microfinance institutions provide credit for the poor at relatively high prices, the fairness of their interest rates has been repeatedly debated. We first apply Rawls' principles of justice to the case of microcredit interest rates and suggest some limitations related to the hypothesis of rationality of the borrowers and the level of inequality. We then suggest another framework based on the analysis of the distribution of the benefits generated by the transaction to assess the fairness of interest rates. We conceptualize this as the distribution of the bargaining range between the borrowers' and the institutions' reservation price and discuss what these reservation prices could be in the context of microfinance.
    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/beer.12026   open full text
  • Predominant sources and contributors of influential business ethics research: evidence and implications from a threshold citation analysis.
    Kam C. Chan, Hung‐Gay Fung, Jot Yau.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 13, 2013
    Influential or frequently cited business ethics research does not appear in a vacuum; our study reveals its predominant sources and contributors by discipline. By examining citations from articles published in three top business ethics journals (Journal of Business Ethics, Business Ethics Quarterly and Business Ethics: A European Review) over the period 2004–2008, we document that the preponderance of influential business ethics research comes primarily from the management faculty. In addition, management journals and management books are the predominant sources for influential business ethics research. Further, among the management fields, organizational behavior and organizational structure predominate leadership and strategy as the major subject areas for influential business ethics research, suggesting that this influential body of research is focused on a micro rather than on a macro context. These empirical results lend credence to the perception that there is a silo effect in influential business ethics research and suggest that business ethics research in a micro context might have permeated to the teaching of business ethics.
    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/beer.12024   open full text
  • Some ethical dilemmas of modern banking.
    Philipp Bagus, David Howden.
    Business Ethics A European Review. May 13, 2013
    How ethical have recent banking practices been? We answer this question via an economic analysis. We assess the two dominant practices of the modern banking system – fractional reserves and maturity transformation – by gauging the respective rights of the relevant parties. By distinguishing the legal and economic differences between deposit and loan contracts, we determine that the practice of maturity transformation (in its various guises) is not only ethical but also serves a positive social function. The foundation of the modern banking system – the holding of fractional reserves against deposits – is, however, problematic from economic, legal and ethical perspectives. Starting from a microanalysis of money's function, a reassessment of the current laws concerning the practice is encouraged, with the aim not only to rectify economic irregularities but also to realign depositors' rights with the obligations of the banking sector.
    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/beer.12025   open full text
  • SMEs and environmental responsibility: a policy perspective.
    Richard Blundel, Adrian Monaghan, Christine Thomas.
    Business Ethics A European Review. March 05, 2013
    Environmental policies to promote environmentally sustainable economic activity have often concentrated on larger firms. However, increasing attention is being paid to the role of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial actors. In this paper, we examine how policy tools are being used to improve the environmental performance of SMEs and to redirect entrepreneurial energies in more environmentally benign directions. The empirical section adopts a case‐based comparative method to examine four instances of policymaking, drawn from different countries and industry sectors. The paper argues that while some interventions have proved effective in their own terms, better integrated approaches are required to address today's complex and deep‐rooted sustainability challenges. The paper identifies several policy implications including the need to: clarify the purpose of any intervention, address potential interactions and trade‐offs; select appropriate tools based on informed reviews of the options; remain sensitive to context‐specific factors; and devise effective vehicles for the promotion and governance of entrepreneurial initiatives.
    March 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/beer.12020   open full text