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Corporate sustainability and financial performance: A hybrid literature review
Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för utbildning och ekonomi, Avdelningen för ekonomi, Företagsekonomi.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-0386-6574
Halmstad University; Luleå University of Technology.
University of Gothenburg.
Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för utbildning och ekonomi, Avdelningen för ekonomi, Företagsekonomi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-5043-6289
2024 (engelsk)Inngår i: Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, ISSN 1535-3958, E-ISSN 1535-3966, Vol. 31, nr 2, s. 801-815Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

The discussion of “whether it pays to be green” is ongoing. This review does not intend to solve the debate, rather it soothes it by contributing to the concept of “when it pays to be green.” By focusing on the shortcomings of existing literature reviews on the topic of corporate sustainability and financial performance (CSFP) in this bibliometric review, issues were identified that had been overlooked earlier. In general, CSFP holds a positive relationship but in a time lag. Nonconclusive results about the relationship within CSFP are due to self-selection bias, endogeneity issues, and the use of multiple datasets and industry categories. Surprisingly, we also discovered that the impact of sustainability on financial performance is illusive in capitalist countries considered to be economically rational. Institutional and legitimacy requirements are a good starting point for shaping corporate behaviors in the short term; however, they might not be equally appropriate in the long term in cases when corporations shift operations to pollution havens. A multifaceted, synergistic interaction between governmental institutions, corporations, and other stakeholders is required—without imposing authority—to ensure durable sustainable development.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
John Wiley & Sons, 2024. Vol. 31, nr 2, s. 801-815
Emneord [en]
Sustainability, corporate performance, financial performance, sustainable development, stakeholder engagement, bibliometric analysis, literature review
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-42840DOI: 10.1002/csr.2600ISI: 001060666600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85169055193OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-42840DiVA, id: diva2:1787826
Tilgjengelig fra: 2023-08-15 Laget: 2023-08-15 Sist oppdatert: 2024-03-11bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. Nexus between corporate sustainability and financial performance
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Nexus between corporate sustainability and financial performance
2023 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

To save the planet from previous devastating corporate actions, corporations have enormous responsibilities toward the environment, economy and society. Implementing corporate sustainability practices through establishing effective governance mechanisms can be considered a transformative initiative with potential implications for social and green innovation. Social and green innovation thus shifts companies’ focus from for-profit objectives to the creation of mutual benefit and shared values.

Over the past four decades, extensive academic research has been conducted on the topic of corporate sustainability and financial performance. Therefore, conducting research on a similar topic might appear to the reader to be carrying coal to Newcastle. However, the aim of this thesis is not to reproduce previous studies but rather to address the following research question:  

What is the nexus between corporate sustainability and financial performance? 

This thesis identifies that previous literature has produced blended results when explaining the nexus between corporate sustainability and financial performance; they have asserted that firms are solely responsible for sustainability activities and thus financial performance. In this regard, previous literature has argued for institutional pressure and legitimacy requirements to shape corporate behavior. However, I contradict the views of previous scholars and argue that power distance and hierarchy always hamper the relationship. I further posit that corporations are not solely responsible for sustainability activities and thus financial performance. Rather, the nexus between corporate sustainability and financial performance is transformed, modified, and shaped through an interaction of the trajectories of multiple actors, an interaction that I was able to capture through the multi-theoretical approach. In this regard, I propose a comprehensive framework, that is effective under a macro business ecosystem. With this framework, companies that prioritize sustainability strategies would eventually ensure financial performance but after a time lag. In contrast, companies that engage in greenwashing and selfies will always achieve misleading outcomes.

The appended articles further examine the nexus between corporate sustainability and financial performance empirically using data from European countries by applying several static and dynamic econometric models under different time spans. The overall empirical result suggests that corporate sustainability practices have a positive impact on financial performance but with a time lag. However, in order to ensure durable long-term corporate sustainability practices, the macro and micro business environments – a network governance relationship – play a crucial role. The consistent and empirically robust results reveal the multiple trajectories of the nexus between corporate sustainability and financial performance. Therefore, the thesis disseminates key messages to policymakers and practitioners about the importance of an effective network governance mechanism.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Halmstad: Halmstad University Press, 2023. s. 182
Emneord
sustainability, performance, profitability, corporate responsibility, ESG, multi-theoretical approach, macroeconomic factors, microeconomic factors, women on boards, board composition, sustainable development
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-43700 (URN)978-91-89587-24-3 (ISBN)978-91-89587-23-6 (ISBN)
Disputas
2024-01-29, S1080, hus S, Kristian IV:s väg 3, 10:15 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2024-01-30 Laget: 2024-01-30 Sist oppdatert: 2024-01-30bibliografisk kontrollert

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