Can a Business Be Socially Responsible and Still Make a Profit?

businessman-holding-crystal-globe-1281812-mAccording to Thompson Reuters, sustainability in business once meant a company covering its operating costs with profits. These days that definition has transformed into a term that refers to a business making decisions that benefit society. But is it possible for an organization to function successfully by adapting a blend of these doctrines? Nardia Haigh and Andrew J. Hoffman explore this idea in their article “The New Heretics: Hybrid Organizations and the Challenges They Present to Corporate Sustainability” from Organization and Environment.

The abstract:

Corporate sustainability has become mainstream; reaching into all areas of business management. Yet despite this progress, oae coverlarge-scale social and ecological issues continue to worsen. In this article, we examine how corporate sustainability has been enacted as a concept that supports the dominant beliefs of strategic management rather than challenging them to shift business beyond the unsustainable status quo. Against this backdrop, we consider how hybrid organizations (organizations at the interface between for-profit and nonprofit sectors that address social and ecological issues) are operating at odds with beliefs embedded in strategic management and corporate sustainability literatures. We offer six propositions that define hybrid organizations based on challenges they present to the beliefs embedded in these literatures and position them as new heretics of strategic management and corporate sustainability orthodoxy. We conclude with the implications of this heretical force for theory and suggest directions for future research.

“The New Heretics: Hybrid Organizations and the Challenges They Present to Corporate Sustainability” from Organization and Environment can be read for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest news and research from Organization and Environment? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Read the Award-Winning Article from Organization and Environment!

puzzle-time-2-1186820-mWe’re excited to announce the winner of the 2014 Best Paper Award from Organization and Environment! Andrew Hoffman of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor received this prestigious award at this year’s Academy of Management 2014 Annual Meeting for his paper “Talking past each other? Cultural framing of skeptical and convinced logics in the climate change debate.” The paper, which first appeared in Organization and Environment in March 2011, looks at the logic and arguments of the two main groups in the climate change debate and analyzes why the groups have been unable to meet eye to eye. In celebration of the award, this paper can be read for free for the next 30 days!

The abstract:

This article analyzes the extent to which two institutional logics around climate change—the climate change “convinced” and the climate change “skeptical” logics—are truly competing or talking past each other in a way that can be described as a logic schism. oae coverDrawing on the concept of framing from social movement theory, it uses qualitative field observations from the largest climate deniers conference in the United States and a data set of almost 800 op-eds from major news outlets over a 2-year period to examine how convinced and skeptical arguments of opposing logics employ frames and issue categories to make arguments about climate change. This article finds that the two logics are engaging in different debates on similar issues with the former focusing on solutions while the latter debates the definition of the problem. It concludes that the debate appears to be reaching a level of polarization where one might begin to question whether meaningful dialogue and problem solving has become unavailable to participants. The implications of such a logic schism is a shift from an integrative debate focused on addressing interests, to a distributive battle over concessionary agreements with each side pursuing its goals by demonizing the other. Avoiding such an outcome requires the activation of, as yet, dormant “broker” categories (technology, religion, and national security), the redefinition of existing ones (science, economics, risk, ideology), and the engagement of effective “climate brokers” to deliver them.

“Talking past each other? Cultural framing of skeptical and convinced logics in the climate change debate” can be read for free from Organization and Environment by clicking here. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts by clicking here and get all the latest news from Organization and Environment delivered right to your inbox!

Are Consumers More Likely to Buy Green Products?

environment-1445492-mRecently, concern about the environment has become a crucial public issue. Increasing governmental regulations, intensifying consumer environmentalism and growing pressure from stakeholders have made firms decide to go green (Leonidou et al., 2011; Menon and Menon, 1997). There has been a rise in eco-friendly (EF) product preferences among consumers and firms are desperate to trap this new market opportunity. In turn, green marketing is becoming more important for firms (Chen et al., 2006). An article recently published in Global Business Review entitled “Linking Environmental Awareness and Perceived Brand Eco-friendliness to Brand Trust and Purchase Intention” analyzes the relationship among perceived brand ecofriendliness (PBE), Environmental Awareness (EA) and brand trust and the effect of brand trust on EF brand purchase intention.

The abstract:

The research examines the link among environmental awareness (EA), perceived brandhome_cover ecofriendliness (PBE) and brand trust and the subsequent effect on eco-friendly (EF) brand purchase intention. The article adopted structural equation modeling approach to test the hypotheses. Data were collected from 223 Indian consumers. The results show that there is a positive relationship between EA and PBE. Consumer’s EA and perception that a brand is eco-friendly, lead to trust in the brand. Findings support that higher brand trust leads to increasing purchase intention towards the EF brand. The article adds to the existing literature by dealing with consumer perception about brand ecofriendliness and its subsequent effect on purchase intention. Contribution of this study to the academic and practice is discussed.

Click here to read “Linking Environmental Awareness and Perceived Brand Eco-friendliness to Brand Trust and Purchase Intention” for free from Global Business Review! Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all the latest research from Global Business Review!

Top Five: What If?

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This morning saw the beginning of the World Future Society 2014 annual conference: WorldFuture 2014: What If in Orlando, Florida!

WorldFuture 2014 is a collective of some of the world’s most inquisitive and dedicated scholars, asking about the future of a myriad of topics including humanity, government, education, religion and even happiness. Speakers will include Paul Saffo of Foresight at DISCERN, Stacey Childress of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s investment in K-12 Next Generation Learning, Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and many more! You can keep up with the conference on Twitter by using the hashtag #wfs2014!

In honor of the conference, we’re pleased to bring you the top five most read articles from World Future Review.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint“The Democratization of Innovation: Managing Technological Innovation as If People Matter” by Philip H. Spies from March 2014

“How Digital Outcasts Can Pilot the Future of Health Care” by Kel Smith from June 2013

“Peer Production and Prosumerism as a Model for the Future Organization of General Interest Services Provision in Developed Countries: Examples of Food Services Collectives” by  Katarzyna Gajewska from March 2014.

“Geothermal Energy” by Gioietta Kuo from February 2012.

“Higher Education in the Future Tense: Taking Futuristics to School” by Arthur B. Shostak from March 2014.

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Sustainabilty in Family Businesses

hope-1-1005737-mHow have family businesses responded to the call for sustainable practices? Authors Magali A. Delmas and Olivier Gergaud recently tested their hypothesis that family businesses tend to emphasize a more socially responsible attitude for themselves and their kin by studying family owned and operated wineries in California in their article “Sustainable Certification for Future Generations: The Case of Family Business” from Family Business Review.

The abstract:

Business sustainability has been defined as meeting current needs while providing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, few firms invest in practices geared at sustainability. In thisFBR_C1_revised authors color.indd article, we investigate how family ties to future generations via the intention of transgenerational succession can be associated with the adoption of sustainable practices. Using data from 281 wineries in the United States collected through a survey questionnaire, we show that ties to future generations, measured as the intention of the winery owner to pass down the winery to their children, are associated with the adoption of sustainable certification.

Click here to read “Sustainable Certification for Future Generations: The Case of Family Business” from Family Business ReviewDon’t want to miss out on research like this? Click here to sign up for e-alerts from Family Business Review!

 

Are You Throwing Those Old Jeans in the Trash?

jeans-12-28834-mThe United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recovered each year, leaving a whopping 85% in landfills. This means that used textiles occupy nearly 5% of landfills overall. What can be done to help this problem? Karin M. Ekström and Nicklas Salomonson discuss the possibilities from a macromarketing perspective in their article, “Reuse and Recycling of Clothing and Textiles – A Network Approach” from Journal of Macromarketing.

The abstract:

The accelerated pace of consumption in the Western world has led to an increase in clothing and textiles disposed of in the garbage rather than being reused or recycled. The purpose of this article is toJMMK_new C1 template.indd increase understanding of how clothing and textile consumption can become more sustainable by demonstrating how members of a network view and deal with this problem. The study is based on meetings over one and a half years and on a survey. Different views on the problem as well as various solutions on how to increase reuse and recycling of clothing and textiles are presented, including means and challenges. A macromarketing perspective, involving different actors in society, is necessary in order to make consumption more sustainable and for finding long-term solutions. We argue that understanding symbolic consumption and the fashion system can contribute to the macromarketing study of societal development from a sustainable perspective.

Click here to read “Reuse and Recycling of Clothing and Textiles – A Network Approach” for free from Journal of Macromarketing. Click here to sign up for e-alerts and get news on all the latest from Journal of Macromarketing.

The Human Right to Clean Water VS Property Rights

drinking-966608-mIn July of 2010, the United nations identified clean water as a human right. However, less than one percent of the fresh water on earth is accessible for human use and global population is estimated to reach eight billion by 2025. But not all nations have and can maintain clean water systems due to the economic burden. Could the answer to this problem lie not in human rights, but property rights? Jeremy J. Schmidt and Kyle R. Mitchell discuss the political and ethical considerations of the rights to clean water in their article “Property and the Right to Water: Toward a Non-Liberal Commons” from Review of Radical Political Economics.

The abstract:

This paper examines the turn to considerations of property in arguments regarding the commons and the humanRRPE_v46_72ppiRGB_powerpoint right to water. It identifies commitments to liberalism in political economy approaches to property and human rights and develops a matrix for identifying non-liberal conceptions of the commons. The latter holds potential for an agonistic politics in which human rights are compatible with ecological sensibilities regarding the dynamics of conflict and cooperation in complex systems.