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Title: When is there a sustainability case for CSR? Pathways to environmental and social performance improvements
Authors: Halme, Minna
Rintamaki, Jukka
Knudsen, Jette Steen
Lankoski, Leena
Kuisma, Mika
Keywords: Corporate social performance
Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Environmental performance
QCA
Sustainability
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications © The Authors
Citation: HALME, M. ... et al, 2018. When is there a sustainability case for CSR? Pathways to environmental and social performance improvements. Business & Society, doi:10.1177/0007650318755648.
Abstract: Little is known about when corporate social responsibility (CSR) leads to a sustainability case (i.e., to improvements in environmental and social performance). Building on various forms of decoupling, we develop a theoretical framework for examining pathways from institutional pressures through CSR management to sustainability performance. To empirically identify such pathways, we apply fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to an extensive dataset from 19 large companies. We discover that different pathways are associated with environmental and social performance (non)improvements, and that pathways to success and failure are for the most part not symmetrical. We identify two pathways to improved environmental performance: an exogenous and an endogenous one. We find two pathways to improved social performance that both involve integrating social responsibility into the core business. Pathways to nonimprovements are multiple, suggesting that failure can occur in a number of ways, while there are only a few pathways to sustainability performance improvements.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Business & Society and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0007650318755648.
Sponsor: The data for this study was gathered in a research project funded by the European Union Framework Program 7, under Grant Agreement no. 244618.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/0007650318755648
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/37539
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/0007650318755648
ISSN: 0007-6503
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Loughborough University London)

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