Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==Corporate social responsibility
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The Moral Complexity of Agriculture: A Challenge for Corporate Social Responsibility
Olde, Evelien M. de; Valentinov, Vladislav - \ 2019
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (2019)3. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 413 - 430.
Agriculture - Corporate social responsibility - Moral complexity - Sustainability - Systems theory

Over the past decades, the modernization of agriculture in the Western world has contributed not only to a rapid increase in food production but also to environmental and societal concerns over issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, soil quality and biodiversity loss. Many of these concerns, for example those related to animal welfare or labor conditions, are stuck in controversies and apparently deadlocked debates. As a result we observe a paradox in which a wide range of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, originally seeking to reconnect agriculture and society, frequently provoke debate, conflict, and protests. In order to make sense of this pattern, the present paper contends that Western agriculture is marked by moral complexity, i.e., the tendency of multiple legitimate moral standpoints to proliferate without the realistic prospect of a consensus. This contention is buttressed by a conceptual framework that draws inspiration the contemporary business ethics and systems-theoretic scholarship. From the systems-theoretic point of view, the evolution of moral complexity is traced back to the processes of agricultural modernization, specialization, and differentiation, each of which suppresses the responsiveness of the economic and legal institutions to the full range of societal and environmental concerns about agriculture. From the business ethics point of view, moral complexity is shown to prevent the transformation of the ethical responsibilities into the legal and economic responsibilities despite the ongoing institutionalization of CSR. Navigating moral complexity is shown to require moral judgments which are necessarily personal and contestable. These judgments are implicated in those CSR initiatives that require dealing with trade-offs among the different sustainability issues.

Think outside the European box: Identifying sustainability competencies for a base of the pyramid context
Demssie, Yared Nigussie ; Wesselink, Renate ; Biemans, Harm J.A. ; Mulder, Martin - \ 2019
Journal of Cleaner Production 221 (2019). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 828 - 838.
Base of the pyramid - Corporate social responsibility - Delphi - Sustainability - Sustainability competence - Sustainable development

The complex and global nature of unsustainability requires concerted efforts of sustainability change agents from developed and developing countries all over the world. Various attempts have been made to define competencies needed for change agents to effectively contribute to sustainable development. However, most of the studies on sustainability competencies are Eurocentric in focus. Therefore, it is unclear if a base of the pyramid context would require a different set of competencies. This context is characterized by low per capita income, limited infrastructure, and rural population. To fill this gap, we conducted a Delphi study in two rounds in Ethiopia, as a country at the base of the pyramid. Experts (n = 33) from academia and the industry rated and confirmed seven competencies from the literature as being generally important for sustainable development. Additionally, they identified eight sustainability y competencies specifically important for the Ethiopian context, and thus potentially for other countries with the features of base of the pyramid context. Systems thinking and transdisciplinary competence gained the highest ratings. A subsequent specific literature search revealed that previous studies in contexts other than the base of the pyramid context also identified some of the eight additional sustainability competencies. This is important for future studies regarding the universal nature of certain sustainability competencies. The study brought together three fields of research: sustainability, competence, and base of the pyramid context. Our findings contribute to the theory of professional competence by showing that certain sustainability competencies can be of generic nature, independent of socioeconomic context, whereas others are context-specific. In addition, the sustainability competencies may serve as intended learning outcomes of education and training and development programs for sustainability.

The value of being socially responsible : A primal-dual approach
Puggioni, Daniela ; Stefanou, Spiro E. - \ 2019
European Journal of Operational Research 276 (2019)3. - ISSN 0377-2217 - p. 1090 - 1103.
Corporate social responsibility - Data envelopment analysis - Decision processes - Productivity and competitiveness - Shadow values

This study attempts to formalize and explain the process through which Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is created incorporating it into a production model as one of the outputs comprising the technology. Our framework allows for analyzing technical efficiency and deriving a system of internal shadow prices to quantify the overall value as well as the marginal impact of implementing socially responsible activities. The empirical application focuses on the food and beverage manufacturing sector where we encounter high levels of technical efficiency among the firms included in the analysis. Our findings also document a positive average shadow price of CSR activities, implying that the net value of implementing these activities is positive as their benefit exceeds the cost. Regarding the value at the margin, we show that increasing the socially responsible commitment positively contributes to the creation of firm value. Conversely, reducing the CSR engagement has a negative marginal impact, indicating that firms perceive lower levels of CSR as very costly and damaging.

Hutten catering : How to organize innovation for vital consumers in a sustainable food system?
Ingenbleek, Paul T.M. ; Zhao, Yuan - \ 2018
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 21 (2018)5. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 583 - 593.
Corporate social responsibility - Food service - Food system - Innovation - Responsible consumption - Sustainability

Hutten Catering is the only family-owned company listed among the top 10 catering companies in the Netherlands, yet it also has been the fastest growing company in this market for more than a decade. Catering companies face small margins and tight R & D budgets, yet their strategic position in the food system offers them unique opportunities to contribute to people's health and improve sustainability. Hutten Catering is located in a region with many potential innovation partners, supporting its integration of multiple suppliers, customers, and third parties in its innovation center, Food Squad. This center focuses on building sustainable supply chains that can reduce food waste; innovating specialist foods, such as for health care patients; and enabling vital lifestyles. With its many opportunities but limited budget, can Food Squad engage in more and larger projects, and thus further its impact on society, if it were to operate as an independent organization?

Corporate social responsibility and operational inefficiency : A dynamic approach
Guillamon-Saorin, Encarna ; Kapelko, Magdalena ; Stefanou, Spiro E. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
Corporate social responsibility - Data envelopment analysis - Dynamic technical inefficiency - Operational inefficiency

It is yet to be determined whether the firms' operational inefficiency is reflected on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) engagement approach. This paper aims to examine this association and specifically analyzes to which of the dimensions of CSR operational inefficiency is more closely related. Operational inefficiency is assessed using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) via dynamic inefficiency approach that accounts for the confounding role of adjustment costs related with firms' investments. Using a sample of U.S. firms in a variety of sectors from 2004 to 2015, we find that lower dynamic inefficiency occurs in firms with a higher commitment to CSR activities. We also find that dynamic inefficiency is negatively related to firms' engagement in social and corporate governance dimensions of CSR, whereas it is positively associated with the environmental dimension of CSR. In addition, dynamically inefficient companies have higher level of CSR concerns and lower of CSR strengths. The results are robust to endogeneity issues.

Addressing climate change in Responsible Research and Innovation : Recommendations for its operationalization
Ligardo-Herrera, Ivan ; Gómez-Navarro, Tomás ; Inigo, Edurne A. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
Climate change - Corporate social responsibility - Responsible research and innovation - Sustainable innovation

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has only lately included environmental sustainability as a key area for the social desirability of research and innovation. That is one of the reasons why just a few RRI projects and proposals include environmental sustainability, and Climate Change (CC) in particular. CC is one of the grand challenges of our time and, thus, this paper contributes to the operationalization of CC prevention in RRI. To this end, the tools employed against CC were identified. Tools originated in corporate social responsibility and sustainable innovation which help to operationalize strategies against CC in RRI practice. Complementarily, the latest proposals by RRI projects and actors related to CC were reviewed. The findings of the document analysis and the web review were arranged in a framework intended for research and innovation that has an indirect but relevant negative impact due to CC. Thus, four main strategies for CC prevention in RRI were determined: a voluntary integration of the aims, a life cycle perspective, open access databases and key performance indicators, and stakeholder management. The article is finished acknowledging diverse barriers hindering the operationalization of CC prevention in RRI, and we introduce future avenues for research in this area.

Responsible Research and Innovation in industry-challenges, insights and perspectives
Martinuzzi, André ; Blok, Vincent ; Brem, Alexander ; Stahl, Bernd ; Schönherr, Norma - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)3. - ISSN 2071-1050
Business ethics - Corporate social responsibility - CSR - Industry - R and D management - Responsible innovation - Responsible research and innovation - RRI - Social innovation - Sustainable innovation
The responsibility of industry towards society and the environment is a much discussed topic, both in academia and in business. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a new concept with the potential to advance this discourse in light of two major challenges industry is facing today. The first relates to the accelerating race to innovate in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. The second concerns the need to maintain public trust in industry through innovations that generate social value in addition to economic returns. This Special Issue provides empirical and conceptual contributions that explore corporate motivations to adopt RRI, the state of implementation of concrete RRI practices, the role of stakeholders in responsible innovation processes, as well as drivers and barriers to the further diffusion of RRI in industry. Overall, these contributions highlight the relevance of RRI for firms of different sizes and sectors. They also provide insights and suggestions for managers, policymakers and researchers wishing to engage with responsibility in innovation. This editorial summarizes the most pertinent conclusions across the individual articles published in this Special Issue and concludes by outlining some fruitful avenues for future research in this space.
The sustainable seafood movement is a Governance concert, with the audience playing a key role
Barclay, Kate ; Miller, Alice - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)1. - ISSN 2071-1050
Corporate social responsibility - Ecolabels - Ethical consumption - Green marketing - Supply chain management - Sustainable seafood
Private standards, including ecolabels, have been posed as a governance solution for the global fisheries crisis. The conventional logic is that ecolabels meet consumer demand for certified "sustainable" seafood, with "good" players rewarded with price premiums or market share and "bad" players punished by reduced sales. Empirically, however, in the markets where ecolabeling has taken hold, retailers and brands-rather than consumers-are demanding sustainable sourcing, to build and protect their reputation. The aim of this paper is to devise a more accurate logic for understanding the sustainable seafood movement, using a qualitative literature review and reflection on our previous research. We find that replacing the consumer-driven logic with a retailer/brand-driven logic does not go far enough in making research into the sustainable seafood movement more useful. Governance is a "concert" and cannot be adequately explained through individual actor groups. We propose a new logic going beyond consumer- or retailer/brand-driven models, and call on researchers to build on the partial pictures given by studies on prices and willingness-to-pay, investigating more fully the motivations of actors in the sustainable seafood movement, and considering audience beyond the direct consumption of the product in question.
Responsibility versus profit : The motives of food firms for healthy product innovation
Garst, Jilde ; Blok, Vincent ; Jansen, Léon ; Omta, Onno S.W.F. - \ 2017
Sustainability 9 (2017)12. - ISSN 2071-1050
Corporate social responsibility - CSR - Food industry - Instrumental motives - Moral motives - Motives - Product innovation - Public health - Responsible research and innovation - RRI
Background: In responsible research and innovation (RRI), innovation is seen as a way in which humankind finds solutions for societal issues. However, studies on commercial innovation show that firms respond in a different manner and at a different speed to the same societal issue. This study investigates what role organizational motives play in the product innovation processes of firms when aiming for socially responsible outcomes. Methods: This multiple-case study investigates the motives of food firms for healthier product innovation by interviewing firms about the organizational motives behind product reformulation and innovation. Results: This study highlights the importance of having both instrumental and moral motives in the innovation process when aiming for socially responsible outcomes, and how both these motives interact and contribute to responsible innovation in industry. Furthermore, the study results question the nature of relational motives as a separate category from the other two categories of motives, as suggested by corporate social responsibility (CSR) scholars. Conclusions: If commercial innovation needs to contribute to solutions for societal issues, the importance of moral motives has to be stressed without annihilating the instrumental objectives of firms. Both motives contribute to the success factors of responsible product innovation in industry.
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