Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 133, Issue 3, pp 553–565 | Cite as

What Determines Principle-Based Standards Implementation? Reporting on Global Compact Adoption in Spanish Firms

  • Silvia Ayuso
  • Mercè Roca
  • Jorge A. Arevalo
  • Deepa Aravind
Article

Abstract

International Accountability Standards have proliferated in the last 20 years, with the UN Global Compact (GC) as the most widely accepted principle-based standard catalyzing voluntary participation by firms. This study aims to improve understanding about the factors that determine companies’ progress in adopting principle-based standards. Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm, we examine the direct and combined influences of different organizational resources (firm-specific resources, innovative capability, length of participation, and internationalization of the firm) on standard implementation as perceived by 213 Spanish GC signatories. Our results reveal that the level of firm-specific resources has a positive effect on the extent of GC principles implementation and that innovative capability and length of GC participation strengthen this effect. Contrary to our expectations, we find that the internationalization of firms does not have an effect on GC principles implementation. We discuss the implications of these findings for scholars and practicing managers.

Keywords

International Accountability Standards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Global Compact (GC) Innovative capability Internationalization Resource-based view of the firm (RBV) Spain 

Abbreviations

AA

AccountAbility

COP

Communication on Progress

CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility

GC

Global Compact

IAS

International Accountability Standard

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

NACE

Nomenclature statistique des activités économiques dans la Communauté Européenne

NGO

Non-governmental organization

SA

Social Accountability

SME

Small and medium enterprise

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

RBV

Resource-based view of the firm

UN

United Nations

USA

United States of America

References

  1. Aguilera-Caracuel, J., Hurtado-Torres, N. E., & Aragón-Correa, J. A. (2012). Does international experience help firms to be green? A knowledge-based view of how international experience and organisational learning influence proactive environmental strategies. International Business Review, 21(5), 847–861.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Antal, A. B., & Sobczak, A. (2004). Beyond CSR: Organisational learning for global responsibility. Journal of General Management, 30(2), 77–98.Google Scholar
  4. Aravind, D., & Christmann, P. (2008). Institutional and resource-based determinants of substantive implementation of ISO 14001. In Best Paper Proceedings of the sixty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.Google Scholar
  5. Aravind, D., & Christmann, P. (2011). Decoupling of standard implementation from certification: Does quality of ISO 14001 implementation affect facilities’ environmental performance? Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(1), 73–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arevalo, J. A., & Aravind, D. (2010). The impact of the crisis on corporate responsibility: The case of UN Global Compact participants in the USA. Corporate Governance, 10(4), 406–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arevalo, J. A., Aravind, D., Ayuso, S., & Roca, M. (2013). The Global Compact: An analysis of the motivations of adoption in the Spanish context. Business Ethics: A European Review, 22(1), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bansal, P. (2005). Evolving sustainability: A longitudinal study of corporate sustainable development. Strategic Management Journal, 26(3), 197–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bansal, P., & Roth, K. (2000). Why companies go green: A model of ecological responsiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 43(4), 717–736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Barney, J. B. (1999). How a firm’s capabilities affect boundary decisions. Sloan Management Review, 40(3), 137–145.Google Scholar
  12. Barney, J., Wright, M., & Ketchen, D. (2001). The resource-based view of the firm: Ten years after 1991. Journal of Management, 27(6), 625–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Behnam, M., & MacLean, T. L. (2011). Where is the accountability in International Accountability Standards? A decoupling perspective. Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(1), 45–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bennie, L., Bernhagen, P., & Mitchell, N. J. (2007). The logic of transnational action: The good corporation and the Global Compact. Political Studies, 55(4), 733–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bernstein, S., & Cashore, B. (2007). Can non-state global governance be legitimate? An analytical framework. Regulation and Governance, 1(4), 347–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brammer, S. J., & Pavelin, S. (2006). Corporate reputation and social performance: The importance of fit. Journal of Management Studies, 43(3), 435–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brammer, S. J., Pavelin, S., & Porter, L. A. (2006). Corporate social performance and geographical diversification. Journal of Business Research, 59(9), 1025–1034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Branco, M. C., & Rodrigues, L. L. (2006). Corporate social responsibility and resource-based perspectives. Journal of Business Ethics, 69(2), 111–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Carmeli, A., & Tishler, A. (2004). The relationships between intangible organizational elements and organizational performance. Strategic Management Journal, 25(13), 1257–1278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cetindamar, D., & Husoy, K. (2007). Corporate social responsibility practices and environmentally responsible behavior: The case of the United Nations Global Compact. Journal of Business Ethics, 76(2), 163–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chan, R. K. (2005). Does the natural-resource-based view of the firm apply in an emerging economy? A survey of foreign invested enterprises in China. Journal of Management Studies, 42(3), 625–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Christmann, P. (2000). Effects of best practices of environmental management on cost advantage: The role of complementary assets. Academy of Management Journal, 43(4), 663–680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Déniz-Déniz, M. C., & García-Falcón, J. M. (2002). Determinants of the multinational’s social response.Empirical application to international companies operating in Spain. Journal of Business Ethics, 38(4), 339–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Deva, S. (2006). Global Compact: A critique of the UN’s “public-private” partnership for promoting corporate citizenship. Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce, 34(1), 107–151.Google Scholar
  25. Dierickx, I., & Cool, K. (1989). Asset stock accumulation and sustainability of competitive advantage. Management Science, 35(12), 1504–1511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dillman, D. A. (1978). Mail and telephone surveys: The total design method. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  27. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(82), 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gilbert, D. U., & Rasche, A. (2007). Discourse ethics and social accountability: The ethics of SA8000. Business Ethics Quarterly, 17(2), 187–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gilbert, D. U., & Rasche, A. (2008). Opportunities and problems of standardized ethics initiatives: A stakeholder theory perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(3), 755–773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gilbert, D. U., Rasche, A., & Waddock, S. (2011). Accountability in a global economy: The emergence of International Accountability Standards. Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(1), 23–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gjǿlberg, M. (2009). The origin of Corporate Social Responsibility: Global forces or national legacies? Socio-Economic Review, 7(4), 605–637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gjǿlberg, M., & Ruud, A. (2005). The UN Global Compact—A contribution to sustainable development? Working Paper no. 1/05, Centre for Development and the Environment (University of Oslo), Oslo, Norway.Google Scholar
  33. Grant, R. M. (1991). The resource-based theory of competitive advantage: Implications for strategy formulation. California Management Review, 33(3), 114–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hart, S. (1995). A natural resource-based view of strategy. Academy of Management Review, 20(4), 986–1014.Google Scholar
  35. Hillman, A. J., & Keim, G. D. (2001). Shareholder value, stakeholder management, and social issues: What’s the bottom line? Strategic Management Journal, 22(2), 125–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hitt, M. A., Bierman, L., Shimizu, K., & Kochhar, R. (2001). Direct and moderating effects of human capital on strategy and performance in professional service firms: A resource-based perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 44(1), 13–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jamali, D. (2010). MNCs and International Accountability Standards through an institutional lens: Evidence of symbolic conformity or decoupling. Journal of Business Ethics, 95(4), 617–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Knudsen, J. S. (2011a). Company delistings from the UN Global Compact: Limited business demand or domestic governance failure? Journal of Business Ethics, 103(3), 331–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Knudsen, J. S. (2011b). Which companies benefit most from UN Global Compact membership? The European Business Review. Accessed January 9, 2013, from http://www.europeanbusinessreview.com.
  40. Lindell, M. K., & Whitney, D. J. (2001). Accounting for common method variance in cross-sectional research designs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), 114–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. MacGregor, S. P., & Fontrodona, J. (2008). Exploring the fit between CSR and innovation. Working Paper WP-759, IESE Business School (University of Navarra), Barcelona, Spain.Google Scholar
  42. Marcus, A., & Geffen, D. (1998). The dialectics of competency acquisition: Pollution prevention in electric generation. Strategic Management Journal, 19(12), 1145–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mathews, J. A. (2002). A resource-based view of Schumpeterian economic dynamics. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 12(1–2), 29–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Peng, M. W. (2001). The resource-based view and international business. Journal of Management, 27(6), 803–829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Perez-Batres, L. A., Miller, V. V., & Pisani, M. J. (2011). Institutionalizing sustainability: An empirical study of corporate registration and commitment to the United Nations Global Compact guidelines. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19(8), 843–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J.-Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rasche, A. (2009a). ‘A necessary supplement’: What the United Nations Global Compact is and is not. Business and Society, 48(4), 511–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rasche, A. (2009b). Toward a model to compare and analyze accountability standards: The case of the UN Global Compact. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 16(4), 192–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ray, G., Barney, J. B., & Muhanna, W. A. (2004). Capabilities, business processes, and competitive advantage: Choosing the dependent variable in empirical tests of the resource-based view. Strategic Management Journal, 25(1), 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Runhaar, H., & Lafferty, H. (2009). Governing corporate social responsibility: An assessment of the contribution of the UN Global Compact to CSR strategies in the telecommunications industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(4), 479–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Russo, M. V., & Fouts, P. A. (1997). A resource-based perspective on corporate environmental performance and profitability. Academy of Management Journal, 40(3), 534–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sharfman, M., Shaft, T., & Tihanyi, L. (2004). A model of the global and institutional antecedents of high-level corporate environmental performance. Business and Society, 43(1), 6–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sharma, S., & Vredenburg, H. (1998). Proactive corporate environmental strategy and the development of competitively valuable organizational capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 19(8), 729–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Spicer, D. P., & Sadler-Smith, E. (2006). Organizational learning in smaller manufacturing firms. International Small Business Journal, 24(2), 133–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Strike, V. M., Gao, J., & Bansal, P. (2006). Being good while being bad: Social responsibility and international diversification of US firms. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(6), 850–862.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Surroca, J., Tribó, J., & Waddock, S. (2010). Corporate responsibility and financial performance: The role of intangible resources. Strategic Management Journal, 31(5), 463–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Teece, D. (1986). Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing, and public policy. Research Policy, 15(6), 285–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. United Nations. (1999). Secretary-general address to the world economic forum in Davos, SG/SM/6881, Press release, February 1.Google Scholar
  59. United Nations Global Compact. (2011). United Nations Global Compact Annual Review 2010. New York: United Nations Global Compact Office.Google Scholar
  60. Vormedal, I. (2005). Governance through learning: The UN Global Compact and corporate responsibility. Report no. 7/05, Centre for Development and the Environment (University of Oslo), Oslo, Norway.Google Scholar
  61. Waddock, S. (2008). Building a new institutional infrastructure for corporate responsibility. Academy of Management Perspectives, 22(3), 87–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 5(2), 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ziegler, O. (2007). Global Compact membership in Europe and the US: A case study of the automobile industry. The Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 26, 53–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Ayuso
    • 1
  • Mercè Roca
    • 1
  • Jorge A. Arevalo
    • 2
  • Deepa Aravind
    • 3
  1. 1.Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional (ESCI) (School of International Business)Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Pompeu Fabra University)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Marketing and Management SciencesWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA
  3. 3.Department of BusinessCity University of New York - College of Staten IslandStaten IslandUSA

Personalised recommendations