Stakeholder Considerations in Corporate Efforts of Business Sustainability: An Abstract
Zsolnai (2006) writes that the extended stakeholder view is based upon the premise that companies have a responsibility to contribute to societal well-being and to nurture the physical environment in which they operate. Boesso and Kumar (2009) comment that companies are increasing their reliance on their stakeholders, especially those that are external to the company. Companies have furthermore become adept in orchestrating relationships with stakeholders in society, markets and business networks, with the objective of generating customer value.
This study aims to develop and empirically test both the reliability and validity of a stakeholder construct (contextualised within the realm of business sustainability). Furthermore, it endeavours to determine the extent to which upstream and downstream external stakeholders in society and the company’s markets and business networks, as well as internal company stakeholders, are taken into account with respect to the business sustainability efforts of the company.
A total of 110 usable questionnaires were returned in the Norwegian study, constituting a response rate of 42.1%. A total of 89 usable questionnaires were returned in the Spanish study, constituting a response rate of 38.5%. A structural equation modelling approach was followed, so as to empirically test the research model, which consists of five stakeholder constructs in both Norway and Spain, as follows: (i) focal company (exogenous), (ii) upstream (endogenous), (iii) downstream (endogenous), (iv) market (endogenous) and (v) societal (endogenous).
The current study contributes to predicting focal company considerations of other stakeholders’ business sustainability efforts in supply chains (e.g. upstream and downstream) and beyond (e.g. market and societal). It also contributes to validating the original findings of corporate Norway in a subsequent follow-up study of corporate Spain. Furthermore, the Norwegian study contributes to building a framework of stakeholders in connection with business sustainability in supply chains.
The Spanish study contributes to building a framework across context and through time – that is, two countries and two time periods. Evidently, the current studies have limitations, by virtue of being restricted to the supply chains of Spanish and Norwegian companies. One suggestion for further research is therefore to validate and critique the tested research model and empirical findings of prediction and explanation for target stakeholder constructs in a non-European and non-Western context, such as Africa or Asia.