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Commitment to Social Responsibility, Reporting on Social Responsibility, and Social Innovation in For-Profit Businesses

Commitment to Social Responsibility, Reporting on Social Responsibility, and Social Innovation in For-Profit Businesses


Title: Commitment to Social Responsibility, Reporting on Social Responsibility, and Social Innovation in For-Profit Businesses
Author: Sigurdsson, Dr. Kjartan   orcid.org/0000-0001-6689-8456
Advisor: Marina Candi, Ph.D.
Date: 2020-06-20
Language: English
Scope: 151
University/Institute: Háskólinn í Reykjavík
Reykjavik University
School: Samfélagssvið (HR)
School of Social Sciences (RU)
Department: Viðskiptadeild (HR)
Department of Business Administration (RU)
ISBN: 978-9935-9147-9-8
978-9935-9537-0-4 (eISBN)
Subject: Business Administration; Social responsibility of business; Small business; Viðskiptafræði; Samfélagsábyrgð; Lítil og meðalstór fyrirtæki; Doktorsritgerðir
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2036

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Abstract:

Social responsibility has gained momentum as an important topic for academics, practitioners, and policymakers, spurred notably by a growing interest in defining and crossing boundaries between for-profit business activities and stakeholder interests. The goal of this dissertation is to examine firms’ commitment to social responsibility and how such commitment is embodied in activities that can lead not only to social value, but also to differentiation, competitive advantage, and performance. This dissertation consists of three papers with a common theme of social responsibility. The first paper is explorative in nature and presents an in-depth case study of a firm taking its first steps towards social responsibility. The second and third papers are based on the theoretical framework of the three attributes of stakeholder theory: descriptive, instrumental, and normative. The second paper examines reporting on social responsibility, its nature and the motivations that drive reporting and how this relates to the three attributes of stakeholder theory. An important distinction is made between firms that have implemented a formal social responsibility strategy and those that have not. The third paper investigates the relationships among firms’ commitment to social responsibility, reporting on social responsibility, social innovation, and customer acceptance. This paper makes an important distinction between the “doing” side of social responsibility, by focusing on social innovation, and the “saying” side, by taking into account reporting on social responsibility. The findings of the research offer insight into what motivates firms to commit to social responsibility and report on their commitments. Furthermore, it highlights that to gain performance benefits, firms need to go beyond commitment and reporting and enact their social responsibility, for example, through social innovation.

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