PhD, Full Professor of Business Economics, Accounting and Corporate Valuation, University of Foggia, Department of Economics, Foggia, Italy
PhD, Lecturer of Business Administration, University of Foggia, Department of Laws, Foggia, Italy
The present article deals with a new, modern business management paradigm founded on both the social and the environmental responsibility of firms intended as powerful instruments to match the issue of sustainability with corporate performance and value creation (thus evolving from the classical shareholder value to a new, more comprehensive, shared value view). The Directive 2013/34/EU required the disclosure of large enterprises and groups’ non-financial and diversity information. At the same time, a growing number of proactive companies which behave with real initiatives more compliant to the so-called Stakeholder Theory have become quite familiar to produce CSR and sustainability reports periodically to share with the community their relevant responsibility actions and achievements (3 P results or triple-bottom-line performance, as for profit, people, planet). Such a complex, behavioral and informative approach follows the corporate governance setting and management strategy within the ethical domain (business ethics). In this perspective, we conduct a systematic research study on the economic literature that showed a focus on the possible relation between the responsible behavior/information and the economic/financial performance of firms, analyzing both the empirical findings and theoretical works significantly investigating the effect of sustainability indicators on financial and market results. According to the general studies, socially responsible policies can produce a positive impact on company performance by many advantages such as the reduction of operating costs and financial risks, an increase of efficiency and competitiveness, the improvement of the company’s reputation and a related increase in consumer confidence; despite preceding studies pointed out that CSR investments and responsibility policies (representing the result of an agency conflict between managers and shareholders) would generate just an increase in costs and a consequent decline in the performance of companies. The consideration of the ESG (environmental, social and governance) – which completes the CSR issue – and its new goals in the long run, even as a component of the holistic enterprise risk management system, finally enables us to reinterpret the fundamental competitive advantage of firms in a sustainability key. In particular, the environmental, social and governance extra-performance over the industry may show to be more ‘value-relevant’ than the absolute ESG ratings itself. In conclusion, the social, environmental and governance responsibilities (to all stakeholders) are building a set of dynamic capabilities and actions which reveal a new competitive (X) Factor of the modern corporation.
Keywords: CSR, Environmental-Social-Governance, Economic Performance, Value Creation; Stakeholder Theory, Sustainability Disclosure.
JEL Classification: M1, M14, M4, G3.
Cite as: Taliento, M., Netti, A. (2020). Corporate Social/Environmental Responsibility and Value Creation: Reflections on a Modern Business Management Paradigm. Business Ethics and Leadership, 4(4), 123-131. https://doi.org/10.21272/bel.4(4).123-131.2020
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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