39 research outputs found

    Without a definition of corporate sustainability, how to measure performance?

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    The broad scope of the issue makes it hard to determine what to measure, argues Cory Searc

    Covid-19 can speed up the use of technology in supply-chain sustainability audits

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    Remote auditing technology includes sensors, chemical fingerprinting, blockchain, and machine learning, write Cory Searcy and Pavel Castk

    Zeitgeist or chameleon? A quantitative analysis of CSR definitions.

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    Despite its increasing relevance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) remains hobbled by problems, variously charged as being chameleon, vacuous or an utterly meaningless concept. One reason is the absence of an agreed upon normative basis underpinning CSR. This is in large part due to the concept lacking a universally accepted definition. This paper explores how the concept of CSR has evolved over time drawing from 110 definitions of the construct. Using co-word analysis of definitions from 1953 to 2014, the study maps how the structure of the definitions has evolved during the field's historical development. The research uncovers the key terms underpinning the phenomenon, the centrality of these terms as well as mapping their interrelationships and evolution. The findings suggest that, despite the profusion and definitional heterogeneity over the six decades of the development of the field, there are six recurrent, enduring dimensions that underpin the CSR concept. These dimensions are economic, social, ethical, stakeholders, sustainability and voluntary. This paper makes several contributions to the academic literature. The systematic, quantitative analysis of definitions brings an objectivity that previous qualitative bibliometric analyses of CSR have lacked. The time period selected is substantially longer than previous analyses and captures the complete historical evolution of the concept. Moreover, the analysis provides the basis for the development of a new, comprehensive, yet concise, definition of CSR that captures all six of the recurring dimensions underpinning the concept

    The new rules for measuring supply chain sustainability

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    Reliable metrics on the status of a supply chain are needed to guide action in this time of rapid change, write Cory Searcy and Payman Ah

    Without uniform indicators, firms are unable to deal with work health issues

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    Repetitive strain, stress and burnout go largely unreported, write Cory Searcy, Shane Dixon and Patrick Neuman

    An integrated management systems approach to corporate sustainability

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    Purpose &ndash; This paper seeks to describe an integrated management systems (IMS) approach for the integration of corporate sustainability into business processes.Design/methodology/approach &ndash; An extensive review of published literature was conducted. Building on existing research, the paper presents an original framework for structuring the integration of corporate sustainability with existing business infrastructure. The framework is supported by a detailed set of diagnostic questions to help guide the process. Both the framework and the diagnostic questions are based on the &ldquo;Plan-Do-Check-Act&rdquo; cycle of continuous improvement.Findings &ndash; The paper highlights the need for a systematic means to integrate sustainability into business processes. Building on that point, the paper illustrates how an IMS approach can be used to structure the entire process of managing, measuring, and assessing progress towards corporate sustainability.Practical implications &ndash; The paper should be of interest to both practitioners and researchers. The framework and diagnostic questions will help guide decision makers through the process of building sustainability into their core business infrastructure. Since the framework and diagnostic questions provide the flexibility to accommodate specific organizational contexts, it is anticipated that they will have wide applicability.Originality/value &ndash; The paper makes several contributions. The framework provides a systematic approach to corporate sustainability that has not been elaborated on in previous publications. The unique set of diagnostic questions provides a means to evaluate the extent to which corporate sustainability has been integrated into an organization.<br /

    Multi-stakeholder initiatives in sustainable supply chains: Putting sustainability performance in context

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    The purpose of this article is to explore the role of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) in sustainable supply chains. I argue that MSIs are needed to help establish and institutionalize the natural and social thresholds in which a sustainable supply chain must operate. While a multitude of MSIs relevant to supply chains already exist, they do not yet adequately address sustainability thresholds. Building on theory and literature, I elaborate on four interrelated roles for MSIs in this area: (1) providing learning platforms, (2) developing standards, (3) developing enforcement mechanisms, and (4) issuing labels and certifications. All four roles emphasize the need for supply chains to operate within the thresholds set by nature and society. Staying within thresholds is what distinguishes between sustainable and unsustainable supply chains. The four roles form part of a broader conceptual framework outlining a way forward for MSIs in sustainable supply chains. Different MSIs could address one or more of these roles. I argue that all MSIs must be developed with special attention to their input and output legitimacy. Stakeholders from both within and beyond the supply chain must be involved in developing and implementing a MSI for it to be viewed as legitimate. I note that the conceptual framework presented here is a starting point. It would benefit from further testing and refinement. For example, future work could add further specificity to the four roles I discuss. Future research could also focus on integrating economic thresholds for sustainable supply chains into the framework