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Sustainable Corporate Governance and Firm Performance

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 3015

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Communication Sciences, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Interests: corporate governance; sustainability performance; firm performance; university technology transfer; hybrid organizations

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Communication Sciences, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Interests: corporate governance; sustainability reporting; sustainability performance; hybrid organizations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past decades, the increasingly multifaceted sustainability challenges have encouraged companies to reconsider their way of doing business and their relations with the environment, underlining their function and responsibilities in addressing such challenges (Ogrean and Herciu, 2020; Tsalis et al., 2020; Costa et al., 2022). This discussion advances the central question of how effectively governed companies are and how different internal and external corporate governance (CG) mechanisms determine the social and environmental conduct of companies (Hussain et al., 2018; Crifo et al., 2019). Nowadays, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is climbing the ranking of CG’s main concerns, becoming critical (Lagasio and Cucari, 2019; Salvioni et al., 2018).

Despite progress towards understanding the effect of CG’s characteristics on corporate sustainability dynamics and firm performance, several areas of study are emerging that require a more systematic investigation of this relationship (Shaikh, 2022; Aguilera et al., 2021).

Indeed, the growing diffusion of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) pillars and the interest of companies to adopt them provides new challenges/reflections for CG practices (Carnini et al., 2022; Veenstra and Ellemers, 2020). This shift leads companies to reevaluate their priorities, long-term objectives and governance efforts, and their adopted related models, particularly with regard to the measurement and assessment of corporate social and environmental performance (Hsu and Chen, 2023; Latif and Sajjad, 2018), as well as the connection between the other key companies’ results, such as financial and innovative performance (Zhang et al., 2020; Di Vaio et al., 2022).

With these new global trends, demand for a better CG, in accordance with the ESG framework, and assuring engagements and stakeholder legitimacy is rising, creating an unavoidable connection with processes of the measurement, assessment, reporting, and disclosing of firm performance.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

-ESG framework, CG structure/practices, and relationship with firm performance;

-ESG reporting/disclosing and CG mechanisms: measuring quantity and quality of firm performance;

-CG mechanisms and relationship with social and environmental reporting in private and public sectors;

-CG and social and environmental reporting in knowledge-intensive firms;

-Measuring and disclosing social and environmental performance: trends and perspectives in different CG models/structures;

-CG and institutional/contextual determinants of the accountability quality of social and environmental reporting processes and documents;

-Link between CG and social/financial accountability;

-Diversity in CG and relationships with firm performance;

-Corporate social and environmental performance and financial performance: moderating and mediating the effects of CG.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

References

  1. Ogrean, C.; Herciu, M. Business Models Addressing Sustainability Challenges—Towards a New Research Agenda. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3534.
  2. Tsalis, T.A.; Malamateniou, K.E.; Koulouriotis, D.; Nikolaou, I.E. New challenges for corporate sustainability reporting: United Nations' 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the sustainable development goals. Corp. Soc. Responsib. Environ. Manag. 2020, 27, 1617–1629.
  3. Costa, A.J.; Curi, D.; Bandeira, A.M.; Ferreira, A.; Tomé, B.; Joaquim, C.; Santos, C.; Góis, C.; Meira, D.; Azevedo, G.; et al. Literature Review and Theoretical Framework of the Evolution and Interconnectedness of Corporate Sustainability Constructs. Sustainability 2022, 14, 4413.
  4. Hussain, N.; Rigoni, U.; Cavezzali, E. Does it pay to be sustainable? Looking inside the black box of the relationship between sustainability performance and financial performance. Corp. Soc. Responsib. Environ. Manag. 2018, 25, 1198–1211.
  5. Crifo, P.; Escrig-Olmedo, E.; Mottis, N. Corporate governance as a key driver of corporate sustainability in France: The role of board members and investor relations. J. Bus. Ethics 2019, 159, 1127–1146.
  6. Lagasio, V.; Cucari, N. Corporate governance and environmental social governance disclosure: A meta‐analytical review. Corp. Soc. Responsib. Environ. Manag. 2019, 26, 701–711.
  7. Salvioni, D.M.; Franzoni, S.; Gennari, F.; Cassano, R. Convergence in corporate governance systems and sustainability culture. Int. J. Bus. Perform. Manag. 2018, 19, 7–15.
  8. Shaikh, I. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practice and firm performance: an international evidence. J. Bus. Econ. Manag. 2022, 23, 218–237.
  9. Aguilera, R.V.; Aragón-Correa, J.A.; Marano, V.; Tashman, P.A. The corporate governance of environmental sustainability: A review and proposal for more integrated research. J. Manag. 2021, 47, 1468–1497.
  10. Carnini Pulino, S.; Ciaburri, M.; Magnanelli, B.S.; Nasta, L. Does ESG disclosure influence firm performance? Sustainability 2022, 14, 7595.
  11. Veenstra, E.M.; Ellemers, N. ESG indicators as organizational performance goals: Do rating agencies encourage a holistic approach? Sustainability 2020, 12, 10228.
  12. Hsu, B.X.; Chen, Y.M. The relationship between corporate social responsibility, external orientation, and environmental performance. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Chang. 2023, 188, 122278.
  13. Latif, K.F.; Sajjad, A. Measuring corporate social responsibility: A critical review of survey instruments. Corp. Soc. Responsib. Environ. Manag. 2018, 25, 1174–1197.
  14. Zhang, Y.; Sun, J.; Yang, Z.; Wang, Y. Critical success factors of green innovation: Technology, organization and environment readiness. J. Clean. Prod. 2020, 264, 121701.
  15. Di Vaio, A.; Varriale, L.; Di Gregorio, A.; Adomako, S. Corporate social performance and non‐financial reporting in the cruise industry: Paving the way towards UN Agenda 2030. Corp. Soc. Responsib. Environ. Manag. 2020, 29, 1931–1953.

Dr. Antonio Prencipe
Dr. Danilo Boffa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • corporate governance
  • firm performance
  • ESG
  • corporate social and environmental performance
  • social and environmental reporting

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 306 KiB  
Article
Interaction of Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting at the Crossroads of Green Innovation Performance and Firm Performance: The Moderating Role of the Enterprise Life Stage
by Fawad Rauf, Wanqiu Wang and Cosmina L. Voinea
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 1821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16051821 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 564
Abstract
This research delves into the intricate interplay between green innovation performance (GIP), firm performance (FP), and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, leveraging enterprise life stage performance as a pivotal moderator. Analyzing a robust sample of 5450 firm-year observations spanning from 2015 to 2021, [...] Read more.
This research delves into the intricate interplay between green innovation performance (GIP), firm performance (FP), and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, leveraging enterprise life stage performance as a pivotal moderator. Analyzing a robust sample of 5450 firm-year observations spanning from 2015 to 2021, this study employs OLS regressions with panel data sourced from the CSMAR and HEXUN databases to validate prevailing research hypotheses. The findings underscore the pivotal role of CSR reporting in augmenting corporate value while concurrently mitigating inadequacies within the system. Moreover, this study uncovers a nuanced relationship between CSR reporting, GIP, and FP in the context of China, revealing a significant moderation effect attributed to the enterprise life cycle. These revelations carry profound implications for CSR reporting stakeholders, including academics, practitioners, and regulators. Notably, they provide valuable insights to authorities and boards of directors concerning the growth potential of enterprises and states. A distinctive facet of this study lies in its exploration of the moderating influence of an enterprise’s life stage on the relationship between CSR reporting and GIP or FP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Corporate Governance and Firm Performance)
20 pages, 496 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Owner-Managers’ Personality Traits on Organisational Ambidexterity in the Context of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
by José Andrade, Luis Mendes and Mário Franco
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020507 - 06 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
This empirical study aimed to analyse the influence of the personality traits of owner-managers in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on organisational ambidexterity (OA). Based on the existing literature, five hypotheses were formulated about the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and [...] Read more.
This empirical study aimed to analyse the influence of the personality traits of owner-managers in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on organisational ambidexterity (OA). Based on the existing literature, five hypotheses were formulated about the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and organisational ambidexterity. A second-order structural equation model was used with a sample of 224 Portuguese SMEs in the sector of information technology (IT), telecommunications, and audio-visual and IT consultancy. The results obtained suggest that the personality traits of extraversion, neuroticism (versus emotional stability) and conscientiousness have a significant influence on organisational ambidexterity. These results are consistent with the research and demonstrate that owner-managers’ personality traits influence organisational ambidexterity in SMEs. Theoretical and practical implications are explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Corporate Governance and Firm Performance)
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27 pages, 1840 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Government Participation in Ecological Championship on Heavily-Polluting Corporate Earnings Management: Evidence from China’s National Civilized City Award
by Jun Du, Xinhui Dai and Bo Yan
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216113 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
This study investigates the response of heavy-polluting firms to the political costs associated with local government participation in the ecological championship, with a specific focus on China’s National Civilized City Award. Employing the fourth national civilized city selection as a quasi-natural experiment, the [...] Read more.
This study investigates the response of heavy-polluting firms to the political costs associated with local government participation in the ecological championship, with a specific focus on China’s National Civilized City Award. Employing the fourth national civilized city selection as a quasi-natural experiment, the results reveal that heavy-polluting firms in cities with the prestigious National Civilized City Award title engage in income-decreasing earnings management to respond to rising political costs resulting from the National Civilized City Award campaign. Our findings are robust across various sensitivity analyses. Furthermore, we identify that the impact of the National Civilized City Award campaign on corporate earnings management is particularly pronounced among sub-samples characterized by non-state ownership, high visibility, and strong incentives for promoting local officials. Our study further elucidates that the increased political costs faced by heavy-polluting firms can be attributed to the local government’s efforts to subject them to more stringent environmental enforcement to pursuing the honor of National Civilized City Award. This study contributes to the existing literature on the political cost hypothesis and provides a new perspective for understanding the impact of environmental regulation on corporate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Corporate Governance and Firm Performance)
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