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A cross-country comparison and validation of firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices

Karlsson, Niklas P.e., Laurell, Hélène, Lindgren, John, Pehrsson, Tobias, Andersson, Svante, Svensson, Göran
2018

Article in journal (Refereegranskat)

Abstract:

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare and validate firms’ internal and external stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices across business settings. It aims to assess the validity and reliability of a stakeholder framework appearing in previous studies.

Design/methodology/approach: The study uses a questionnaire survey and a cross-industry sample consisting of the largest firms in corporate Sweden. Multivariate analysis tests the stakeholder framework. Each of the 294 key informants was initially identified and contacted by telephone, generating a response rate of 36.5 per cent.

Findings: The tested stakeholder framework appears valid and reliable across countries to assess the internal stakeholders of focal firms, as well as their up- and downstream, market and societal stakeholders. This study provides additional empirical support to categorize firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices.

Research limitations/implications: This study validates previous findings in terms of Swedish firms’ considerations of internal and external stakeholders in sustainable business practices in relation to one similar country (Norway) and one different country (Spain). The study also shows how the three countries perceive the focal company and societal stakeholders differently. Practical implications: The tested framework sheds light on focal firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices and elucidates the extent to which firms’ account for their internal and external stakeholders in sustainable business practices.

Originality/value: This study contributes to the development of valid and reliable stakeholder theory across contexts and through time. In particular, it contributes to the development of a valid and reliable framework to categorize firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices. © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Key words: Stakeholders; Corporate social responsibility; Supply chain management

Cite: Karlsson, Niklas P.E., Laurell, Hélène, Lindgren, John, Pehrsson, Tobias, Andersson, Svante & Svensson, Göran, A cross-country comparison and validation of firms’ stakeholder considerations in sustainable business practices, Corporate Governance : The International Journal of Effective Board Performance., 18:3, s. 408-424, 2018