Ethik und Nachhaltigkeit

Chances and challenges for the members of the Fairtrade-supply chain: a case study of Chile and Switzerland

Regina Maria Martha Förg, Universität Passau (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(4), 2023, 993-1009

Conventional international trade has become discredited because of emerging conflicts on fairness on producers’ economic, social & ecological situation. Aiming to provide alternatives, the Fairtrade-certification was amongst the first that incorporated solidarity within the worldwide economy. Within a few decades the certification managed to exceed its pure labelling activities and implemented a whole supply chain, representative for debates about due diligence in international supply chains. While such a partnership is vital for more fairness in supply chains, it poses challenges to its agents. This paper, based on a case study of Swiss and Chilean companies, aims to explore the complexity for members in such a Fairtrade-supply chain. To this effect, it sheds light on the social and economic chances and challenges both for producers and merchandisers participating in the Fairtrade-system. The study gives evidence that this supply chain is a cooperation on eye-level which can provide an alternative to conventional free trade. Further, it shows that motivation and cultural background play a decisive role in the chances and challenges of Fairtrade-members. Ultimately, it proves that Fairtrade can be a partner for rising legal requirements in the course of due diligence laws.

Keywords: CSR; Case study; Fairtrade; Supply chain; Due diligence.

Ethical Problems in Family Firms

Elena Kowalik, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 8(2), 2023, 431-452

Various articles suggest that particular ethical problems occur in family firms, but until now, no attempt has been made to collect and structure available information on them. Based on the systematic review of 110 articles from peer-reviewed academic journals, we show that family firms face a set of unique ethical dilemmas and define those. They can either be family-based or business-based and we uncover the antecedents and outcomes of the processes that family firms employ to solve them. When family firms manage to deal with ethical problems appropriately, they will be rewarded for that in various ways, including improved financial performance and the preservation of potentially all SEW dimensions.

Keywords: Family firms; Business ethics; Socioemotional wealth.

Die normalisierende Macht der Digitalisierung in der Arbeitswelt – Eine Analyse nach Michel Foucaults Machttheorie

Sebestyén András Huszár, Freie Universität Berlin (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(4), 2022, 932-944

Digitalisierung – eine Kraft, die die ganze Welt und im Besonderen die Arbeitswelt umformt. Digitalisierung bringt neue Regeln, kreiert neue Bedingungen und schafft neue Standards. Sie hat eine starke normalisierende Wirkung. Normalisierung ist eine vorherrschende Form von Macht, wie Michel Foucault es in seiner Arbeit Überwachen und Strafen beschreibt. Foucaults Machttheorie bietet eine Perspektive, die besonders geeignet ist, die Prozesse von Digitalisierung zu verstehen. Ziel dieser Arbeit ist, die bedeutsamsten Auswirkungen der normalisierenden Macht der Digitalisierung in der Arbeitswelt zu thematisieren. Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen, wird eine tiefgreifende qualitative Inhaltsanalyse durchgeführt, indem Artikel von den Zeitschriften Die Zeit und Der Spiegel mit Hilfe der Methode Konzeptcodierung analysiert werden. Das Ergebnis der Arbeit ist ein umfassendes Kategoriensystem, welches das komplexe Phänomen beschreibt, inwiefern Digitalisierung die Arbeitswelt normalisiert. Digitalisierung wandelt die lokale Reichweite der Arbeitswelt ins Globale um (Globaler Charakter), flexibilisiert die Arbeitsbedingungen (Flexibilität) und leitet ein neues Niveau von Vernetzung und Überwachung ein (Transparenz und Kontrolle). Die Arbeit beschreibt die Hauptkomponenten dieser drei Kategorien im Detail. Die Ergebnisse der Arbeit zeigen, dass Digitalisierung die Arbeitswelt durch Normalisierung fundamental verändert und Arbeitnehmer neuartigen Herausforderungen und Angeboten begegnen.

Keywords: Digitalisierung; Foucault; normalisierende Macht; Arbeitnehmer.

Corporate Social Responsibility und die Effekte nachhaltiger Unternehmenspraktiken und unterschiedlicher Greenwashing-Methoden auf die Unternehmensreputation

Simon Mütze, Leibniz Universität Hannover (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 826-873

Mit dem zunehmenden Bewusstsein für nachhaltigen Konsum gewinnt Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) immer mehr an Bedeutung. Bei der Kommunikation ebendieser unternehmerischen Nachhaltigkeit (Green Marketing) haben falsche oder vage Behauptungen, das sogenannte Greenwashing, jedoch mittlerweile epidemische Ausmaße angenommen. Aus diesem Grund haben viele Verbraucher eine grundsätzliche Skepsis gegenüber dieser Art von Kommunikation aufgebaut. Ziel dieser Studie ist es, Marketern dabei zu helfen, effektive und aufrichtige Unternehmenspraktiken zu etablieren und zu kommunizieren, um den Herausforderungen des Greenwashings zu begegnen. In dieser Studie wird daher mittels eines Feldexperiments untersucht, wie häufig Greenwashing überhaupt von Verbrauchern erkannt wird, was Unternehmen für eine erfolgreiche CSR beachten müssen und insbesondere, welche Auswirkungen unterschiedliche CSR-Initiativen, Greenwashing-Methoden und Greenwashing-Skandale auf die Unternehmensreputation haben.

Keywords: CSR; Greenwashing; Unternehmensreputation; Unternehmerische Nachhaltigkeit; Umweltsiegel.

Opportunities and Challenges in Commissioning Materiality-Driven Sustainability Reporting Towards the SDGs: The Case of Cadeler A/S

Darian Nestor Weicht, University of Southern Denmark (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, University of Southern Denmark

Frequently and recently tightening and expanding sustainability reporting policies and requirements can pose significant administrative burdens on SMEs upholding a strong culture of accountability to their stakeholder network. This seminal case study examines how a Danish offshore wind farm commissioner can efficiently (1) navigate towards credibility in and (2) derive actionable insights from their sustainability (reporting) integration trajectory by capitalizing on the increasingly emphasized materiality principle. Group-based Fuzzy AHP and Textual Analysis aim to excavate and assess senior managers’ and external stakeholders’ preferences based on the GRI Standards and the UN’s SDG targets. Internal priorities emphasize safety, compliance, and profitability, whereas external stakeholders’ and their groups’ priorities exhibit mixed findings on their type and extent of alignment with the former. Content elements assigned higher relative importance tend to be more robust to changes in decision-makers’ uncertainty and verbal bias. The author confirms that a simplicity-informativeness trade-off tends to be driven by stakeholder grouping and that a data-driven, subject-based, and objectifying approach should be complemented with context, managerial judgment, and process iteration.

Keywords: Sustainability; materiality; prioritization; credibility; actionability.

Auswirkung der europäischen CSR-Richtlinie (2014/95/EU) auf die Glaubwürdigkeit der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung – Eine empirische Untersuchung deutscher börsennotierter Unternehmen

Tim Scheufen, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 604-642

Die Europäische Union hat die CSR-Richtlinie 2014/95/EU auf den Weg gebracht, um die Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung zu verbessern und damit das Vertrauen der Stakeholder zu stärken. Die bestehende Literatur weist darauf hin, dass zahlreiche Stakeholder der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung von Unternehmen mit Misstrauen gegenüberstehen. Die fehlende Glaubwürdigkeit führt dazu, dass das Unternehmen seine Legitimität bzw. Akzeptanz in der Gesellschaft verliert. Aus diesem Grund untersucht die Masterarbeit, ob die implementierte CSR-Richtlinie die Glaubwürdigkeit in der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung erhöht hat. Diese Fragestellung wird anhand einer deutschen Stichprobe untersucht (MDAX). Hierfür wird die Glaubwürdigkeit der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung vor und nach der Einführung der CSR-Richtlinie quantifiziert. Die Messung der Glaubwürdigkeit erfolgt mit Hilfe eines Glaubwürdigkeitsindex, welcher aus den folgenden drei Dimensionen besteht: (1) Wahrheit, (2) Wahrhaftigkeit sowie (3) Angemessenheit & Verständlichkeit. Die Ergebnisse zeigen einen statistisch signifikanten Anstieg der Dimensionen Wahrheit und Wahrhaftigkeit nach der Einführung der CSR-Richtlinie, was für die Wirksamkeit der durchgeführten CSR-Richtlinie hinsichtlich der Glaubwürdigkeit spricht.

Keywords: CSR-Richtlinie 2014/95/EU; Glaubwürdigkeit; Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung; MDAX.

Nudging als Instrument zur Förderung nachhaltigen Konsums – eine konzeptionelle Analyse unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der empirischen Literatur

Therese Stopper, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(1), 2022, 201-217

Das Prinzip der nachhaltigen Entwicklung beinhaltet, Ressourcen so zu nutzen, dass sowohl die derzeitigen Bedürfnisse, als auch die Bedürfnisse zukünftiger Generationen gedeckt werden können. Dies erfordert laut den Sustainable Development Goals der Vereinten Nationen unter anderem nachhaltigen Konsum. In dieser Arbeit wird erläutert, inwieweit Nudging dabei helfen kann, Menschen zu nachhaltigen Konsumentscheidungen zu bewegen. Anhand ihrer hohen Emissionen im privaten Konsum werden die Bereiche Ernährung, Wohnen und Mobilität als wichtige Aspekte des nachhaltigen Konsums herausgearbeitet. Der Großteil der Arbeit besteht in der Auswertung empirischer Literatur. Dabei werden Studien betrachtet, die sich auf die herausgearbeiteten Bereiche des nachhaltigen Konsums beziehen sowie vier ausgewählte Nudges behandeln. Die Ergebnisse dieser Arbeit zeigen, dass die ausgewählten Nudges nachhaltige Konsumentscheidungen fördern können. Dabei sind gewisse Aspekte wie Formulierung oder Bezug des Nudges für den Erfolg maßgeblich.

Keywords: Nudging; Nachhaltigkeit; Nachhaltiger Konsum.

Talking is Silver, Doing is Gold? – The Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility on Corporate Financial Performance

Victoria Roth, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 6(3), 2021, 637-672

Sustainability has become an omnipresent topic in the media and public as well as private debate. Stakeholders see the responsibility to promote sustainability with companies, pressuring them to increase their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The relationship between CSR, being a means to satisfy a firm’s stakeholders, and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP) is extensively debated in academics. This thesis contributes to this debate and tries to overcome measuring inaccuracies of previous studies by strictly categorizing CSR activities into CSR communication and CSR commitment. A total of 656 annual and CSR reports were examined, and variables representing these CSR activities were carefully and elaborately created, resulting in, among other things, a CSR communication breadth index, as well as an accurate assessment of communication quantity. A panel data analysis on European firms across industries over the observation period of eight years was conducted. The results reveal that only CSR communication has an influence on CFP. While standalone CSR reports and communication breadth have a positive influence, high levels of communication quantity have a negative effect.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; corporate financial performance; CSR commitment; CSR communication; stakeholder theory.

Sustainable Food Consumption of German Millennials: Exploring the “Attitude Behavior Gap”

Max Lindner, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 6(3), 2021, 424-467

This thesis picked up on the recent trend of sustainability and sustainable development by investigating the sustainable food consumption of German Millennials regarding an assumed gap between their attitude and their actual consumer behavior. Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior, a multi-step, qualitative research process was developed in order to find explanations for the attitude behavior gap. The process triangulated data from questioning ten German Millennial consumers via qualitative interviews, observing these consumers during a regular grocery shopping trip and analyzing the products they bought. The study revealed the following barriers preventing the participants from consuming according to their attitude: price, lack of knowledge on part of the consumers, insufficient sustainable product ranges, consumers minimizing the time spent for grocery shopping, habitualized purchase decisions and in exceptional cases a desire for unsustainable products. Accordingly, recommendations were derived for sustainable food manufacturers and supermarket chains, public policy and consumers. Additionally, this thesis contributes to consumer research on the attitude behavior gap as well as on behavioral research by applying and extending the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Keywords: Sustainable consumption; attitude behavior gap; consumer behavior; food consumption Verbal Protocol Analysis; Theory of Planned Behavior.

The Attitude-Behavior Gap – Drivers and Barriers of Sustainable Consumption

Bea Alexandra Wintschnig, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 324-346

Individuals’ consumption behavior plays a key role on the path to a sustainable future. Understanding what influences the decision to act in a sustainable manner is therefore crucial. The aim of this thesis is to provide a structured overview of the current state of academic literature on the drivers and barriers of sustainable consumption and to discuss the related phenomenon of the attitude-behavior gap. The identified influencing factors can be broadly divided into two categories: individual-related determinants and environmental determinants. The former includes socio-demographics, personal characteristics and value orientation, non-cognitive factors (habits and emotions) and cognitive factors like knowledge. The environmental determinants comprise product-, service-, or behavior-related factors (such as stereotypes towards sustainable products), corporate activities (e.g., communication efforts), social influence as well as structural conditions like the available infrastructure. From the diversity of influencing factors and their interplay, it becomes clear that to promote sustainable behavior or to close the attitude-behavior gap, a holistic approach is needed that combines different instruments and is adapted to the specific type of consumer behavior.

Keywords: Sustainable consumption; attitude-behavior gap; sustainable choices; sustainable consumer behavior.

Corporate Social Responsibility: A Qualitative Analysis on the Strategy Formulation Process

Marie Wehinger, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 3(4), 2018, 65-80

The urge for firms to contribute positively towards the society and the environment is increasing significantly. Demands of employees, customers, governments, NGOs and many more are putting firms under pressure to respond accordingly. Thus, it is vital for firms nowadays to formulate effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies which provide guidelines for the firm’s commitment towards the challenges of the society and environment. Plenty of research exists on the components of CSR strategy formulation, particularly regarding stakeholders, organizational vision and the CEO’s influence. However, it is important to consider the whole process of the strategy formulation and to link the components together. By means of a qualitative analytical approach, I show that the internal input provided by the CEO and the CSR team plays an important role in deciding on certain CSR initiatives. Furthermore, the strategic fit between the potential CSR issues and the core business is a significant criterion. Through assessing the potential value creation, and thus the expected impact scope, prioritizations of CSR issues take place. The continuous monitoring and evaluation of the stakeholders’ needs form an iterative process which leads to a constantly changing CSR strategy focus of the firm. My aim in this paper is to contribute to the understanding of CSR strategy formulation through a CSR strategy formulation process model. The model provides insights into firms’ CSR strategy formulation from which I derive implications for management and further research.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Strategy Formulation, Sustainability

What makes a responsible leader? – An empirical analysis of how personality characteristics affect leadership behaviour

Mischa Haberthür, Universität Zürich (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 3(3), 2018, 1-37

This master’s thesis contributes to the ongoing discussion on responsible leadership and its antecedents by empirically analysing the relationship between various traits and responsible leadership effectiveness. In a quantitative experimental research study, the participants (62 men and 32 women) first filled out an online survey assessing their gender, age, and major field of study as well as their score in the personality dimensions honesty-humility, openness to experience, empathic concern, perspective taking, and holism. Afterwards, their second-to-fourth digit ratio was measured, and men had the option of providing a saliva sample which was used to determine their testosterone level. Finally, the participants’ performance in the leadership roles professional, facilitator, citizen, idea-provider, and total was assessed with a think-aloud protocol. By performing a multiple linear regression analysis, I found that empathic concern positively influences the roles facilitator and total, holism the role citizen, and perspective taking the role idea-provider. I also found that men and psychology students are less likely to perform well in the role idea-provider and that openness to experience negatively affects facilitator.

Keywords: Responsible leadership, Ethical leadership, Corporate social responsibility,
Stakeholder approach, Personality characteristics