This book provides an edited volume of 19 chapters focusing on socially responsible international business which are organized into six parts. Part I consists of two chapters which introduce the subject by critically reviewing the pertinent literature. Chapter 1, ‘Socially responsible international business: review, synthesis, and directions’ was written by Leonidou, Katsikeas, Samiee, and Leonidou and offers an integrative review of the extant studies on socially responsible issues published in the top six international business journals. It provides input about the key contributors and the most influential articles on the subject, as well as evaluating the theoretical underpinnings of these studies, their research methodologies, and the main thematic areas tackled. Sinkovics, Sinkovics, and Archie-Acheampong contributed Chapter 2, ‘An overview of social responsibility dimensions in international business.’ This provides an analysis of 484 studies focusing on key firm-related social responsibility issues within an international context, such as those relating to ethical practices, environmental aspects, human rights, and corruption. The results of this analysis indicate an overemphasis of the literature on positive, rather than negative, issues relating to international business social responsibility. Part II includes four chapters examining the role of the foreign external environment – particularly the institutional – on socially responsible international business. In Chapter 3, ‘Trade-offs and institutional contradictions in formulating responsible international business strategies,’ Iyer sheds light on the various trade-offs encountered by MNEs when performing their CSR strategies across countries, due to institutional differences, which may impose conflicting demands and lead to suboptimal choices. These trade-offs refer to instrumental versus non-market objectives, legal compliance versus broader norms, and voluntary versus obligatory actions relating to the firm’s socially responsible behavior. Chapter 4, ‘Institutional drivers of stakeholder engagement and legitimacy of Chinese MNEs,’ was written by Hofman, Li, Sun, and Sun. Their study focuses on Chinese MNEs when operating in Western countries and uses both stakeholder and institutional theories to examine linkages between home–host country institutional distances, stakeholder engagement, and organizational legitimacy. Shin and Oh contributed Chapter 5, ‘Cross-country comparison of corporate social performance: how do institutions matter?’, in which they examine the effect of formal and informal institutions on environmental, social, and corporate governance performance. Using empirical data from 40 different countries, these authors reveal that while a country’s formal institutions affect environmental performance, informal institutions have a significant impact on social performance. Chapter 6, ‘Re-assessing risk in international markets: a strategic, operational, and sustainability taxonomy,’ was prepared by van Tulder and Roman and enquires into the types of risks encountered by MNEs in international markets. Using a longitudinal study among firms from different countries, they reveal an increasing number of risks, particularly those relating to sustainability, which can also be regarded as opportunities or mitigation strategy.
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Critical Issues and the Way Forward
Edited by Leonidas C. Leonidou, Constantine S. Katsikeas, Saeed Samiee and Constantinos N. Leonidou
Elin M. Oftedal and Lene Foss
This chapter discusses how responsible start-ups are met in the health sector. Through following three companies, Voco, Cora and Medicus, we acquire insight into the world of challenges the entrepreneurs have when they introduce their technology/service to the healthcare sector. Using institutional theory, we look at the regulative, normative and cognitive dimension of the institutional framework. We use the term ‘institutional wall’ to denote a dense network of formal laws and regulation, informal norms and knowledge and beliefs that act as barriers for the entrepreneurs to access the market. We find that while there is a positive development in the regulative dimension: both the regulative and the normative dimension are set up to favour larger companies. The founders’ responses to the cognitive dimension indicate a lack of belief in Norwegian technology and thus tough access to finance.