Frameworks, Strategies and Tools
Edited by M. A. Quaddus and M. A.B. Siddique
Chapter 8: Knowledge Creation and Corporate Sustainability: Empirical Evidence from Bahrain’s Service Industry
Ralla Al Azali, M.A. Quaddus and Jun Xu INTRODUCTION Corporate sustainability (CS) has been defined in the literature in many different ways. As the quote says, ‘it means something, but not always the same thing to everybody’. Some researchers have defined CS by taking shareholder, stakeholder, and societal approaches (Marrewijk, 2003). Yet other researchers have argued that corporate sustainability is a process rather than a tangible outcome. A comprehensive framework of corporate sustainability has been provided by Wilson (2003), who suggested that corporate sustainability borrows elements from (i) sustainable development, (ii) corporate social responsibility, (iii) stakeholder theory, and (iv) corporate accountability theory (Wilson 2003). According to the author, sustainable development, which is based on the disciplines of economics, ecology and social justice, forms the boundaries of corporate sustainability describing a common societal goal. Corporate social responsibility, which deals with the role of business in society and is based on the discipline of moral philosophy, shapes the ‘ethical arguments as to why corporations should work towards sustainable goals’. Stakeholder theory, which originates from the discipline of strategic management, shapes the ‘business arguments as to why corporations should work towards sustainable goals’. Finally, corporate accountability theory deals with the ‘ethical arguments as to why companies should report on sustainability performance’. The bottom line however is that organizations of the 21st century must attain the dimensions of corporate sustainability effectively and become more competitive at the same time. Questions therefore remain: what must be done to practise corporate sustainability? What are the antecedents...
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