New Study: How Shared Value Creation Can Resolve Competing Stakeholder Demands Regarding CSR Issues
TORONTO – Thursday, October 13, 2022 – New research from York University’s Schulich School of Business shows that when developing CSR strategies, companies can best resolve the tension created by competing stakeholder perspectives through a process known as “shared value creation”.
The findings are contained in the paper, “Shared Value Creation in Equivocal CSR Environments: A Configuration Approach”, which was published in the Journal of Business Ethics. The paper was co-authored by Irene Henriques, Professor of Sustainability and Economics at York University’s Schulich School of Business, and Olivia Aronson, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Robins School of Business, University of Richmond.
The study looked at how organizations can optimize their shared value creation –financial value and social value – and properly align the occasionally conflicting demands of various stakeholders. The study begins with the stories of two multinational companies operating in emerging economies who encountered a diversity of perspectives regarding what their approach should be to resolving complex problems (obesity and human rights). In other words, how can organizations best configure themselves to resolve environmental equivocality?
The paper puts forward a theory on how an organization encountering a multitude of opposing perspectives regarding its CSR strategy can properly align those perspectives through the use of a corporate entrepreneurship strategy, which promotes experimentation, and a stakeholder engagement process, which facilitates information gathering and dissemination while helping to generate a consensus.
The paper also presents a typology of organizational shared value creation with four “ideal types” of organizations – Container, Explorer, Embracer, and Manager – and an organization’s choice among the various types as well as movement between the types, depending on changes in circumstances and needs.
“Companies frequently encounter a diversity of perspectives regarding what their approach to resolving social problems should be,” says Henriques. “When it comes to CSR, these organizations and their stakeholders are continuously looking for a way forward. This paper presents a road map of sorts for organizations seeking to address social issues that involves not only engaging stakeholders but also engaging in entrepreneurial experimentation.”
Irene Henriques is available for interviews about the findings.