Corporate sustainability in China : a content analysis of corporate sustainability reports of SOEs and non-SOEs

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Peng, Bo
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Management
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Management
The main purpose of this thesis was to investigate how corporate sustainability (CS) initiatives undertaken by Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) change over time, and to observe the relationship between Chinese State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and non-SOEs when undertaking CS initiatives. A qualitative content analysis was conducted on 88 CS-related reports issued by 18 Chinese MNCs from 2010 to 2014. The behavioral pattern of each MNC was established based on Hart and Milstein’s (2003) sustainable value framework. The results indicated that, incorporating philanthropic initiatives in general and strategic philanthropy in particular can broaden Hart and Milstein’s framework to account for the CS performance observed among Chinese MNCs. Second, Chinese MNCs’ CS focus remains the same in this 5-year period. Third, the Chinese SOEs show higher commitment towards CS than non-SOEs. Furthermore, Chinese SOEs are more politically sensitive and align their CS initiatives to coercive pressure arising from the government than non-SOEs.
coercive pressures , corporate sustainability , government , MNCs , philanthropy , strategic philanthropy , SOEs , non-SOEs