Strategic outcome of competitive advantage from corporate sustainability practices: Institutional theory perspective from an emerging economy

Faruk Bhuiyan, Tarek Rana , Kevin Baird, Rahat Munir

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Abstract

This study examined the use and effectiveness of corporate sustainability practices (CSP) and the subsequent effect on a strategic outcome, competitive advantage. The new institutional sociology (NIS) theoretical framework was applied, informed by three different dimensions of institutional pressures (coercive, mimetic and normative). The study used a survey method and developed a seven-dimensional model utilising the 52 principles provided by the OECD. It used a structural equation modelling in order to test the hypothesised associations between institutional pressures, CSP and competitive advantage to provide an institutional and contextualised perspectives from an emerging economy setting. The study found significant associations between the three types of institutional pressure with specific dimensions of CSP. The findings further revealed that specific CSP dimensions are diversely (positively and negatively) associated with competitive advantage. In line with the tenets of greenwashing, it highlighted the important role of institutional pressures from stakeholders (government, policy and customers) in implementing specific CSP. The findings inform managers, governments, foreign investors and other stakeholders in emerging economies about the influence of the institutional pressure in promoting the use of CSP and the effect of such practices on competitive advantage. From the context of an emerging economy, the study provides a unique empirical insight into the NIS perspective in promoting CSP and the subsequent impact on the strategic outcome, competitive advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Business Strategy and The Environment published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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