Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Influence of Non-Governmental Organizations on Corporate Sustainability Practices. Towards an Institutional-Legitimacy Perspective

Version 1 : Received: 18 July 2020 / Approved: 19 July 2020 / Online: 19 July 2020 (20:46:29 CEST)

How to cite: Ceesay, L.B. Influence of Non-Governmental Organizations on Corporate Sustainability Practices. Towards an Institutional-Legitimacy Perspective. Preprints 2020, 2020070441 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0441.v1). Ceesay, L.B. Influence of Non-Governmental Organizations on Corporate Sustainability Practices. Towards an Institutional-Legitimacy Perspective. Preprints 2020, 2020070441 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0441.v1).

Abstract

There is growing adoption of corporate sustainability practice in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. This proliferation is largely due to the increasing concerns for social, environmental and economic factors in which we assume shared responsibility. Despite the growing attention of researchers and practitioners, several corporations failed to meet their sustainability responsibilities. Several reasons could be associated to this phenomenon such as lack of regulatory mechanism, accountability, etc. This review, however, seeks to examine how nongovernmental organizations (henceforth, NGOs) influence corporate sustainability adoption (i.e. sustainability reporting). In the review of prior research, we leveraged the institutional-legitimacy and corporate governance theories. The findings suggest that NGOs have greater potential in sustainability discourse through two salient actions, namely (1) collaborative partnership, and (2) confrontational tactics. While the former promotes stakeholder involvement in corporate decision making through dialogue, joint-projects on CSR, sustainability reporting, the latter, however, is the last resort – involving “naming and shaming” corporations for poor social and environmental performance through public and social media. The objective of such action is to cause reputational damage to businesses. Finally, it is also observed that crucial to NGO power and influence is the collaboration with government and civil society organizations in the fight for environmental sustainability and accountability.

Subject Areas

Sustainability reporting; NGOs; stakeholder theory; Africa; NGO participation

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