مسئولیت های اجتماعی و سیاست موجودی شرکت ها
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20768||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8000 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 143, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 580–588
In this article, we study the impact of implementing corporate social responsible (CSR) practices on firms’ inventory policy. We propose that there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between firms’ CSR and their inventory levels. Two elements explain such a proposal. First, stakeholders have different interests regarding the outcome of the inventory system. Specifically, we hypothesize that customers put pressure on firms to increase inventories; employees have conflicting views regarding inventories, and for this reason they do not put pressure on firms in a particular direction; and environmental activists force firms to reduce inventories. The second element to explain the previous relationship is that there is a different level of stakeholder proactiveness contingent on the intensity in the implementation of social responsible policies. While employee demands are a priority for every firm, we posit that there is variation in the relative importance attached to customers and the natural environment: for low levels of CSR, customers are more relevant; and for higher levels of CSR, the natural environment gains importance. We test this theoretical prediction using a database that contains financial information from COMPUSTAT and CSR data from the KLD database. Our final sample includes 1881 US companies (9269 observations) for the period 1996–2006. Results provide support to our theoretical contentions. Our findings will be helpful to strategic and tactical decision-making processes on inventory management and will allow researchers to offer concrete advice on the likely outcomes of various stakeholder relationship practices in order to improve the effectiveness of inventory systems.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest among researchers and managers in the strategic and operational implications of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is conceptualized as being the broad array of discretionary actions that a company develops in its efforts to deal with and create close relationships with its numerous stakeholders, including employees, communities, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and the natural environment (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). CSR appears in situations where the company engages in practices that go beyond compliance, such as incorporating social characteristics into products and manufacturing processes, adopting progressive human resource management programs, achieving higher levels of environmental performance through recycling and pollution abatement, and supporting local businesses (McWilliams et al., 2006). In examining the role of CSR in corporations, most scholars have focused on the influence of CSR on firm strategy at all levels of the organization: corporate, business, and functional level. At corporate level, CSR has been seen to be related to strategies of internationalization (Gardberg and Fombrun, 2006) and diversification (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). Research has also shown that engaging in CSR activities is a form of strategic investment upon which firms build their business strategies, whether through product differentiation, when CSR is used to establish a strong reputation and to differentiate its products from those of its competitors, or cost leadership, since CSR activities entail lower costs because of the reduction in raw materials, waste disposal, and in the firms' compliance and liability costs (Hart, 1995). At a functional level, CSR positively influences innovation and shapes the job design, the recruitment and training of employees, the degree of hierarchy, the structure of managers’ compensation schemes, the corporate culture and the operational design (Russo and Fouts, 1997 and Russo and Harrison, 2005). Remarkably, research on the operational consequences of CSR is still embryonic. Most of the studies in this area are based on case studies that show how the adoption of CSR principles influences operational issues such as lean manufacturing practices, manufacturing quality, supply chain management, product design, and total quality management (e.g., Dechant and Altman, 1994, Handfield et al., 1997, Porter and Van Der Linde, 1995 and Shrivastava, 1995). Despite these advances, however, rigorous empirical evidence documenting the operational consequences of CSR is scarce and only focuses on the effect of environmental performance—a dimension of CSR—on measures of manufacturing performance such as productivity, costs or defects (Pil and Rothenberg, 2003). Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between these discretionary actions directed toward stakeholders and firms’ inventory investment. To articulate arguments linking CSR to inventories we rely on the literature on the strategic and operational consequences of CSR and especially on recent case-based studies that analyze the influence stakeholders can have on the design and implementation of an inventory management system (De Vries, 2005 and De Vries, 2009). According to these case-based studies, inventory systems are not always the result of a pre-determined approach, but the outcome of a political process in which different organizational members take part. These organizational members, or stakeholders, differ in their perceptions, interests and capacity to shape corporate decisions. Thus, stakeholders can use their influence to shape key dimensions of the inventory system in order to affect the features of the system that are more adequate and interesting according to their own private interests. In this line, this paper addresses the issue of the effect of CSR improvements connected to employees, customers, and the natural environment on a firm’s relative inventory level. We develop a set of theoretical contentions that we later test using a database of 1881 different US companies (9269 observations) for the period 1996–2006. It includes financial data from COMPUSTAT and data on social responsibility from the KLD database. The main finding of this study is that CSR and inventory-to-sales ratio are not linearly related. Specifically, we have found increases in firms’ inventory-to-sales ratio for low levels of social responsibility and decreases in this ratio for high levels of proactivity toward stakeholders. Two elements explain this relationship. First, stakeholders have different interests regarding the outcome of the inventory system, and each stakeholder tries to exercise its influence on a firm’s inventory policy in a different manner. In particular, customers put pressure on increasing a firm's inventory level in order to avoid stock-outs. Environmentalists, in turn, pressure firms in the opposite direction in order to avoid wasteful inventory accumulation that may potentially damage the environment. Second, the relative influence of each stakeholder varies with the intensity in the implementation of a CSR policy. Employee demands are a priority for every firm. However, there is variation in the relative importance of customers and the natural environment: firms in the initial stages of the implementation of CSR policies prioritize customers over the environment, while the environment is prioritized in firms whose CSR policy is fully developed. Altogether, both elements are shown to justify an inverted U-shaped relationship between CSR and firm inventory level. Such finding will be helpful to decision-making processes on inventory management and will allow researchers to offer concrete advice on the likely operational outcomes of integrating different stakeholder in a firm’s decision process. Additionally, a clear understanding of the relationship between CSR and inventories may also be beneficial for improving the effectiveness of inventory systems in a setting where firms are more open to satisfy the demands of different interest groups. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 develops the theoretical underpinnings and presents the hypotheses to be tested. In Section 3, we carry out the empirical analysis. The paper concludes with some final remarks.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our objective was to examine the effect of a firm CSR on its inventory policy. To achieve this goal, we relied on the literature on the influence of stakeholders on corporate decisions and extended it to inventory decisions. Using a sample of 1881 US firms (representing 9269 observations) for the period 1996–2006, our analysis provided support for the hypotheses developed. In particular, we found an inverted U-shaped relationship between CSR and the inventory-to-sales ratio. We explained this nonlinear relationship by the differential effect on inventories of the different CSR components. For customers, we predicted a positive relationship between CSR and inventories. For employees, we expected a neutral relationship. Finally, a more proactive approach to the environment is expected to lead the firm to eliminate all kinds of waste by minimizing inventory. Our results provided support for these expected relationships. An in-depth exploration of the effects of employee CSR revealed that the neutral relationship was in reality an inverted U-shaped relationship, a result that is consistent with the existence of two countervailing effects. In particular, there is a positive effect on inventories related to long-term labor contracting (and other social concessions such as salary increases), which does not require substantial organizational changes connected to the implementation of a CSR policy. However, the negative effect on inventories related to empowering employees requires a bulk of changes. Such changes can only appear in a setting where an intensive CSR policy is implemented. The final result is an inverted U-shaped relationship.