Business Group Affiliation and Corporate Sustainability Strategies of Firms: An Investigation of Firms in India

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Abstract

In spite of an overwhelming importance of business groups (BG) in the economic development of many countries, systematic inquiry on how the BGs and their affiliated firms approach and contribute to shared value creation and sustainable development is rare. In this paper we address this research gap by investigating two related questions—do BG-affiliated firms differ from non-BG firms in their corporate sustainability strategy (CSS) and how does BG affiliation influence the relationship between stock of fungible resources and CSS of firms? Drawing from the BG literature we theorize that BG-affiliated firms tend to adopt of both environmental and social sustainability strategies more than non-BG firms. We also argue that although according to resource-based view, the stock of fungible resources of firms positively influences CSS, BG affiliation negatively moderates the relationship between stock of fungible resources and CSS of firms. Stock of fungible resources matters less for BG-affiliated firms in undertaking CSS as they have access to resources of the BG network. We test our theoretical predictions using a proprietary data set of 163 Indian publicly listed firms, out of which 76 are BG-affiliated firms belonging to 74 BGs. The data for corporate environmental and social sustainability strategies have been obtained by administering a survey instrument among the top level executives of the participating firms. We find support for our theoretical predictions that signify that BGs and their affiliates make important contributions to shared value creation and sustainable development in emerging economies like India.

Keywords

Business group affiliation Corporate sustainability strategy Resource-based view 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Sougata Ray and Bikramjit Ray Chaudhuri authors declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

We administered a survey instrument which was responded by company executives. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Management CalcuttaKolkataIndia

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