Purpose: In recent years, many companies have decided to decertify from their previously adopted corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards. The aim of this paper is to explore the phenomenon by focusing on the most important auditable CSR standard: Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000). Design/methodology/approach: First, an event study is performed on a dataset composed of 136 SA8000 decertified public listed companies to analyse the possible relationship between certification, decertification and firms’ operating performance. Second, the authors shed light on the differences between 94 SA8000 (still) certified and the abovementioned 136 decertified firms. Finally, 10 interviews are conducted with decertified firms in the dataset to deepen the outcomes of the previous analyses. Findings: The results show that, despite an initial positive effect in terms of sales and profitability, decertified companies experienced a reduction in productivity and profitability in the years following the certification, while positive outcomes emerged after the decertification. The study also highlights that certified and decertified firms differ in terms of home country, industry and labour intensity. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the literature by opening the debate on an important but unexplored research area: the decertification from the most popular CSR standard, i.e. SA8000, and its relationship with firms' performance. In doing this, it also highlights the main differences between decertified and certified companies.

The impact of abandoning social responsibility certifications: evidence from the decertification of SA8000 standard

Podrecca M.;Sartor M.;Nassimbeni G.
2021

Abstract

Purpose: In recent years, many companies have decided to decertify from their previously adopted corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards. The aim of this paper is to explore the phenomenon by focusing on the most important auditable CSR standard: Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000). Design/methodology/approach: First, an event study is performed on a dataset composed of 136 SA8000 decertified public listed companies to analyse the possible relationship between certification, decertification and firms’ operating performance. Second, the authors shed light on the differences between 94 SA8000 (still) certified and the abovementioned 136 decertified firms. Finally, 10 interviews are conducted with decertified firms in the dataset to deepen the outcomes of the previous analyses. Findings: The results show that, despite an initial positive effect in terms of sales and profitability, decertified companies experienced a reduction in productivity and profitability in the years following the certification, while positive outcomes emerged after the decertification. The study also highlights that certified and decertified firms differ in terms of home country, industry and labour intensity. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the literature by opening the debate on an important but unexplored research area: the decertification from the most popular CSR standard, i.e. SA8000, and its relationship with firms' performance. In doing this, it also highlights the main differences between decertified and certified companies.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
IJOPM-10-2020-0698_proof 100..126 - pdf.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 30.42 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
30.42 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1212380
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact