How China and Nordic countries conceptualise Corporate Social Responsibility : – A study of senior decision-makers’ statements within the banking sector
Abstract: The “statement” from senior decision-maker is a section in the sustainability report, where the most “senior decision-maker” of the institution (such as CEO, chairman, or equivalent senior position) gives the personal view about the relevance of sustainability to the institution and its strategy for addressing sustainability. Such a statement is one medium used by company leaders to communicate their attitudes and values to stakeholders in sustainability reports. Under commercial circumstances, sustainability is also referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This paper analyzes Chinese and Nordics senior decision-makers’ perception of CSR within the banking sector. The research sample consists of statements of senior decision-makers from sustainability reports of four Chinese banks, respective four Nordic banks. Previous studies show that CSR conception is influenced by cultural and social backgrounds. By analyzing respective Chinese/Nordic senior decision-maker’s statement, this study isaimingtofindout how Chinese/Nordic culture and social concepts are promoted in their respective bank institutions, and therefore lead to different CSR focus and strategies. The results from the study show that Chinese senior decision-makers’ statements are strongly influenced by traditional Chinese philosophy and social background, especially Confucian and Taoism, as well asXi Jinping’s guidelines delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist and the 13th Five-Year Plan. In relation to the Nordic senior decision-makers the gender equality and racial equality were noted. Senior decision-makers of Chinese banks mainly focus on “social stability and progress”, “economic responsibility”, and “customers”,while senior decision-makers of Nordic banks mainly focus on “economic responsibility”, “customers”, and “environmental protection”.
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