Corporate social responsibility in a global business system: Affiliation network analysis of hyperlink relationships among global companies and their stakeholders
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This study analyzed the 2-mode network structure among companies and corporate social responsibility (CSR) related stakeholders. Using the network analyses, it attempted to reveal following research questions. First, this study examined corporate CSR practices in terms of building hyperlink relationships; (1) how global companies are co-affiliated with CSR related stakeholders; (2) which companies and organizations are influential within the global CSR systems. Second, this study attempts to provide a broad picture of business strategies for hyperlink relationships in terms of CSR. It investigated (1) how CSR related organizations are positioned in global CSR systems by their organizational types (e.g., government, non-profit organization and international organization), and (2) which missions (e.g. human rights, environment, public health, and community engagement) are stressed in the system. Last, since it is assumed that the network structure of hyperlinks could be associated with the current nature of the company, depending on industry type, corporate financial performance and their local business system, this study examined how the network structure of global CSR system shows different levels of hyperlink use with stakeholders on their websites based upon industry type, corporate financial performance and regional affiliation. The main findings are summarized as follows. First, there were regional differences in CSR practices in terms of building hyperlink relationships. The results indicated that European companies had relatively central roles in the global CSR system. Second, local nonprofit organizations (NPO)s and inter-governmental and international organizations played key roles in the global CSR system. Third, among the CSR issues, environmental problems are pressing at the global level, whereas in the American CSR system, the role of organizations whose mission is diversity was magnified compared with other regions.