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Analysing the risks of adopting circular economy initiatives in manufacturing supply chainsThe concept of circular economy (CE) has proven its worth due to the scarcity of natural resources and huge amounts of wastage which impacts the environment. Thus, the adoption of the CE concept in the supply chain becomes critical. However, due to the complex nature of processes/activities in the circular supply chain (CSC), managing risk has become a priority to avoid disruption. In current literature, no discussion has been conducted on how to analyse the risks in the context of CSC. Therefore, to fill this literature gap, this study concentrates on identifying and analysing the risks to promote effective circular initiatives in supply chains in the context of the manufacturing industry, thus minimising the negative environmental impact. A total of 31 risks were identified through an extensive literature review and discussions with experts. A grey‐based decision‐making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method is applied by incorporating the experts' knowledge to compute prominence and cause/effect scores to develop an interrelationship map. Finally, a vulnerability matrix for risk categories is developed using the average of prominence and cause/effect scores of risks. The results show that transparent process is the most prominent risk and branding is the least significant risk. By using the average prominence and cause/effect score, a risk category, namely, financial risk, is identified as most vulnerable to CSC. These findings will help industry managers not only to prepare business strategies in the adoption of CE initiatives in supply chains by eliminating risks but also in minimising negative environmental impact.
Corporate social responsibility in French listed companies – good for performance, poor for risk?This paper examines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scores in comparison to both financial performance but also risk in French listed companies. Business case theorists suggest that CSR improves financial performance and lowers risk, and therefore those companies which have higher CSR scores should experience improved financial performance and a reduced risk profile in comparison with those with lower CSR scores. This paper takes a sample of 304 firms over 9 years (2007-2015) from the French PAX index (top 600 listed firms) and examines whether CSR improves financial performance and risk. Financial performance is proxied by Tobin’s Q, Return on Equity (ROE), Return on Assets (ROA), excess returns, enterprise value and market capitalisation. Risk is proxied by firm beta and weighted average cost of capital (WACC). The findings indicate that CSR does improve financial performance across all financial metrics to a statistically significant level (p<0.001), except excess returns, which does not show a significant effect. However, CSR also showed a positive and significant (p<0.001) effect on both risk proxies (beta and WACC), when the expectation based on the business case would be that this would be a negative relationship. This result was compared with a sample of 365 US firms over the same time period from the S&P500 stock index which supported the business case view that CSR improves risk. These results held when each of the constituent subcategories of the CSR score (environmental, social and governance separate scores) were estimated against the same financial and risk proxies. This research is of interest to practitioners who may seek to manage risk through CSR or academics who have an interest in CSR and risk management.
Gender and bank lending after the global financial crisis: are women entrepreneurs safer bets?Using gender as a theoretical framework, we analyse the dynamics of bank lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. Using six waves of the SME Finance Monitor survey, we apply a formal Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition to test whether gender impacts upon the supply and demand for debt finance by women. Reflecting established evidence, we found women had a lower demand for bank loans; contradicting accepted wisdom however, we found that women who did apply were more likely to be successful. We argue that feminised risk aversion might inform more conservative applications during a period of financial uncertainty which may be beneficial for women in terms of gaining loans. However, we also uncover more subtle evidence suggesting that bank decisions may differ for women who may be unfairly treated in terms of collateral but regarded more positively when holding large cash balances.
“People think it’s a harmless joke”: young people’s understanding of the impact of technology, digital vulnerability and cyberbullying in the United KingdomYoung people's technology use has increased exponentially over the last few years. To gain a deeper understanding of young peoples' experiences of digital technology and cyberbullying, four focus groups were conducted with 29 11- to 15-year-olds recruited from two schools. Interpretative phenomenological analysis revealed three themes: impact of technology, vulnerability and cyberbullying. Technology was seen as a facilitator and a mechanism for maintaining social interactions. However, participants reported experiencing a conflict between the need to be sociable and the desire to maintain privacy. Cyberbullying was regarded as the actions of an anonymous coward who sought to disrupt social networks and acts should be distinguished from banter.