Yoori Yang has completed her Ph.D. in the Department (see the abstract below), and has accepted a research position here on campus. She will be working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Technology Management Program at UCSB with Professor Paul Leonardi. Her primary roles will be to perform quantitative data analyses, as well as design new empirical studies. Her tasks include but are not limited to conducting network analyses, particularly on how work-related networks have changed in the context of COVID-19. She will also contribute to developing new projects and preparing manuscripts on what compels individual advice seeking and self-presentation on social media and other online environments.
Institutional Pressures for Convergence and Divergence of Corporate Social Responsibility: Collaborative and Adversarial Networks of NGO-Governmental Organization-Corporations in South Korea
Yoori Yang, Ph.D.
This study explores the network and relational dynamics among NGOs, governmental organizations (GOs) and corporations for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices in South Korea, a state-led market economy. The study integrates and advances institutional theory from network perspective to further understand the network mechanisms by which NGOs develop pressures on corporations to practice CSR. The study also explores how the national institutional context in which the NGOs operate (the state-led market economy of South Korea) is related to their network dynamics for driving CSR practices. The findings suggest that (1) the network positions that benefit NGOs’ CSR networks are different depending on the type of sector they form networks in (cross-sector vs. within-sector); (2) the efficacy of network positions and nature of relationship (collaborative or adversarial) vary by the type of CSR practiced by the NGOs and corporations – convergent CSR, which represents those practices that are embraced by both the global community and the South Korean state, and divergent CSR, which represents those practices that are framed by local economic, political and social conditions; and (3) NGO and corporate leaders’ perspectives are not completely consistent with one another, and with how their networks are structured.
The study uses mixed methods approach by conducing quantitative network analyses and qualitative interview analyses. Network analyses were conducted using archival data collected from the annual NGO reports and CSR reports produced from 2014 to 2019. Three different centralities – degree centrality, eigenvector centrality and betweenness centrality – were found in NGO/GO, NGO/NGO, and NGO/corporate networks to understand how NGOs’ network dynamics within and across their sector are related to the frequency with which they practice certain type of CSR (convergent and divergent CSR). The outcomes of their CSR networks practices were analyzed using the universal measures of Environment, Social and Governance dimensions of CSR (ESG). The findings were then supplemented by 28 interviews of South Korean NGO and corporate leaders to explain their motives and perspectives of their networks.
The analyses found that eigenvector centrality, representing ties to influential or central others in the network, emerged as the most important position of the NGOs in their networks with GOs that helped develop strong networks with corporations. In their within-sector NGO network, however, degree centrality, representing the density of their ties, emerged as the most important centrality that benefited the NGOs’ networks with GOs and corporations. The degree to which the NGOs and corporations engaged in convergent CSR was significantly related to the collaborative network dynamics found. On the other hand, the degree to which they engaged in divergent CSR was significantly related to the adversarial network dynamics found. The ESG outcomes suggest that it is only the convergent CSR and their collaborative network dynamics, and not divergent CSR and adversarial network dynamics, which are significantly related to the companies’ ESG scores. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed to inform the network dynamics for CSR institutional pressures, the significance of national institutions and state-led economic systems in CSR networks, and the significance of sector type and nature of relationships in CSR institutionalization.