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dc.contributor.authorBilledeau, David Benjamin
dc.date.accessioned2024-05-17 18:39:24 (GMT)
dc.date.available2024-05-17 18:39:24 (GMT)
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation investigates the following question: do global transformational events result in transient or transformational changes in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices? The novel concept of global transformational events is defined as pivotal incidents—both endogenous and exogenous—with profound global repercussions, creating catalysts that inherently drive shifts in corporate operations and global market dynamics. Adapting the PICOT framework from clinical health research, this dissertation assesses the impact of global transformational events on CSR. PICOT stands for Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Time, and it provides a structured format for formulating research questions in evidence-based practice. This approach helps to compare changes in corporations' CSR initiatives before and after global transformational events. The data used within this work is gleaned from a diverse range of sources including interviews with industry representatives, annual reports, and public records. The dissertation spans eight chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the research theme, while Chapter 2 reviews the theoretical foundation of CSR decision-making in both stable and volatile operating environments. The heart of the dissertation, Chapters 3 through 6, is rooted in empirical case studies. Chapters 3 and 4 assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on CSR initiatives within Canada, with a cross-sector overview in the former and a specific focus on the automotive manufacturing sector in the latter chapter. Chapter 5 evaluates the influence of the Paris Agreement on decarbonization commitments in Canada's automotive manufacturing sector. Chapter 6 examines the role of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in guiding community investment decisions by leading Canadian private sector companies. The emerging domain of sustainability management and its potential to augment CSR practices is the focus of Chapter 7. Chapter 8 then synthesizes the findings, highlighting contributions to knowledge, theory, and practice, as well as outlining future research directions. In sum, this dissertation examines the degree to which CSR initiatives of large firms operating in Canada are influenced by global transformational events, while underscoring prevailing corporate tendencies to gravitate towards a "business as usual" mindset. This inclination persists even when external operating circumstances have undergone dramatic shifts, suggesting a resistance to adapt to new paradigms. This pattern underscores a gap between the potential for—and the realization of—sustained CSR changes in response to global transformational events, encouraging further scrutiny of corporate behaviour to ensure meaningful alignment of corporate operations with environmental and societal wellbeing.en
dc.publisherUniversity of Waterlooen
dc.subjectcorporate social responsibilityen
dc.subjectsustainability managementen
dc.subjectsustainable business practicesen
dc.titleAssessing Adaptations to Global Transformational Events in Canadian Corporate Social Responsibility Practicesen
dc.typeDoctoral Thesisen
uws-etd.degree.departmentSchool of Environment, Enterprise and Developmenten
uws-etd.degree.disciplineSustainability Managementen
uws-etd.degree.grantorUniversity of Waterlooen
uws-etd.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
uws.contributor.advisorWilson, Jeffrey
uws.contributor.affiliation1Faculty of Environmenten

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