How can stakeholders promote environmental and social responsibility in the shipping industry?

The highly globalized and competitive nature of the shipping industry poses serious governance challenges. Recently, the use of voluntary measures, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, has been explored in terms of moving towards environmentally and socially responsible as well as safe shipping industry practices. Limited attention has been paid on the role of stakeholders such as consumers, employees, NGOs, and academia in pressuring the shipping industry towards greater environmental and social responsibility. Here, by applying stakeholder theory and drawing on examples of already materialized stakeholder actions and multi-stakeholder initiatives, we study the potential ways that stakeholders can promote CSR in the shipping industry: we explore the resource dependencies between stakeholders, the stakeholder influence strategies, and the importance of multi-stakeholder pressure. We show that stakeholders can gain more power by using indirect strategies such as working via and/or in alliances with NGOs, trade unions, banks and financers, and/or different national or international regulatory bodies, as well as with the industry itself. Our results reveal the potential of multi-stakeholder pressure and action to promote the adoption of CSR activities, support the transparency, legitimacy, and enforcement of the practices, as well as widen the scope and focus of CSR initiatives and practices by focusing on a broad range of social and environmental issues. Finally, stakeholder pressure can push towards improved regulations. The study suggests that increased attention needs to be paid on the multi-stakeholder demands, especially considering the accentuated importance of effective maritime governance in the future.

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    • © 2018 Tuuli Parviainen et al. The contents of this paper reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Transportation Research Board or the National Academy of Sciences.
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  • Publication Date: 2018-3


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01667118
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 13 2018 1:48PM