The impact of sustainability practices on corporate financial performance: Literature trends and future research potential
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This paper presents an analysis of the literature concerning the impact of corporate sustainability on corporate financial performance. The relationship between corporate sustainable practices and financial performance has received growing attention in research, yet a consensus remains elusive. This paper identifies developing trends and the issues that hinder conclusive consensus on that relationship. We used content analysis to examine the literature and establish the current state of research. A total of 132 papers from top-tier journals are shortlisted. We find that 78% of publications report a positive relationship between corporate sustainability and financial performance. Variations in research methodology and measurement of variables lead to the divergent views on the relationship. Furthermore, literature is slowly replacing total sustainability with narrower corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is dominated by the social dimension of sustainability, while encompassing little to nothing of environmental and economic dimensions. Studies from developing countries remain scarce. More research is needed to facilitate convergence in the understanding of the relationship between corporate sustainable practices and financial performance.
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