This study aims to analyse how contemporary stakeholder-engagement methods can enhance and acknowledge stakeholders' voices in the CSS and ensure better outcomes. Hence, this paper aims to narrow this gap by developing specific aspect profiles for sustainability strategies. The method of the current study relied on both primary data and secondary data. Hence, a questionnaire survey was developed to collect the required data. While, secondary data sources are obtained through the website sustainabilityexcellence.com. The data processing techniques were carried out using Stata 16 software and using the Multiple Linear Regression method. The sample of the study consisted of 422 people from different Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. The results revealed a high degree of stakeholders' perception of corporate sustainability strategies in the GCC. Also, people are aware and ready to afford the cost and efforts to generate more reliable and advanced strategies that promote corporate sustainability. The study also underscores three suggested recommendations that are based on a novel model (Reachable, Meaningful, and Fun “RMF”), as each element of this model is a recommendation that It believed to be highly-impactful actions that supports corporate leaders/teams to engage more fruitfully with stakeholder (more specifically customers and communities) and enrich the CSS. Lastly, this research effort is concluded with implications on the suggested recommendation (RMF), followed by some of the most critical takeaways for our corporate practices. The paper helps companies that already commit to sustainability to verify whether they are consistent in the implementation of a distinct sustainability strategy.
Sustainable development is deﬁned on the full-scale degree of social orders. Figure 1 outlines the connection between sustainable development and corporate sustainability. When integrated by the association, maintenance improvement is called corporate sustainability and contains, as the practical turn of events, each of the three support points: monetary, natural and social. These three aspects collaborate (Aldulaimi & Abdeldayem, 2022; Baumgartner & Ebner, 2010).
This elucidates that key stakeholders need to be on track with the company's future path to achieve Sustainable-Development-Goals (SDGs), and this is due to the notion that when a business/establishment [despite its operation nature or size] chooses to amalgamate environmental views into its strategic planning, in a way that its execution can likely be affected in a positive sense or hindered by stakeholders' powers in different ways. This brings us back to how the stakeholder-concept was justified by Freeman (2010), in which he stated in his "Strategic-Management" book that stakeholder are the individuals/groups who cannot just be affected by the company decision. Still, it is also that stakeholder who can influence the company and its managerial decisions that are taken in response to those groups.
It is trusted that this study will make a significant and significant contribution to writing at both the hypothetical and valuable levels. At the hypothetical level, the aftereffects of this exploration will give exactly put together data concerning Corporate Sustainability Strategies (CSS) in the GCC. This concentration additionally adds to the more extensive area of Sustainability on the board by featuring the partners' perspectives on CSS purposes circumspect their exchanging and complex requirements to stay drew in with them, which is as of now not pertinent in average partner commitment strategies likewise with lockdowns, heterogeneity of interests' contentions, corporate-governmental issues, mechanical limit, and greenwashing, accomplishing significant commitment become more uncertain (Aslam, 2022; Rasche & Esser, 2006).
At a functional level, this exploration may likewise add to the GCC strategy creators' assessment of the viability of the Corporate Sustainability Methodologies and the improvement of the executives and corporate administration rehearses. All things considered, the outcomes uncovered from this study might have suggestions for upgrades in practices of Sustainability the board and might be utilized to propel the GCC's administration and execution in this regard.
The remainder of this paper is coordinated: the literature review is introduced in segment (2), area (3) presenting the study's methods. Conversation and consequences of objective examination are tracked down in component (4), while conclusions and suggestions are set out in the area (5).
For companies worldwide, the concept of sustainability refers to a comprehensive process of transformation in corporate culture, planning, metrics, governance and reporting frameworks, and business process approach. Recent studies reveal the challenges companies face in implementing sustainable practices and identify initiatives that can contribute to transforming the businesses of such companies into sustainable business models with greater returns for shareholders.” The study provides an in-depth analytical look at the reality of sustainability practices. It identifies a set of key recommendations that can enhance the sustainability benefits of companies by adopting an approach based on business system integration, integrating sustainability reports, making tangible changes in organizational culture, and focusing on innovation. The report also highlights six significant challenges facing global companies in their quest to effectively and efficiently promote business sustainability. Benefits for companies implementing sustainable practices include faster growth, lower cost of debt financing, lower turnover and new hires, greater resilience to business risks and market challenges, and improved corporate or brand reputation (Hooghiemstra, 2000; Kaur & Lodhia, 2019).
Since research zeroing in on sustainability in a corporate setting is as yet divided, we directed a methodical writing survey covering all examination distributed in fundamental diaries in the ﬁelds of hierarchical investigation and sustainability preceding 2020. Our examination uncovered two particular viewpoints in the corporate sustainability research; one expects the viewpoint of the corporate association conveying the resource while the second accepts the viewpoint of the host association. We distinguish and portray three particular techniques utilized by either the corporate association, its host, or both in joint effort to help sustainability objectives (Aarseth et al., 2017; Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, 2022).
1. Setting key and strategic sustainability objectives
Zeroing in on sustainability issues while creating project techniques, focusing on occasions where sustainability issues line up with different worries (Herazo et al., 2012; Marcelino-Sadaba et al., 2015; Martens & Carvalho, 2016; Ochoa, 2014; Bonsón et al., 2016).
2. Developing manageable provider rehearses
Supporting providers in carrying out reasonable practices, for example, utilization of environmental materials and construction (Logsdon & Lewellyn, 2000; Jaillon & Poon, 2008; Liu et al., 2010; Ross et al., 2010; Shi et al., 2012).
3. Emphasizing sustainability in the project plan
Consolidate sustainability issues in ventures' beginning stages and express undertaking configuration records. The strategies depend on the improvement of execution pointers (that might be utilized all through the venture life cycle) and examination methods, for example, life-cycle appraisals and worth administration (Sandoval et al., 2006; Wang et al., 2014; Heravi et al., 2015).
Furthermore, the survey conducted by Arthur D. Little, revealed that 33% of respondents from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region believe that the sustainability strategies identified by their companies are not clear or understood, with little or no balance between short-term and long-term sustainability plans. While 72% of companies have sustainability collaboration agreements with existing partners, an increasing number of companies are now moving towards collaborations with universities and research and development groups 12%, and partners across the supply chain and end customers 16%. Adopting sustainability practices within a company or organization can lead to revenue and profit benefits, which in turn lead to higher returns for shareholders.
In a new report, Arthur D. Little, the world's leading management consulting firm, highlights the reality of sustainability practices and the challenges facing businesses in the region as they seek to adopt and enhance sustainable practices. The report, titled “Overcoming Sustainability Challenges,” featuring valuable insights from Professor Timma Bansal of the Ivy School of Business, is based on a global study by Arthur D. Little that identifies the dynamic variables shaping business sustainability around the world, including Middle East and North Africa region. The findings of the study indicated that, despite being aware of the benefits that can be reaped by promoting sustainable practices, one-fifth of the companies (20%) still lack a clear strategy for sustainability, and only less than 30% of the respondents believe that the impact of this strategy is clear. For all employees in their companies. The failure to take targeted measures and consolidate the concept of sustainability in institutional work systems will not only lead to potential environmental and social damage; it may also cause adverse effects that may hinder business performance. Sustainability is a top priority for most leading companies across business sectors, which continually announce specific initiatives, commitments and goals to enhance their sustainability practices. However, there is still a clear gap between words and deeds. In addition, sustainability commitments do not appear to be as rigorously pursued as other business objectives. Among the companies surveyed, 67% do not link management incentives to sustainability performance, and only 33% have organized plans, roadmaps and clear milestones to achieve their goals. These findings illustrate companies' challenges as they seek to incorporate sustainable practices into their operations (Campra et al., 2020).
The sustainable strategy that it follows organizations focus on reducing harmful environmental impacts and focus on green business and used in the tourism industry, i.e., the focus was only on the environmental aspect, but in business sustainable development has focused on the following basic dimensions (environmental - socio-economic) It is called (the triple baseline), and here is the counting of the environmental dimension as a basis in the work, which can be taken as a step a first towards achieving sustainability with the development of management processes and practices that are suitable for the environment (Torelli et al., 2020; Vinuesa et al., 2020).
As for the behavior in situations where he sees (Greenwood, 2007) that he should be related to behavior and actions and note the attitudes of business managers towards sustainability and the responsibility towards achieving sustainable development is subject to continuous investigations by researchers so far. He pointed out that sustainability is an integrated concept between the environment, profit and society, where it can be to senior management employing these dimensions although they are historically separate from each other there is the possibility of coordination between these exclusions and the development of capabilities to achieve complementarity among them, which leads to sustainability, that one of the reasons that lead to the success of organizations is the existence of a sustainable strategy. It was carried out by an efficient administration, the Community Shoreline. College sustainable strategy is a commitment to environmentally, socially and economically sustainable business practices through renewable energy and recycled products.” While Laszlo indicated that implementing a sustainable strategy requires compatibility in circles. The triple baseline of sustainability, is likened to interconnected rings, and these rings are composed of distancing the essential aspects which are the aspects on which the organizations focus in their work, which are (society- economy the environment). Laszlo indicated that the steps of the sustainable strategy are as follows:
A: Determining work motives: which is to identify the work pressures and the motives that lead to becoming the work of the organization is more sustainable and includes the following (Epstein & Roy, 2001).
*The ability to improve the bottom line of work by increasing efficiency.
* Compliance and risk management.
* Commitment to the latest organizational changes.
B: Vision: The vision statement clarifies the goals of the organization in the future and that the characteristics of a good vision are: (Short, clear, realistic results, measurable) through which the organization's policy can be formulated sustainability) as examples.
* Reducing emissions of gases that cause environmental damage.
* Reducing the impact on the use of environmental pollutants.
* Disposal of waste by recycling process.
* Strengthening the relationship with partners in all company operations
C: Specific goals:
The sustainability goals are more specific than the organization's goals because they contain numbers and dates. For example (reducing the consumption of resources by 80%, employing 95% of the people workers from the same region in which the organization operates, use of 100% of local raw materials).
D: The current situation:
In order for the organization to achieve its goals, it needs to have a good understanding of the current situation of work and build the organization adopt a sustainability approach which is a tool for a process (self-evaluation, setting standards, upgrading wariness about what sustainability means in a business context) by knowing the amount of water consumption and energy. Gap analysis: Analyzing the gaps in the organization's field of work is essential, as defining the gap and reducing it serves as a definition of the problem that must be solved to obtain the most significant benefit (Freeman et al., 2002; Franklin, 2020).
E: Develop strategies:
The process of developing strategies is to appropriately address the impacts of the organization's work, which describes how reaching the organization's specific goals and aligned with the drivers identified in the first step. And: Develop an action plan: The process of developing a plan is crucial for the work of organizations because it describes the procedures that the organization will adopt that show that the objectives are accurate and identify the necessary aspects for the application process, such as (costs, target dates, technical budgets, experience).
F: Implementation: After completing the above seven steps, the implementation process comes, which refers to a set of basic business procedures related to various business aspects of the organization.
G: Monitoring and reviewing: This process refers to measuring progress towards achieving special objectives. Organization through the use of a self-assessment tool to monitor this progress.
H: Processing: It is the last stage of the production process of the good or service carried out by the organization.
The methodology of the momentum concentrates on depended on the spellbinding methodology and quantile relapse to accomplish the goals of the examination. Subsequently, a poll was created to gather the expected information (Abdeldayem & Aldulaimi, 2021). This way heled us contact individuals in various Bay nations utilizing electronic study utilizing google frames and send it by email to respondents. We utilize the systems administration relationship with different foundations in the predefined nations to convey the inquiries. We accept that these individuals are more mindful of corporate sustainability techniques' issues like monetary, natural and social issues. The survey comprised different things to acquire data about partners' mindfulness of corporate sustainability strategies. Items were picked after looking into a few writing studies. The review zeroed in on the assessments of intrigued individuals from the GCC. The example that addressed the inquiries comprised of 422 individuals from various Gulf countries for example Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. Like this, to examine the examination questions, a quantile relapse changes a restrictive dispersion capability into a contingent quantile capability by parting it into fragments (Abdeldayem & Aldulaimi, 2022).
In OLS, demonstrating a contingent dissemination capability of a rare example (y1, …, yn) with a parametric capability m(xi, β) where xi addresses the free factors, β the relating gauges and to figure out the ideal expansion edge, the creators apply two techniques; the ideal expansion limit, right off the bat, is found by fake strategy, then, at that point, utilized the OLS strategy underneath:
where, K is the optimal inflation threshold, DInf is dummy variable and is defined as:
The models are written when D is equal to 1 and D is equal to zero.
Based on the DME model, Figure 2 proposes practical managerial actions to voice their stakeholders (Local communities and energy customers) concerns and opinions in the CSS plan and better evaluate their conflicting views.
Adopting the right digital platform that underlines the right subject, triggers a specific community, and is managed by the skillful team, is as important as combining multiple stakeholder engagement strategies in a single tactic. This recommendation sheds light on one highly pursued "infomercial" digital platform (Twitter) that encompasses news attractive to audiences and debaters interested in political, sustainability and environmental concerns. The platform (Twitter) allows stakeholder groups such as sustainability corporate executives and media practitioners to share news and information and engage in dialogues with interested groups from energy consumers more promptly. This made sense when a newly imposed law was communicated, requiring companies to disclose their utilization of minerals extracted from regions that are confronted with conflicts, as Mr Tim Mohin, the director of corporate responsibility at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), who first discovered about this law on "Twitter", in which he emphasized that by navigating search keywords (#sustainability or #CSR), he often find out about a new event or information daily on issues that are critical for his line of profession (The Guardian, 2022). This is one of the concrete examples that resonates with how Twitter is a platform that can exceptionally outreach and engage the audience from an educated social fabric, who also appreciate matters that concern recent environmental changes.
The 16-year-old platform maintains its popularity/user frequency among many communities, businesses, political groups or environmental activists, and practitioners, utilized dynamically every day, whether for socialization, news updates, corporate purposes, or time passing. Communities of all demographics view Twitter as a functional digital engine, as the majority are population/users from the average age group of (25-34), and its users are mainly higher education graduates (Omnicore, 2022). With its universal reachability, Twitter serves the users as the perfect channel that communities can keep engaging with at whatever location and time zone they represent. With minimal effort, Twitter facilitates communication and information from mass stakeholders, broadens awareness about SDGs among users, and sets up collective engagement (Grover et al., 2019). In 2021, Twitter followers exceeded 429.79 million across the globe, and it believes to reach 497.48 million followers by the year 2025 (Statista, 2022a) (refer to Figure 2). The European region itself covers nearly 80.4 million followers (Kepios, 2022). Daily, during the year 2022 first quarter, the platform’s active monetisable followers/beneficiaries reached around 229 million on a global scale, outpacing by 15%-year 2021 first quarter (Statista, 2022b) (Figure 3).
Though, “there is no light without darkness". Managers and business-account social media teams who are assigned/nominated by the company should be well knowledgeable about the potential drawback or trade-offs Twitter accounts may encounter that can spoil stakeholders' engagement activities; for instance, "negative criticism” is one of the pressing problems that company users need to consider, as customers may publicly disapprove the company services or products. In many circumstances, digital media accounts are disposed to negative comments and criticisms, which can severely impact the sustainability image and may escalate to claims related to greenwashing. To prevent this from escalating, the responsible team of the company media account must be notified more frequently, which entails excellent complaints managing skills. Another trade-off is that a significant number of dodgy or spam accounts on this digital platform can brutally damage the corporate account, hack the account, or misuse its contents by cyber criminals. From the customer service standpoint, users expect timely responses to their tweets; otherwise, the company may lose its follower's trust. A survey by Baer (2018) revealed that disregarding followers' tweets can lead to a 43% drop in user (or customers') advocacy. To avoid this, a highly dedicated technical team, equipped with soft skills, must be present 24/7 to respond to all comments swiftly.
When energy network distributors plan to launch mass projects, key stakeholders who are residents in locations or customers of the project’s areas must be meaningfully engaged, communicated with care, maintain a consistent dialogues with them, and stay updated about new projects' environment and economic and social implications, which entails engaging in a formally and informative way, and likewise on a personal level. Yes, "personal" means that a more direct in-person mode of interaction should be employed. Based on this aim, this form of engagement's most vital aspect is building trust. This form of engagement was clearly observed in an "Infrastructure Stakeholder Engagement" survey led by SSEN (Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, 2022), and its findings underscored many practical stakeholder recommendations, suggesting to "increase face-to-face meetings", as a sizable number of their stakeholders were happier with the direct-in-person approaches.
Companies may adopt many direct or in-person stakeholder engagement strategies, and most of them can help add value in a way or another. As one of England’s high voltage electricity transmission networks, National Grid (2022) encompassed the views of more than 11,000 of its consumers and over 750 corporate clients from a wide-ranging of mixed approaches, which included (in-person face to face, online consultations, focus groups and tailored research studies). All this proves how practical these direct, engaging approaches can be. In this recommendation, the main focus is on methods (focus-group and one-to-one consultations), and this is for the following reasons: one is that both are effective methods that help the company to connect with stakeholders of all categories more meaningfully while advancing the intuitive understanding of multifaceted/complex issues and conflicting opinions, in which extracting them may not be possible online or via structural surveys; another reason is that both approaches can be delivered either in person or virtually [e.g., Zoom/Teams]. And hence, these methods were more evident during coronavirus lockdowns, where virtual focus groups or in-person consultations have been the most adopted, efficient, safe, and geographically independent methods. Therefore, without in-person attendance or distance, engagement is absolutely acceptable and environmentally friendly for many stakeholder groups, as sometimes the geography of the in-person attending sessions may not always be convenient for the participant to travel to, or it can be delayed if the participant is caught in traffic or any other issues while reaching. Regardless this does not imply that remote/virtual sessions are the ultimate solution that substitutes in-personal interactions. Despite how those remote methods have recently become more widespread and democratised across the populations and the non-tech savvies, several trade-offs should not be disregarded.
When engaging using online approaches, the quality/clarity of communication is a crucial point that can ruin the entire meeting. Therefore, it is worth stressing that online sessions are not immune to internet-connection dilemmas with participants, as some stakeholders are situated in a "white-zone areas" or geography that poorly provide internet connectivity. The video and audio quality of the session recording are regarded as another problem if not well maintained, which can lead to more interface complications between the system's moderator/admins and the hosts and remaining focused under these conditions is even worse. Participants should, furthermore, be equipped with an excellent virtual set-up, including (a special session app, account log-in set-up, and configured webcam) yes, this can sound ridiculous in 2022, but setting up a reliable system sometimes involves technical support and cash. And lastly is the limitation or absence of delivering the emotional and empathetic elements, interactive body language.
Overall, this recommendation aim is not primarily about changing the fundamental principles of stakeholder engagement. Instead, engagement strategies were always about individuals and direct interactions. In this vein, the elements of authentic stakeholders' interrelation, like respectful treatment, emotional intelligence, and empathic listening, are vital, as the corporate team and management should be well equipped with all these competencies. In other words, it means that a mixed approach (an online with highly interpersonal, emotional, and interactive aspects of exchange communication and respect) is to be employed, which allows the concerned team or managers to distantly form trustworthy relationships with key stakeholders in a human friendly manner while analysing their conflicting views in advance. Montgomery (2022)’s study showed that managers or projects in charge who employ emotionally intelligent skills are about 11% more productively succeeding at engaging with stakeholders, as well as they are resource efficient, unlike other leaders/managers who don't rehearse genuinely keen capacity. A concentrate by Asante Boadi et al. (2019) on the partner from mining firms found that quality trade of data; including deferential treatment and sympathy, are impressive signs that assist with framing trust during the partner commitment process: As a “1% increment in conscious treatment brings about 38.9% expansion in trust”. Created on the web/virtual methodologies can compare well with drawing in contemporary patterns and lift the nature of information yield on the CSS. Additionally, how will be immeasurably taken on by networks of the cutting edge who cover future enterprises' bills.
First, one true fact about human beings worth acknowledging in this recommendation is that “they love to have fun”. And seeing this notion from the stakeholder engagement lens means that if a company can instill a fun/joy philosophy in their engagement strategies, they can keep stakeholders’ involvement/participation process as rewarding as much as engaging. This section will also manifest how adopting solutions such as (AI and gamification) in stakeholder engagement strategies and linking them to the company's prospective projects can help enrich feedback during the engagement process.
The part of dominance, contest, prizes, and tomfoolery is fundamentally represented as "gamification", but basically around a couple of parts most games ought to embrace to keep the players more drew in with a specific game (1. Challenge: For accomplishing the triumph/objective; 2. Decision: Keeps players attempting different choices, decisions, and choices; 3. Change: Move the cooperating on and developing with the following test), and by not keeping these components, drawing in with the game is more uncertain [Imagine a Super Mario world game, where the player can run in a level setting without snags, challenges, and levels]. From a corporate partner's specific situation, it is more about making a utilization of a visual guide of a specific undertaking and through it progress is informed alongside what is left to achieve in application like democratic keys and criticism circles and another related drawing in devices. The Computerized reasoning component then includes algorithmic computations, prescient, logical ways of behaving, and personalisation inclinations where partners' information can be distinguished during the gamification-communications process. The artificial intelligence innovation can also create examination by revealing partners' exchangeable examples. This is because artificial intelligence is the umbrella for various methodologies that permit PCs/frameworks to perform with human-like capacities through understanding, hearing, understanding, and thinking (Güngör, 2020).
There are some considerable trade-offs that companies need to understand while adopting (AI/Gamification) technologies. First, corporate practitioners should recognize that not every participant prefers being gamified, and companies in this situation may lose participant voices. Several leading companies, including Ford, Disney, Microsoft, and Google, apply gamification to engage with their stakeholders/users. Engine Yard, for instance, developed a platform with game mechanics that offered rewards to contributors, and with this platform, they created missions and stages that users could finish for additional rewards or recognition after completing each customer survey. After that, the company noticed a rise of 40% in engagement and a 20% decrease in customer dissatisfaction/complaints (Cornerstone, 2022).
Moreover, every development level stands pretty much for a speciﬁc sustainability strategy. By the by, contingent upon the sustainability technique, speciﬁc viewpoints can likewise be identiﬁed that are critical for the execution of the methodology. Specifying that the proﬁles show the base norm to follow a speciﬁc procedure is essential. It is conceivable to build the sustainability obligation to more significant levels where it fits in the speciﬁc circumstance of an organization (Baumgartner & Ebner, 2010).
Multiple regression analysis
F test results
The F test was directed to decide the impact of the autonomous factors at the same time, by contrasting the F table. In light of Table 1 the consequences of the information relapse, the F measurement esteem is 285.52 with a likelihood worth of 0.000 < 0.05.
Since the likelihood is much more modest than 0.05, it tends to be presumed that partners’ insight has a concurrent impact on corporate sustainability methodologies' improvement of 86.12%. The determined F table is more prominent than the F table so the H1 hypothesis is accepted.
This study illuminated how stakeholders can significantly impact corporations' sustainability plans and reporting systems. This study also clarified that the likelihood of achieving a healthy balance between the social/economic/environmental needs of society and the corporation is diminished in the absence of sound stakeholder engagement and the successful translation of their dialogue into the CSS as soon as possible, in light of the evolving challenges. Each element/recommendation of this model can play a significant role in assisting the company leaders/team to engage more constructively with (targeted consumer or community), by which the social platform (Twitter), as well as big data technologies (Gamification and A.I.), facilitates to engage with the highest number of targeted interested-parties effectively and obtain an enormous amount of feedback while integrating (emotional intelligence and empathy) in online sessions helps build the trust of key stakeholders. Indeed, all of this will enable managers to best analyse stakeholders' expectations in the most “Digital, Meaningful, and Engaging” way and, thus, contribute to the enrichment of the CSS formation and its projects implementations, as the stakeholders' views in this sense will be better considered.
The data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.