Insider stories: analyzing internal sustainability efforts of major US companies from online reviews

Indira Sen, Daniele Quercia, Licia Capra, Matteo Montecchi, Sanja Šćepanović

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Abstract

It is hard to establish whether a company supports internal sustainability efforts (ISEs) like gender equality, diversity, and general staff welfare, not least because of a lack of methodologies operationalizing these internal sustainability practices, and of data honestly documenting such efforts. We developed and validated a six-dimension framework reflecting Internal Sustainability Efforts (ISEs), gathered more than 350K employee reviews of 104 major companies across the whole US for the (2008-2020) years, and developed a deep-learning framework scoring these reviews in terms of the six ISEs. Commitment to ISEs manifested itself at the micro-level—companies scoring high in ISEs enjoyed high stock growth. This new conceptualization of ISEs offers both theoretical implications for the literature on corporate sustainability and practical implications for companies and policy makers. To further explore these implications, researchers need to add potentially missing ISEs, to do so for more companies, and establish the causal relationship between company success and ISEs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number309
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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