Introduction to the study
The research was carried out on the subject of CSER, which has been presented as an extended and improved version of CSR. More specifically, the researchers have asserted that CSER is an improvement on the traditional CSR concept because it allows organizations to specify the nature of responsibility-oriented activities that they are aiming to engage in and contribute towards (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). The researchers have based their study on the context that there is a need for extended research in the area of CSER on account of the increasing tendency in organizations to exercise this particular type of CSR. The aim of the study was to delve into the variables that influence CSER and have an influence on the CSER decisions that organizations make. The research made use of the case study approach by studying Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). The fundamental objective behind the analysis of the SAS was to determine the drives that influence and motivate SAS to exercise CSER. In a somewhat inductive approach, the study sought to develop an understanding of the factors that encourage organizations to engage in CSER actions and decisions.
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The research was carried out on the subject of CSER, which has been presented as an extended and improved version of CSR. More specifically, the researchers have asserted that CSER is an improvement on the traditional CSR concept because it allows organizations to specify the nature of responsibility-oriented activities that they are aiming to engage in and contribute towards. The researchers have based their study on the context that there is a need for extended research in the area of CSER on account of the increasing tendency in organizations to exercise this particular type of CSR. The aim of the study was to delve into the variables that influence CSER and have an influence on the CSER decisions that organizations make (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). The research made use of the case study approach by studying Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). The fundamental objective behind the analysis of the SAS was to determine the drives that influence and motivate SAS to exercise CSER. In a somewhat inductive approach, the study sought to develop an understanding of the factors that encourage organizations to engage in CSER actions and decisions.
Through the implementation of this case study approach, the researchers established that the factors that influence the organization's CSER actions and decision cannot be considered without taking sector-based and broader cultural contexts into account (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). The study also revealed that the CSER actions and decisions that an organization takes are influenced considerably by the perspective that the organization's management holds towards the organization's broader CSER objectives.
The author has done a credible job of defining the research problems. The presentation of the research question plays an extraordinary role in this regard. The researchers appear to have given only moderate attention to former studies that have been carried out in the area of concern. Although they continue to assert that research in this area has been exposed to an increasing degree of attention in the last few years, it is observed that the researchers did not take the liberty of citing any extensive records of these former studies (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). However, it stands for the research's credit that the few former studies that have been cited in the introductory passages of the paper are fairly recent and therefore provide the study with a significant foundation. Furthermore, since the former studies have been cited before the presentation of the research questions, it would not be incorrect to state that the researchers manage to present a fairly credible context.
"To date, much of the literature concerning the motivations for CSER concentrates on heavy industries such as the mining, chemical and energy sectors; moreover, there is a paucity of research on CSER in the service sector. Although commercial aviation is part of the service sector, it possesses several characteristics similar to those of manufacturing industries, including intense regulation, high entry barriers, high capital costs, and tendencies towards oligopolies. The airline industry thus presents an interesting juxtaposition between these two sectors. Furthermore, air emissions, the largest environmental impact of aircraft, are often excluded from regulatory attempts at controlling environmental impact, thus, demonstrating a need for CSER in the airline sector (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008).
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If the literature review was to be analyzed in terms of the manner in which it accommodates the current research, it can be observed that the researchers have given a considerably degree of attention to the findings of the former studies in this area. The researchers have presented the precise parts of the former studies that are relatable to the current study. For instance, the highlighting of key CSER variables such as regulatory compliance, voluntary initiatives, accountability, communication and transparency as well as institutionalization of environmental and social issues gives the current study a considerable degree of relevance in the area of research (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). An example of this can be observed through the researcher's chose to shed light on CSR before moving on to elaborate on CSER. By doing so, the researchers have adequately connected the current study with former studies that gave consideration to CSR instead of CSER. It is essential to highlight at this point that this characteristic of the article allows research article to come across as a reader-friendly article with limited use of jargon and a concern for the degree of awareness that the reader has in this area.
The literature review comes across as a key strength of this article. This is because the literature review appears to be doing more than the mere presentation of former studies and their findings; in fact, the literature review presented engages in an appreciable analysis of the findings that the former studies in this area have presented (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). This allowed the researchers to derive extensive productivity from the study and to establish a clear understanding of the research variables. In this regard, it is essential to note that the literature analysis contributes extensively towards the clarification of the research variables and on the elaboration of the fundamentals that the researchers are attempting to address.
However, the researchers have ensured that they do not take the reader's knowledge in the area of concern for granted and as a result it can be observed that they have chosen to introduce the subject area of concern from scratch. In this regard, the concept of CSER has been defined in its core context at the very beginning of the literature review (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008).
With regard to the establishment of the hypothesis, the initial passages of the article were considerably strong and sound in their context and elaborations; however, as this researcher proceeded down the passages, it was felt that the researchers had not presented a sound hypothesis (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). A re-evaluation and re-read of the article in order to double-check showed that the researchers had chosen to give the article an exploratory theme and they continued to assert that the purpose of the study was to 'explore' and find evidence if motivations can be looked at in isolation of sectoral and cultural contexts. As a result of this stance towards the research questions, the researchers appeared to have considered it sufficient to proceed to establish and implement the research design without presenting a concrete hypothesis.
The research has been carried out to present a case study analysis. While case study based studies are often carried out, the researchers rarely take the trouble of justifying the reasons because of which they chose to adopt the case study approach; however, the researchers in the case of this article have presented justifications for the usage of the case study approach in generous detail.
The study was a highly qualitative research and made use of the case study approach. In essence, the research was "a case study of SAS's reasons for adopting corporate social and environmental practices" (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008).
While the justification of the airline industry for the conduction of this research has been adequately justified by the researchers as "an interesting juxtaposition between the service and the production sectors", the selection of the airline industry for the conduction of the study appears to be a somewhat inadequate approach when considered in the context of the fact that the researchers highlight in the earlier passages of the article that much of the study that has been carried out in the area of CSR has been limited to large industries (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). In essence, common sense would expect the researchers to conduct their research in the SME industry after the establishment of this fact. Furthermore, while the article presented a thorough and extensive insight into the research design that was implemented in the case-study driven research, no precise reasons were presented because of which SAS was selected for the purpose of this study in particular.
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The research was conducted by carrying out a total of 41 interviews from which nine were of preliminary nature and the remaining thirty two were of a semi-structured nature. The initial nine interviews were carried out to create a foundation for the development of the set of questions that would provide the most adequate collection of data in the main interview process (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). In addition to this, the researchers also made use of publications and reports that had been published by SAS in the past ten years. It would not be incorrect to surmise that this led increased credibility to the research design since it allowed the researchers to acquire an understanding of the internal processes that SAS follows and has followed for the purpose of CSER in the last few years.
A thorough analysis of the elaboration of the research design presented in the article led to the observation that the researchers had given a considerable and in-depth insight into the 'what' and 'how' of the characteristics of the research design; and had supplemented this with the 'why' perspective of the constituents of the research design (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). For instance, after noting that the study employed a research design that brought together document analysis and document analysis, the researchers substantiated their research design by stating that "While many empirical studies of motivations for CSR or CSER focus on gathering information from the environmental/sustainability manager of an organization, the range of management and employees interviewed for this study allowed a more holistic perspective to be developed in relation to the environmental and social motivations of SAS".
It is essential to highlight at this point that the researchers presented a conceptual model of the influences, motivations and catalysts on a firm's level of commitment towards corporate social and environmental responsibility. This model was placed in the literature review and served as the core pillar of the research (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). Since the diagram was created after an extensive literature review of former studies in the area and the establishment of a clear insight into the dynamics of the airline industry, the model came across as a key element through the course of the research and it is perhaps because of the same reason that the model was referred to at numerous instances in the article. This conceptual model, although placed in the literature review section of the article, played a key role in the establishment of the design. Most importantly, the model served as a working rationale for the research design that the researchers had established and employed.
The article described the research process of data collection, handling and analysis in excruciating detail. Almost every key part of these two processes was clearly presented in the text of the article in the section highlighting the research design.
The researchers have clearly identified the use of the deductive approach and the coding technique for the purpose of data processing and data analysis. However, there was a significant shortfall that was observed in the article: the researchers did not identify any potential limitations in the article. In this regard, the section of the article highlighting the research design did not do more than mention the particulars of the research design (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). Needless to highlight, modern day research approaches merit the adoption and employment of a precautionary research approach. In this light, it would have been suitable for the researchers to follow an approach in which the potential limitations that come into play on grounds of the developed research design are identified and stated before the actual research methodology is employed. However, in complete contrast, the researchers have proceeded to the implementation of the research after stating the particulars of the research design; thereby indicating a major deficiency in the research process.
The findings from the employment of the research design were presented clearly and the researchers appeared to have gone to extensive lengths to ensure that the findings were thoroughly analyzed and elaborated. In this area, the researchers not only elaborated on the findings obtained from the primary research but also elaborated on the findings obtained from the secondary research. Furthermore, the researchers presented the findings by making use of extensive categorization of observations. The extended number of headings in the explanations provided for the findings allowed the research to exercise clarity and comprehensiveness (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). It was observed that the gradual-incline approach was exercised in the statement of the findings just as it had been exercised in the presentation of the context of the research. The researchers took the liberty of gradually building upon the findings of the research before moving onto analyze them. Also, the research findings followed a gradual build up process in which the discussion of the findings was designed to lead up to the elaboration of the observations that were related directly to the research questions. This characteristic of the article had two contrasting dimensions to it (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). Firstly the article became extensively self-explanatory in nature; while simultaneously becoming extremely lengthy.
If the section of the article presenting the findings of the research was to be analyzed in terms of the degree to which the findings addressed the stated research objectives, then it can be justly stated that the findings of the study adequately addressed the objectives of the research (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). The use of multiple headings in the elaboration of the findings facilitated this aspect of the study and almost every single element of the research objectives was explored in the discussion highlighting the findings of the study. This included aspects pertaining to the objectives that addressed CSER as well as objectives that specifically addressed SAS as well.
The research appears to have given a considerable degree of attention to the responses that have been collected. In this area, it can be observed that the researchers gave due consideration to all the responses that were collected. This is evidenced through the fact that the researchers exercised the productive approach of quoting key responses collected from the respondents during the implementation of the research process. In this regard, the researchers have made excellent use of tables in the explanation of the findings. The self-explanatory tables presented in the study goes to show that the researchers exercised the coding process with effectiveness.
If the research was to be considered for the assumptions that it has made in the conduction of the study, then it can be observed that the research made use of almost no assumptions (Lynes and Andrachuk 2008). Almost every part of the research design has been constructed to collect real-world data without bringing any assumptions into account. It can therefore be surmised that the findings presented by the researchers in the conclusion of the study are also based on ground realities and do not encompass the usage of any assumptions or exceptions.
In light of this observation it can be justifiably stated that the research is of a generalizable nature and can be considered for adaptation and extension areas that are related to this research. However, since the researchers have chosen to make use of the interview approach, the research does have certain time-based restrictions to it; i.e., the research findings cannot be considered to be applicable if the organization was to experience any large scale change. Any major change in the organization can lead the findings of the research to become somewhat obsolete. This is complicated further by the fact that the study has chosen to make use of documentation that spans the last ten years and has limited the findings to the establishment of the research variables. In essence, the research does not have a forecasting perspective to it and it is therefore not a highly generalizable study.
On a concluding note, perhaps an ideal way to percieve the article would be to distinguish between the overall quality of the research project and the report of it as presented in the journal article; thereby judging the article as a product of the research and not the study behind the research. In this regard, the researchers have presented an exemplary research article covering almost all the aspects of the research in extensive detail. The text of the article is almost self-explanatory and the use of tables and diagrams has given the research extensive credibility.
The article is well-structured and the presentation is fairly unbiased with an objective approach towards the study. In addition, the article cites very few references that do not date in the last ten years and a majority of the references are well within the last few years; thereby validating the research further.