This Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) thesis explores how and why lessors in the Irish aircraft leasing sector engage with corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the internal processes in place to put CSR activities into practice. To address this aim, the research objectives are as follows: 1. To carry out a CSR review of the websites of the top 50 lessors based in Ireland. 2. To understand how and why Irish leasing companies are engaging with CSR. 3. To identify what internal processes are employed by lessors in the Irish aircraft leasing sector to support such CSR engagement. 4. To understand why are such internal processes chosen by lessors. The study uses theories as lenses through which to view the uses legitimacy, stakeholder and institutional theory as the lenses to understand how and why lessors engage with CSR and the internal processes in place to support such activities. The research design employed is qualitative which firstly consisted of a field familiarisation involving a website review of the CSR disclosures of the top 50 lessors based in Ireland. The field familiarisation which influenced the sample selection was followed by 19 semi-structured interviews with senior management from a sample across the top 50 lessors in the Irish aircraft leasing sector. It was identified that lessors contribute to CSR in a wide variety of ways with the benefactors typically having charitable status and specialising in the areas of children’s health and education. There was evidence that the environmental threat and diversity & inclusion were emerging areas of CSR activity, however there appears to be a lack of real policy and activity actually being undertaken by lessors. It was also found that lessors are motivated to engage with CSR activity to retain and recruit staff, to self-protect against adverse government regulation and give back to the leasing sector. From a contribution to knowledge perspective the findings show a variation across leasing companies in terms of CSR processes which allows a framework to be prepared which sets out the three stages of CSR processes and the characteristics of firms within each stage. The study also builds on prior research and provides new insights into internal CSR processes. The study also finds that while all leasing firms are legitimising to some extent, the level of legitimacy varies depending on what stage of the CSR framework lessors fall within. From a contribution to practice perspective the research results in a CSR practical tool which will aide lessors when implementing CSR processes and provides guidance for companies when transitioning through the different stages of the CSR framework.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2020|
- Corporate social responsibility