The Implications of the B Corporation Certification for Business

Olga Daskalaki

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The landscape of modern corporations is changing and the society expects business to use their power and resources to have a positive in the world. Yet, the traditional cannot tackle these needs. Therefore hybrid organisations have emerged, namely organisations that have a dual mission; a social and environmental one and at the same time a commercial one. B Corps certification are a type of hybrid organisations that meet the higher standards of environmental and social performance. Research points towards B Corps as the business that can redefine success. This master thesis seeks to add to this body of literature by exploring what are the implications of the certification for business in five impact areas; strategy, decision making, innovation, operations and stakeholders, specifically shareholders and employees. Based on qualitative interviews with three case companies and two external experts, this master thesis analyzes the impact of the certification in all the different areas. This study finds that there is little evidence that the B Corp Certification affects these areas. This is mainly explained by the fact that the three case companies, and other examples added by the experts, already follow similar standards and share the same values as the B Corp ones before becoming certified. Yet the certification acts as an inspiration and motivation to undertake actions for more positive impact, is a validation for the companies that assert they are responsible and finally it creates a supportive network of like minded business that can join their resources and use business as a force for good.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages176
SupervisorsErin Leitheiser