Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business


This study contributes to the sustainability literature through empirical investigation on how both formal and informal institutional factors influence the level of global food industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) engagement (also known as sustainability engagement). This study proposed six hypotheses to be tested for formal and informal institutional factors’ influence on sustainability engagement with simple and multiple linear regression analyses, correlation analysis to examine the relationship between sustainability engagement and individual countries’ institutional factors. Six institutional factors the author studied include Yale’s World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index; the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation’s food loss and food waste index, sustainable agriculture index, and nutrition challenge index; and Hofstede’s long-term orientation index and uncertainty avoidance index. Furthermore, the study proposed an additional hypothesis to compare the mean sustainability engagement levels of the four GICS food industries (restaurants, food retailing, beverages, and food products) using one-way ANOVA and post-hoc analyses. This study utilized the Bloomberg archival environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data categorized by the nine global industry classification standard (GICS) food sub-industries that are the four GICS food industries, which represent the global food industry.This study found statistically significant associations between three institutional factors (national sustainable agriculture policy implementation levels, national culture’s long-term orientation levels, and national culture’s uncertainty avoidance levels) and the food industry sustainability engagement levels with multiple regression analysis. The study additionally found statistically significant differences in the sustainability engagement levels among the four GICS food industries. Implications to management practice, the development of Institution-Based View (IBV) theory framework through this study, and future research suggestions are discussed. Sustainability engagement in the food industry was found to be relatively low. The study suggests management practices to increase sustainability efforts through various mechanisms.

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