Business strategy for environmental social governance practices: evidence from telecommunication companies in Malaysia

Nur Syuhada Jasni*, Haslinda Yusoff, Mustaffa Mohamed Zain, Noreena Md Yusoff, Nor Syafinaz Shaffee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The present digital era has integrated the conventional telecommunications companies as service providers in this ever-competitive environment. Towards gaining business competitiveness, businesses are operated from the stance of dynamic business model that places focus on both economic activities and, more importantly, value-added benefits. One essential value embedded into business strategies refers to the aspect of sustainability in conjunction to environmental social governance (ESG). Within the context of Malaysia, ESG practices have been expected to grow rapidly in years to come, along with the vision of becoming a digital economy nation, by 2050. The continuous discussions appear to support the significance of implementing ESG practices amidst organizations, which in turn, could enhance a more sustainable economic growth for the country. Although many studies have probed into the dimensions of ESG, little attention has been given to the ESG practices incorporated into business strategy agenda. Design/methodology/approach: This paper combed through the literature to retrieve the multi-dimensions of ESG concepts, as well as related in-depth insights into ESG disclosures amongst leading companies established in Malaysia. As for the research design, this study used the content analysis method and the ESG Grid as the benchmarking tool to explore superior commitments amongst its peers. Findings: As a result, this study stumbled upon two major outcomes: the pattern of ESG disclosures in telecommunications industry and the approaches in implementing ESG practices in telecommunications companies. These two aspects appear essential to establish a competitive advantage, apart from addressing the issues raised by concerned stakeholders. Research limitations/implications: Future studies may explore deeper into comprehending the ESG practices by using the interview method and incorporating other industry or arena. Practical implications: The decisions made by the companies to invest in ESG practices mark the ability of a company in devising viable survival strategies within the industry. Originality/value: Hence, this study offers several vital insights into the practical value to learn from the best experiences, aside from analyzing the current progress of ESG practices within the context of developing nation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-289
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Responsibility Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 17 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Business strategy
  • Content analysis
  • ESG practices
  • Legitimacy theory
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Telecommunications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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