Ayuso, S., Roca, M., Arevalo, J.A. and Aravind, D. (2016) What determines principle-based standards implementation? Reporting on Global Compact adoption in Spanish firms, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 133 Núm. 3, pp. 553-565.
International Accountability Standards have proliferated in the last 20 years, with the UN Global Compact (GC) as the most widely accepted principle-based standard catalyzing voluntary participation by firms. This study aims to improve understanding about the factors that determine companies’ progress in adopting principle-based standards. Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm, we examine the direct and combined influences of different organizational resources (firm-specific resources, innovative capability, length of participation, and internationalization of the firm) on standard implementation as perceived by 213 Spanish GC signatories. Our results reveal that the level of firm-specific resources has a positive effect on the extent of GC principles implementation and that innovative capability and length of GC participation strengthen this effect. Contrary to our expectations, we find that the internationalization of firms does not have an effect on GC principles implementation. We discuss the implications of these findings for scholars and practicing managers.