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Authors: Petrovic, Marko
Advisors: Weber, Elke
Department: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Class Year: 2024
Abstract: The use of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) is on the rise around the world (Coqueret, 2022). Researchers have been able to identify a strong connection between financial performance and success in ESG ratings in a wide range of contexts (Henisz et al., 2019), and recent studies have begun to identify firm size a significant predictor of ESG scoring (Drempetic et al., 2019). However, there is still uncertainty surrounding the true meaning behind an ESG score and whether the role of firm size is in fact significant in predicting ESG implementation or if larger firms are simply better at reporting more and tipping the scores in their favor (Drempetic et al., 2019). From a policy perspective, it is imperative to understand if firm size is significant since company size has been playing an active role from the ESG reporting framework (Bose, 2020) to the newest SEC regulations (Silk & Lu, 2024). The purpose of this thesis is to try to understand the significance of firm size in the transportation industry group by means of a non-ESG score metric: employee perceptions. A possible opportunity exists with the rise of a new scale by De Souza Barbosa et al. (2024) for researchers to examine the perceptions of employees towards their companies’ own ESG behavior and perhaps add to the discussion of how important firm size is by demonstrating whether employees of different firm sizes systematically perceive different levels of ESG implementation. The main finding of this thesis is that there are some firm size-related trends in employee perceptions, but these are neither true for all pillars of ESG nor true for all firm size categories. The ultimate argument of this thesis is that firm size is not a reliable measure for ESG policy creation within the transportation industry and that other variables — such as political orientation — may be more significant in order to increase adoption of ESG behaviors.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2024

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