Sustainability performance at stake during COVID-19 pandemic? Evidence from Sharia-compliant companies in emerging markets

Ahmad Hambali, Desi Adhariani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to analyse whether Sharia-compliant companies have better sustainability performance, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic context is worth investigating as there is a concern that companies will reduce their sustainability activities to focus more on economic recovery, thereby leading to lower sustainability performance. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses data from companies listed on Indonesian and Malaysian stock exchanges. These two countries have experienced rapid developments in Islamic finance and possess similar criteria in assigning the Sharia compliance label to a company. The data on sustainability performance and its three dimensions (environmental, social and governance) were gathered from Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) and analysed using panel data regression. Findings: The results show that Sharia-compliant companies had a higher sustainability performance in all research periods, but not during the COVID-19 pandemic. This implies that the pandemic has not triggered a need for Sharia-compliant companies to improve their sustainability performance. The results can be interpreted that sustainability performance is not only at stake during the COVID-19 pandemic but it can also indicate a “business-as-usual” approach applied by companies regardless of the Sharia-compliant label. Originality/value: Sustainability performance has been intensively investigated in prior research, but how it is related to the current health crisis and Sharia compliance has been scantily studied and becomes the originality of this research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Pandemic
  • Sharia
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainability performance

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