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Researching corporate social responsibility in developing-countries context: A systematic review of the literature
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Law and Management, ISSN 1754-243X, E-ISSN 1754-2448, Vol. 60, no 2, p. 284-310Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This paper aims to present a systematic review of scholarly articles focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in developing countries and published during the period 2004 to 2014 in international journals.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper applied a bibliometric analysis to 101 articles on CSR research focused on developing countries.

Findings: The study confirms that the most prevalent CSR themes addressed in journals have been social issues, followed by environmental issues in a distant second, with ethics-related issues receiving the least attention. Also, as CSR research in developing countries constitutes an emerging stream of literature, an overwhelming dominance of empirical (qualitative) papers aimed at exploring and/or seeking interpretations to CSR motivations have been confirmed.

Research limitations/implications: An important limitation of this study is in relation to the methods applied. In the first place, this review is based on two electronic databases: ABI/INFORM Global (ProQuest) and Web of Science Core Collection: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED). This means that research published in international journals that are not included in either of these databases will be omitted.

Practical implications: This review provides useful guidance for future CSR research focused on developing countries thereby providing a foundation for future research in this stream of CSR research.

Social implications: The findings of this study suggest that much CSR knowledge in developing countries reflects the unique social issues that call for companies to adopt different CSR interventions when operating in developing countries.

Originality/value: Although this paper is not the first to systematically review CSR research, but it is one of the initial attempts, to the best of the knowledge, to systematically review the state of CSR knowledge in the context of developing countries.

© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018. Vol. 60, no 2, p. 284-310
Keywords [en]
Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Environmental, Social, Developing countries
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-36931DOI: 10.1108/IJLMA-04-2017-0093Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047663328OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-36931DiVA, id: diva2:1214794
Available from: 2018-06-07 Created: 2018-06-07 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. (Investigating) MNCs' CSR-related behaviour and impacts in institutionally and culturally distant markets: African developing-countries in focus
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(Investigating) MNCs' CSR-related behaviour and impacts in institutionally and culturally distant markets: African developing-countries in focus
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to explore why and how institutional distance and contextual differences influence MNCs’ CSR-related behavior in African developing-countries. In order to achieve the purpose stated above, the thesis seeks to answer the overarching research question: How do institutional distance and contextual differences influence MNCs’ CSR-related behavior in African developing countries? To answer the research question this thesis employed an interpretive methodological approach in order to increase my understanding of the CSR phenomenon in a specific contextual environment characterized by different institutional distance through different theoretical and empirical perspectives (Guba and Lincoln, 1994; Lincoln and Guba, 2000). The thesis consists of two qualitative case studies, a systematic literature review, a conceptual paper focused on analyzing distance and MNC foreign subsidiaries’ CSR-related behaviour, and a longitudinal content analysis of annual CSR reports.

The thesis found that the most prevalent CSR themes addressed in journal articles focused on developing-countries have been social issues, followed by environmental issues as a distant second, with ethics-related issues receiving the least attention. The findings further indicate that CSR rhetoric plays a more positive and significant role than so far explored in CSR research, as it incentivises the host-communities to push for the fulfilment of their CSR expectations or CSR initiatives proposed by the mining companies. Soft’ regulations to which members of industry associations voluntarily adhere mitigate the absence of enforcement of more stringent hard regulations by the state for companies. In doing business in distant or different institutional contexts, institutional duality of MNC subsidiaries renders business activities complex and even conflicting when it comes to seeking internal and external legitimacy. This finding and the proposed model extend Hillman and Wan’s (2005) argument of the existence of ‘institutional duality’ of MNC subsidiaries. The 60-item disclosure index is in itself a contribution to research as it provides a measure of ‘disclosure quality’ in relation to the disclosures of CSR-related performance information and CSR-related governance information.

The main theoretical contribution of the thesis is that CSR expectations in developing-countries are distinct and may be more important to know how these empirical realities are taken into account when firms with their origin in developed-countries internationalize and enter markets in developing-countries. Second, an extended model is proposed which illustrates the roles of organizational fields, institutional pressures, legitimating environments, and legitimating strategies for MNC subsidiaries’ voluntary disclosure of CSR performance information. The overall contribution of the thesis is that it deepens our understanding of the CSR phenomenon, and of the role of host-communities and MNC subsidiaries’ managers from the context of developing-countries.

© Gideon Jojo Amos

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Halmstad: Halmstad University Press, 2018. p. 85
Series
Halmstad University Dissertations ; 47
Keywords
multinational enterprises (MNEs), corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate social responsibility reporting (CSRR), African developing-countries, legitimacy, stakeholders, institutional theories, organizational learning
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-36935 (URN)978-91-87045-98-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-07, O104, Kristian IV:s väg, Halmstad, 10:10 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-06-21 Created: 2018-06-07 Last updated: 2018-07-12Bibliographically approved

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