Institutional Antecedents of the Corporate Social Responsibility Narrative in the Developing World Context: Implications for Sustainable Development

Frans Melissen, Andrew Ngawenja Mzembe, Uwafiokun Idemudia, Yvonne Novakovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Efforts to understand the background to perceptions and manifestation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the developing world need to focus on establishing their link with the challenges of socio-economic governance and societal expectations and cultural traditions. This signifies a departure from a western centric understanding of CSR but also an over-focus on CSR as philanthropy. This study considers the Malawian tourism industry and finds that its colonial legacy, post-colonialism development thinking and the national education system explain the prevalence of a ‘CSR as philanthropy’ agenda. When these factors interact with challenges of socio-economic governance and societal expectations, however, the universality thesis that has often been associated with the theory and implementation CSR can be challenged. These findings therefore suggest a shift from the western centric CSR thinking to a CSR perspective that is strongly grounded in local values and norms and which meets the expectations of the global society. This indicates a way forward if CSR is to be adequately institutionalized in the developing world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-676
Number of pages20
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Volume27
Issue number6
Early online date19 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2018

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social responsibility
sustainable development
developing world
narrative
philanthropy
post-colonialism
colonial legacy
governance
cultural tradition
corporate social responsibility
Sustainable development
Corporate Social Responsibility
Developing world
education system
economics
tourism
Tourism
education
industry

Cite this

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abstract = "Efforts to understand the background to perceptions and manifestation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the developing world need to focus on establishing their link with the challenges of socio-economic governance and societal expectations and cultural traditions. This signifies a departure from a western centric understanding of CSR but also an over-focus on CSR as philanthropy. This study considers the Malawian tourism industry and finds that its colonial legacy, post-colonialism development thinking and the national education system explain the prevalence of a ‘CSR as philanthropy’ agenda. When these factors interact with challenges of socio-economic governance and societal expectations, however, the universality thesis that has often been associated with the theory and implementation CSR can be challenged. These findings therefore suggest a shift from the western centric CSR thinking to a CSR perspective that is strongly grounded in local values and norms and which meets the expectations of the global society. This indicates a way forward if CSR is to be adequately institutionalized in the developing world.",
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Institutional Antecedents of the Corporate Social Responsibility Narrative in the Developing World Context : Implications for Sustainable Development. / Melissen, Frans; Mzembe, Andrew Ngawenja; Idemudia, Uwafiokun; Novakovic, Yvonne.

In: Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 27, No. 6, 06.09.2018, p. 657-676.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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