Cultures, organizations and philanthropy

Christina M. Genest (Corporate Communication Institute, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, USA)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this article is to examine the influence of corporate culture on the practice of corporate philanthropy in a global environment.


The paper uses content analysis of corporate texts and media; interviews with global philanthropy practitioners.


The paper finds that: corporate philanthropy is a reflector of corporate values; global corporate philanthropists have a history of commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities; global companies practice international philanthropy; program delivery differs as a reflection of corporate history, values, mission, and business drivers; global corporations utilize CSR to gain and maintain their “license to operate”; and corporate cultural learning is pursued as an explicit activity; cross‐cultural learning is generally perceived as an implicit outcome. CSR shares values, opportunity for integrated cultural learning.

Research limitations/implications

This research is not generalizable. Its findings could be explored by surveying a larger purposive sample.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this research are the sharing of corporate values and the inclusion of cultural learning through the integration of CSR activities, including philanthropy.


The study found corporate opportunities for cultural learning valuable to the development of the global corporation as global corporate citizen, a prerequisite to the effective practice of philanthropy and for doing business globally.



Genest, C. (2005), "Cultures, organizations and philanthropy", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 315-327.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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