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Corporate social responsibility practices in India: approach, drivers, and barriers

Jorge A. Arevalo (Department of Marketing and Management Sciences, William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey, USA)
Deepa Aravind (Department of Business, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 9 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine how corporations in India interpret corporate social responsibility (CSR). Focusing on four commonly known approaches: the ethical, the statist, the liberal, and the stakeholder approach, the paper seeks to investigate the reported drivers and barriers to implementing CSR practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper surveyed top‐level managers of a sample of companies currently engaging in a CSR initiative, representing a variety of industry sectors.

Findings

The study finds that the CSR approach that is most favored by Indian firms is the stakeholder approach and that the caring or the moral motive, followed by the strategic or profit motive, are important drivers for Indian firms to pursue CSR. Further, the results indicate that the most significant obstacles to CSR implementation are those related to lack of resources, followed by those related to the complexity and difficulty of implementing CSR.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on the activities of leading Indian firms participating in the UN Global Compact (GC), thereby restricting one's knowledge of CSR practices of non‐participants. Future research should expand on this effort either by conducting comparative studies of non‐participants to the GC, or by investigating CSR practices of firms engaging in other voluntary initiatives.

Originality/value

The majority of studies on CSR are still embedded in the economic and organizational contexts of Europe and the USA. This research aims to address this gap by focusing on the CSR framework of developing nations, particularly the emerging market of India.

Keywords

Citation

Arevalo, J.A. and Aravind, D. (2011), "Corporate social responsibility practices in India: approach, drivers, and barriers", Corporate Governance, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 399-414. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720701111159244

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited