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Playing to the audience? Multilevel interactions between stakeholders and institutions around CSR in Bangladesh

Taposh Roy (Department of HR Management and Organisational Behaviour, Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Jon Burchell (Sheffield University Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Joanne Cook (Department of Organisational Behaviour∕Human Resources Management, Hull University Business School, University of Hull, Hull, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 15 June 2022

Issue publication date: 27 March 2023




While corporate social responsibility (CSR) research and practice has expanded and evolved rapidly in recent years, little is known about how MNC subsidiaries develop their CSR strategies and how they reconcile global and local demands and pressures from both institutions and stakeholders. The paper aims to understand how institutions and stakeholder pressures interact at both national and international levels and how these interactions shape MNC subsidiaries' CSR in Bangladesh.


Multiple case studies were used to investigate the CSR practices of 10 MNC subsidiaries operating in Bangladesh. To collect data, twenty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted. For supplementing primary data, secondary data from annual reports and websites were collected.


The article demonstrates that the practice of CSR in Bangladesh is a result of pressures exerted by parent companies, international institutions and international stakeholders. The article reveals how lack of pressure from local stakeholders and institutions enables subsidiaries to gain traction and use their agency to apply globalised CSR conceptualisations not necessarily applicable to the localised context.


The study has synthesised existing approaches to develop a multilevel framework for understanding how the intricate interactions between institutions and stakeholders from different levels (i.e. national and international levels) determine the trajectory of CSR adopted by subsidiaries in developing countries. This interaction undoubtedly plays a key role in determining the types of CSR strategy being enacted, the potential agency of different actors to shape change and the extent to which such pressures are likely to lead to CSR strategies that actually reflect and respond to the needs of local stakeholders.



Roy, T., Burchell, J. and Cook, J. (2023), "Playing to the audience? Multilevel interactions between stakeholders and institutions around CSR in Bangladesh", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 464-493.



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