Do multi-stakeholder initiatives make for better CSR?

Kanji Tanimoto (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Publication date: 5 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the significance and challenges of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives organized by multi-stakeholders and to clarify the function of CSR initiatives: What is the significance of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs)? What conditions are required for CSR initiatives to work satisfactorily? How do CSR standards function effectively in companies?

Design/methodology/approach

The significance and challenges of multi-stakeholder CSR initiatives are clarified theoretically, based on previous literature from relevant research fields.

Findings

MSIs are beyond the “dichotomy” of two traditional approaches to CSR, namely, voluntary vs mandatory. However MSIs do not automatically ensure good performance. We should discuss not only the legitimacy of MSIs but external monitoring and evaluation systems for responsible companies in the market, as well as organizational efforts to incorporate CSR standards into managerial processes.

Social implications

This paper shows that an MSI is an important platform for establishing and promoting a CSR standard, and further that market maturity and stakeholder engagement are required to make CSR work.

Originality/value

The study explains that ceremonial compliance with CSR standards may be inevitable even where the legitimacy of an MSI is secured, and that we should recognize that monitoring and sanction systems in the market and an organizational approach to the incorporation of CSR in management practices are required.

Keywords

Citation

Tanimoto, K. (2019), "Do multi-stakeholder initiatives make for better CSR?", Corporate Governance, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 704-716. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-08-2018-0267

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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