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Do corporate social responsibility practices yield different business benefits in eastern and western contexts?

Yu-Chen Wei (Department of Educational Management, National Taipei University of Education, Taiwan)
Carolyn P. Egri (College of Business, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada)
Carol Yeh-Yun Lin (Department of Business Administration, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which societal culture has a moderating effect on the business benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-national research design was conducted using survey data collected from 164 firms in Taiwan and 196 firms in Canada.

Findings

We found societal differences in the positive influence of CSR on corporate image and employee commitment. Specifically, we found that the relationships between CSR (customer-oriented and employee-oriented) and corporate image were stronger for Taiwanese firms than for Canadian firms. In addition, employee CSR was found to be more strongly associated with higher employee commitment in Taiwan than in Canada. While customer CSR was associated with enhanced customer loyalty, this relationship was similar for firms in both countries.

Research limitations/implications

Multi-informants for data collection and longitudinal research design in future research would be required for further understanding of the relationships among the variables in this study.

Practical implications

This paper suggests that the business benefits of customer and employee CSR practices may yield relatively greater competitive advantages in East Asian countries where CSR is not as established or taken for granted as in Western countries.

Originality/value

This study draws on the strategic perspective to investigate the value of CSR practices yielding different business benefits in contrasting cultural contexts.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. And the authors also thank the Taiwan National Science Council to give us the financial support for presenting our earlier version at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Philadelphia.

Citation

Wei, Y.-C., P. Egri, C. and Yeh-Yun Lin, C. (2014), "Do corporate social responsibility practices yield different business benefits in eastern and western contexts?", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 556-576. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-05-2014-0091

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited