This study aims to examine the impact of Covid-19 on transforming accountability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and office operation and control. This paper explains how unleashing the rationality of health and safety along with internal CSR made the transformation to telework successfully operable in a periphery of a western multinational corporation.
The study draws upon the theories of governmentality and social accountability. It adopts an interpretative qualitative research approach and uses the case study method. Data were collected from one of the biggest private sector telecommunication companies in Egypt.
This study finds that Covid-19 and its related health and safety discourse represented a good rationale for the western home office to accelerate the initiation of its office transformation plan to reach full working from home policy in a less developed country peripheral subsidiary. Under the guise of CSR, the company spent a large budget to make this transformation quickly operable, while its Egyptian subsidiary is financially distressed. Moreover, the company achieved its objectives from this new rationality as employees currently prefer the telework mode which reduces the company costs in the long run.
The study provides practitioners with evidence and practicable knowledge regarding the impact of Covid-19 on office reconfiguration and the ways used to achieve this in the Egyptian telecommunication sector.
The current study extends the governmentality literature by illustrating that transformation to telework in emerging markets is an operational manifestation of cost reduction and efficiency rationality under the guise of CSR. Moreover, it extends the office transformation literature by bringing early evidence regarding office transition plans during COVID-19 in an emerging market.
Metwally, A.B.M., Diab, A. and Mohamed, M.K. (2021), "Telework operationalization through internal CSR, governmentality and accountability during the Covid-19: evidence from a developing country", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-11-2020-2500
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