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Telework operationalization through internal CSR, governmentality and accountability during the Covid-19: evidence from a developing country

Abdelmoneim Bahyeldin Mohamed Metwally (Bangor Business School, Bangor University, BIBF Campus, Manama, Bahrain and Department of Accounting, Faculty of Commerce, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt)
Ahmed Diab (Department of Accounting, Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Faculty of Commerce, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt)
Mostafa Kayed Mohamed (Department of Accounting, Faculty of Commerce, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 6 May 2021

781

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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