Multinational corporations (MNCs) utilize corporate social responsibility (CSR) to govern their global economic activities. Yet CSR adoption is influenced by institutional diversity of both home and host countries. This article uses neoinstitutional and comparative capitalism theories to understand how CSR is shaped by different forms of stakeholder salience in diverse institutional contexts. Using data on labor rights CSR adoption by 629 European MNCs, our empirical results indicate that CSR complements institutionalized stakeholder power in home countries, but substitutes for its absence in host countries. Hence, CSR may paradoxically legitimate MNC behavior given both the presence and absence of stakeholder rights.
Jackson, G. and Rathert, N. (2016), "Private Governance as Regulatory Substitute or Complement? A Comparative Institutional Approach to CSR Adoption by Multinational Corporations
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