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Social Responsibility within Brussels Municipalities: An Exploratory Study

Corporate Social Responsibility

ISBN: 978-1-78754-260-0, eISBN: 978-1-78754-259-4

Publication date: 14 May 2018


Despite the abundant literature on CSR, the implementation of social responsibility in public sector organizations is still underexplored. And this despite the fact that, as illustration, the public sector accounts for more than one-third of the economic activity in Belgium. Moreover, public sector organizations have an example function toward other societal actors, and by implementing social responsibility themselves, they are likely to provide a strong signal to the market. In this chapter, we approach the example role of public organizations in CSR implementation by doing a qualitative research of 14 (out of 19) municipalities in Brussels and focus thereby on the implementation of a social responsibility proxy, “Local Agenda 21” (LA21). We find that political support, through key political figures and the opposition, are very important for the success of the implementation of social responsibility in municipalities. We were surprised to learn that municipalities are experiencing competition amongst each other regarding LA21 implementation. However, the most unexpected result of our study was that municipalities reported that their involvement in LA21 seems to have only a limited impact on the private sector. Therefore, the argument of government institutions “leading by example” requires further investigation.



Dentchev, N.A., Eiselein, P. and Kayaert, T. (2018), "Social Responsibility within Brussels Municipalities: An Exploratory Study", Corporate Social Responsibility (Business and Society 360, Vol. 2), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 147-174.



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