This paper aims to explore firm-community level trust in rural Africa through the lens of oil companies’ corporate social responsibilities (CSR).
This paper is grounded on a case study of local communities and other stakeholders in a Nigerian community exploring the underlying triggers of distrust and trust between oil companies and rural communities through the lens of CSR.
This exploratory study found the presence of high-level firm-community expectation differentials, pointing to considerable mistrust between local communities and oil companies’ CSR initiatives.
The local communities tend to feel oil companies attempt to secure social licence to operate by engaging in CSR initiatives but not to genuinely improve their welfare. There is, therefore, a superficial effort or incentive for oil companies to engage in CSR initiatives in rural Africa.
The paper highlights the notion that building a community-driven CSR requires a partnership in which local communities share legitimacy with government agencies and oil companies in influencing CSR initiatives. This represents the most effective way of enhancing firm-community level trust and social legitimacy in rural Africa.
Meribe, N.C., Ayentimi, D.T., Oke, B.R. and Adonteng-Kissi, O. (2021), "Exploring firm-community level trust in rural Africa through the lens of oil companies’ corporate social responsibilities", Society and Business Review, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 357-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-04-2020-0059
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