This paper aims to examine the tensions between global and local corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives developed by multinationals managing subsidiaries in different emergent countries. Multinationals carry out a wide array of political activities (Boddewyn and Brewer, 1994; Hillman and Hitt, 1999; Rehbein and Schuler, 1995) supporting their economic objectives, even though the political landscape and the institutional environment may vary significantly in the different countries in which they are located (Luo, 2006). This can raise issues related to the management of cross-border political imperatives as well as the coordination of political activities among multinational companies and their subsidiaries.
Based on a documentary research, this paper analyses the key challenges facing the non-market and CSR strategies of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a world leading, research-based pharmaceutical and health-care company.
The paper further looks at the way in which GSK deploys its global non-market strategies and manages their alignment with local CSR initiatives in emerging markets, particularly in China.
Further research is required to address the question of international CSR mediation and moderation of this imbalance between pressures for global consistency and local responsiveness. More specifically, in-depth case studies designed to target local managers, as well as their counterparts from the MNE headquarters, should allow us to more effectively analyse and capture the perceived biases with regard to the way the CSR agenda is set at the central level, in light of its global strategy and to the needs and demands of their local host countries’ stakeholders.
This exploratory research based on secondary data allows an interesting base for analysis of the synergies between CSR, non-market strategies and international strategic management which provide a promising base for continuing research.
Saïd, K., Sevic, Z. and Phillips, I. (2019), "The challenges of addressing stakeholders’ expectations through corporate non-market strategies in emergent countries: The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) case", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 87-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/cpoib-03-2018-0027Download as .RIS
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