Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Emerging Trends in Developing Economies: Volume 8

Subject:

Table of contents

(28 chapters)
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List of Tables

Pages ix-x
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List of Figures

Pages xi-xii
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Foreword

Pages xxiii-xxiv
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Purpose

This chapter introduces this book’s topics, purpose, and key themes. It summarizes the main objective of this book which is to examine the trends in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability in developing and emerging economies.

Methodology/approach

This chapter reviews the extant literature and chapters and offers conceptual development.

Findings

Discussion on CSR and sustainability concepts is growing in developing countries, and many stakeholders including businesses, governments, and universities are working toward achieving sustainability. In addition, it is well documented that multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in developing economies contribute significantly to job creation, growth and development, and poverty alleviation. However, when compared to developed countries there is a general perception that companies, in particular MNEs, do not pay much attention to CSR and sustainability issues. The lack of sophisticated institutional developments and capability in many developing economies compound the situation. Thus, business CSR and sustainability practices play a major role in improving stakeholder relationships.

Practical and social implications

This chapter suggests that in order for developing and emerging economies to move forward and achieve the gains from globalization; businesses, governments, and other stakeholders should work together to benefit from the various initiatives on CSR and sustainability jointly put together for the betterment of the citizens and a prosperous economy.

Originality/value

This chapter contributes to the debate on trends in CSR and sustainability in developing/emerging economies by critically examines what the notions really mean in developing and emerging economies. It emphasizes that CSR and sustainability mean contributing to the well-being of citizens and respond positively to various stakeholder demands by improving the host countries and communities through participation in economic progress, social well-being, improvement in environmental practices, and involvement in citizens’ empowerment and institutional building.

Purpose

The book chapter sheds light on specific institutional variables that have been shaping and molding corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and expressions in the developing world. It argues that CSR strategies cannot be detached from context, and that institutional constellations exert serious pressure on CSR expressions in developing countries, which continue to take a largely philanthropic form. The chapter then dwells on how to transition from CSR as philanthropy to a more strategic approach and the important agency role of founders and top managers in enacting this transition.

Approach

This book chapter highlights the context-dependence of CSR practices and provides illustrations from the Middle East context and other developing countries. It adopts a mostly secondary review of available literature on the topic. It also outlines some guidelines about how to move beyond philanthropy that is largely prevalent in the developing countries to a more strategic approach, that is aligned with strategy and core competence (inside-out strategic approach) or relevant and pressing social needs in the country (outside-in strategic approach).

Findings

Institutional variables include cultural and religious systems, the nature of political systems, the nature of socioeconomic systems and priorities, as well as the institutional pressures exerted by other institutional actors, inclusive of development and welfare agencies, trade unions, business associations, and civil society organizations. National institutional environments such as weak and contracted governments, gaps in public governance and transparency, arbitrary enforcement of rules, regulations, and policies, and low levels of safety and labor standards affect how CSR is conceived and practiced in developing countries. Hence, CSR continues to be equated with philanthropy in the developing world, and substantive engagement with CSR is the exception rather than the norm.

Social implications

To take CSR to the next level in developing countries, we need to accord systematic attention to strengthening the institutional drivers of CSR, and putting more pressure on companies to move beyond philanthropy, rhetoric, legitimization, imagery, and public relations to substantive engagement in CSR and genuine attempts at change and development. Practical guidelines and implications in relation to how to transition to a more strategic approach to CSR are provided.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the economic development Chile has had in the last few years with main focus on economic growth, leaving behind social and environmental variables which could be classified as unsustainable development.

Methodology/approach

Statements, examples, and data are presented in order to support that the development Chile has experienced in the last years is not a sustainable development. Further, through interviews and focus groups across the nation, opinion leaders and citizens have been approached in order to assess their future vision of a sustainable country.

Practical implications

This chapter provides inputs for further decision making processes for public and private policies towards sustainable development in Chile.

Originality/value

The development of Chile is commonly assessed from an economic point of view without considering social or environmental variables which are as important as the economic parameters for realizing a real sustainable development. Thus this chapter adopts a triple-bottom line approach to argue that social and environmental issues should be considered simultaneously with economic progress.

Purpose

This chapter aims to examine the introduction and development of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within a Chinese social, cultural, and political context. It mainly looks at the CSR movement in China in order to explain how the traditional values of Confucianism contributed to the development of CSR discourse which is similar to and differs from some other countries in North America and Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter is primarily theoretical in perspective. It also adopts a discourse approach, specifically Fairclough’s three-step approach by drawing upon a large state-owned corporate group’s website documents and interview data in order to create new meanings of Chinese CSR shaped by Confucian moral philosophy.

Findings

The chapter argues that development of Chinese CSR theory incorporates a revival of Confucian moral philosophy into modern Western business management philosophy. It demonstrates a hybrid model for CSR practices which combine aspects of both Confucian business ethics and Western CSR theory.

Research limitations/implications

The research results are valid for state-owned enterprises and may not be generalized to other types of Chinese businesses such as private-owned enterprises and small business enterprises. Further research is needed to develop comparisons.

Practical implications

The chapter suggests a people-oriented leadership style which emphasizes the importance of people in the organization and is proven to be successful in the improvement of employee well-being and organizational productivity.

Originality/value

The originality of introducing interview data offers a benchmark for the study of CSR discourse in Chinese context. The chapter also provides a guide for business managers to design the strategies based on their own countries’ cultural, political, social, and institutional framework.

Purpose

This chapter focuses on the Turkish businesses’ and individuals’ perspectives on sustainability and environment and provides a socio-cultural analysis regarding the problems underlying in the implementation of sustainability and environmental practices in an emerging economy.

Methodology/approach

Current sustainability and environment studies literature regarding the Turkish businesses and society are examined. Socio-cultural perspective is used to explain the problems in the field.

Findings

Turkish culture is traditionally associated with harmony with the nature and many studies point to its environmental awareness. But the lack of future orientation, paternalist way of management, and survival concerns of the individuals and businesses cause a certain lack of environmental initiative. Turkish culture has a unique pluralistic approach to nature, and in this approach mastery, harmony, and subjugation are combined.

Practical and social implications

The suggested pluralistic approach should be considered by the relevant stakeholders to understand the dynamics of business and environment relations in Turkey. This unique structure calls for unique environmental solutions.

Originality/value of paper

Present studies of Turkey in terms of sustainability and environmental issues are generally lacking socio-cultural perspectives. This study aims to fill this gap by suggesting an alternative pluralistic approach based on a socio-cultural evaluation of Turkish culture.

Purpose

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly being adopted on a global scale. However, it is evident that the utilisation and implementation of CSR varies in differing contextual settings. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the concept of CSR in the Indian context.

Approach

The development of CSR in India is understood through an examination of historical and spiritual underpinnings. Literature pertinent to this is used to form a picture of contemporary practice. Interview data complements this understanding and enables the development of snapshots outlining how CSR has been used.

Findings

Our chapter indicates that though CSR is utilised in the Indian context and has been an important part of societal structure, the positive benefits that could be gained are still not recognised to their fullest. It is essential that the institutionalisation of CSR is supported by partnerships between government, business and non-governmental organisations.

Research/Practical/Social Implications

This review aids our understanding of how CSR has evolved and been used in India. It highlights the complexity of CSR in differing contextual settings.

Originality

The chapter describes CSR in an underexplored research setting.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a practical review of topical developments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) perspective within Pakistani business environment.

Methodology/approach

To investigate the concept of CSR in Pakistan, this chapter primarily draws on secondary sources including extant literature on CSR, government reports, publications of international agencies, industry reports, companies’ CSR/sustainability reports, and newspaper articles.

Findings

The findings of this research reveal that the concept of CSR is relatively underdeveloped in Pakistan. There is a general perception among business practitioners in Pakistan that CSR relates to altruism or philanthropic activities. However, only few large local companies and multinational enterprises hold a well-defined CSR policy. Small and medium enterprises limit their CSR engagement to comply with codes of conduct set by foreign buyers.

Research limitations/assumptions

The discussion in this chapter is based on the secondary data, therefore the empirical research is needed to validate the findings of this study. Further, this chapter presents a generic reflection about how CSR is practiced and perceived in Pakistani business environment. Thus, industry-specific research would illustrate a much clearer picture on how different sectors in Pakistan are promoting CSR principles.

Practical implications

The findings of this research would help businesses and policy makers to recognize the current state of CSR progress and potential CSR challenges in Pakistan. These findings may assist the government, private sector, and civil society to devise future CSR agenda in Pakistan.

Originality/value

The authors contend that this is one of the few studies in Pakistani context which attempts to provide a comprehensive overview of CSR-related developments in Pakistan.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to critically examine the extent to which oil multinational corporations (MNCs) can be both money makers and peace makers in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, and to consider its implication for the role of business in conflict mitigation in resource-rich African countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter presents a theoretical analysis based on secondary data and empirical research.

Findings

There is now an emerging consensus that business can be peace makers and money makers in developing countries as part of their social responsibility. However, the tendency to explore business-conflict linkage largely from a business perspective and to see conflict as an “incidence” that business has to respond to, as opposed to a “dynamic process” that is a function of the breakdown of stakeholder relationship, limits our understanding of the relationship between business and conflict. Focusing on the Niger Delta in Nigeria, it is argued that the contradictory tension inherent in the peace making efforts of oil MNCs and the nature of their core business activities (i.e., oil extraction) limits the incentives and undermines the capacity of oil MNCs to be peace makers.

Originality/value

The chapter contributes a critical perspective to the literature on business and conflict informed by nearly two decades of empirical research undertaken by the author in Africa. It analyzes how contextual factors in resource-rich African countries, previously neglected in the literature, influence both the willingness and ability of business to contribute to peace. It concludes by discussing the theoretical and practical implications for the role of business in conflict zones.

Purpose

This book chapter examines the social and environmental costs resulting from natural gas exploitation in the Peruvian Amazon basin with a special focus on the case of the ‘Camisea Natural Gas Project Block 88’ in the Peruvian Amazon basin.

Methodology/approach

This research drew from a comprehensive source of secondary literature data on the Camisea Project Block 88, complemented by an ethnographic research approach based upon observation, conversation and semi-structure interviews with native community members of the indigenous communities of Shivancoreni and Shimmaa in Cusco-Peru.

Findings

The study’s findings illustrate that it is evident that the threats from hydrocarbon development endangers the habitat of indigenous communities and accelerate the destruction of the Peruvian Amazon basin. A business commitment towards a sustainable investment approach coupled with reinforcing and adopting appropriate laws and regulations concerning the environmental protection of the Amazon basin are required in order to preserve one of the most diverse and threatened biological place in the world – the Amazon.

Social implications

The Amazon is the largest natural biodiversity reserve in South America. Yet, it has experienced habitat degradation and displacement of various indigenous tribes of Amazon. As a result, the legacy of indigenous knowledge and the sustenance of indigenous peoples’ habitat are at stake.

Originality/value of the chapter

This study provides historical context for the hydrocarbon sector of Peru, particularly in the Peruvian Amazon basin. It also provides insights into the Peruvian hydrocarbon law and regulations and the implications, roles and responsibilities of multinational natural gas companies and their environmental impacts of their business operations in Peru.

Purpose

To review and understand the importance of a well-known movement among universities in Hispanic America called “university social responsibility” (USR). USR places responsible and sustainable practices in the bottom line of everyday university management processes (e.g., campus operations, teaching, research, and community outreach).

Methodology/approach

Through a selection of relevant literature in USR, the concept, origins, importance, and implementation of USR practices are discussed in three sections (corporate social responsibility, the importance of USR, and planning, developing, and evaluating USR).

Findings

Results indicate the relevance of the practice of USR in Hispanic America because it points out specific impacts and core areas that other definitions (e.g., CSR) have not considered. Practical cases from different Hispanic universities are shown as examples of the practice of USR.

Research limitations

This chapter does not present a complete list of all authors that have studied USR. However, it fulfills to introduce, review, and grasp the practice of USR.

Practical implications

It serves as a guide to all members of the university community (e.g., administrators, professors, students, researchers, and local communities) to understand the role of universities in achieving sustainable development.

Originality/value of chapter

USR is an emergent approach that promotes responsible everyday management. This chapter is a starting point for new reflections, theories, and discussions regarding USR around the world. It also engages in further studies regarding USR in other developing regions like Africa, Asia, or Eastern Europe.

Purpose

This chapter explores the sustainability of the workforce in the Chilean logging sector, the factors that affect the sustainability of this critical element for the Chilean forestry sector and explores the reasons for each factor.

Methodology

To achieve the aim of this research, an ergonomics approach was used, specifically an ergonomics questionnaire, to identify elements in the work system that affect forestry workers.

Findings

The initial results show that elements in the Chilean forestry sector that affect the sustainability of the workforce, both in terms of occupational health (OH) problems and lack of interest in working in this sector, include organizational factors, physical elements of the environment, economic issues, and physical aspects of the work. The study also showed workers in this sector have a low perception of the benefits of working in the sector, because they recognize the sector has a high degree of risk in terms of safety and health aspects.

Practical implications

It is expected that the result of this research will help to refocus policies towards solving OH problems and, at the same time, potentially improve the market attractions of working in this sector.

Purpose

To examine the business case for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the South African context.

Methodology

A cross-sectional correlation research design involving quantitative and qualitative data.

Findings

The findings lend general support for the utility of business case oriented CSR strategic applications in the South African business context.

Research limitations

The small samples using accountancy students and high CSR performing companies restricted the generalizability of the findings. Also, the links between respondents’ propensity to purchase and actual purchasing behavior remained undetermined.

Contribution

The chapter provides an empirically validated model measuring associations between individual perceptions of actual and expected CSP configurations with predilections to purchase products from a sample of high profile CSR multinational South African companies.

Practical implications

The results suggest the model’s cogency and lend general support to the utility of the business case strategy in the South African business context by showing associations between CSR company profiles and respondents’ intentions to purchase their goods and services.

Social implications

The importance of CSR in providing social benefits in South African communities is reinforced by its strategic importance in offering business benefits to companies that invest in its implementation.

Originality/value of chapter

Development and empirical verification of a novel conceptual model in the South African business context.

Purpose

Emphasising the significance of managing environmental and social issues for businesses, the chapter aims at highlighting the need of developing a non-financial risk management system for elevating corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance in China. Particularly, through discussing its importance, opportunities, and challenges.

Design and approach

Analysis and discussion of the chapter are based on multiple sources of information. Review of literature includes authoritative academic articles, reports from renowned global organisations, media coverage of corporations, and examples of business cases in China.

Findings

Several key findings are covered in the chapter. First of all, environmental and social concerns are usually being deemed as intangible issues that need to be properly articulated and managed by an effective non-financial risk management system for enhancing corporate sustainability in China. Secondly, through different interpretations of sustainability, links could be drawn for non-financial risk management and sustainability. Thirdly, by explaining the impacts from non-financial risk management to sustainable development and profits, the chapter has argued CSR as a clear business case for any company in China. Fourthly, challenges are also portrayed for the effective management of non-financial risk management by corporations. Finally, the need of a well-defined non-financial risk management system for helping businesses to be more competitive, thus, moving closer to sustainability in China and elsewhere is provided.

Social implications

Integrating environmental and social risks is critical to the effective management of any corporation’s real risks and to improve resource allocation in a sustainable fashion. This demands a systematic and strategic identification of issues through non-financial risk management. Most significantly, this chapter has shown the way this can be achieved by any corporation in China, and the concepts can be applied into other societies.

Originality/value

The contribution of the chapter is thought to be significant. Although there exists a wide body of research on sustainable development, risk management and CSR in China, there is limited insight into how corporations can effectively conceptualise such intangible or non-financial risks in relation to sustainability.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an understanding of the trend of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Taiwan. It seeks to explore the relationship between corporate governance and CSR from a perspective of developing countries.

Methodology/approach

Using stakeholder theory as an analytical framework, this chapter presents an analysis based on literature review and secondary data on empirical research.

Findings

A company’s CSR performance can be regarded as the outcome of the responses to its multiple stakeholders’ expectations. Most Taiwanese firms were not actively engaging in CSR activities, from an international standard. On the whole, they also showed that local companies lacked of both internal dimension and external dimension to carry out CSR strategy. From the CSR performance of Taiwanese firms, it was a typical pattern that the management responded to the expectations based on the stakeholders’ power.

Research limitations/implications

The chapter does not include the primary data. To improve our understanding of how corporate governance influences CSR, more and detailed research is needed.

Originality/value

This chapter highlights that corporate governance structure significantly influences CSR performance. This also explains the difference in CSR performance of companies between developed and developing countries. Using a stakeholder perspective on corporate governance, CSR performance reflects the typical management intent – voluntary responses to the stakeholders’ expectations.

Purpose

This study investigates how organizations in Brazil address sustainability concerns through collaborative governance efforts with strategic stakeholders. Organizations from New Zealand were considered as benchmarks for comparison.

Methodology/approach

This study is based on a qualitative exploratory research, supported by semistructured interviews. Ten organizations are interviewed, five from each country. Thematic analysis is used to analyze the interview data. Central management practices adopted by organizations are presented, and the goals, benefits, and limitations associated with collaborative initiatives are investigated.

Findings and practical implications

The findings reveal that organizations in Brazil and in New Zealand are employing similar management and sustainability practices. Companies in both countries observe that collaborative efforts with strategic stakeholders improve their ability to meet market demands and jointly develop innovative solutions toward sustainability goals while exchanging knowledge and enhancing their operational effectiveness. Organizations perceive a number of tangible and nontangible value creation outcomes from sustainability practices, such as brand and reputational gains, improved supply chain management, and risk management attainments. The results also present limitations, such as internal limitations of organizations concerning how their executives and general staff incorporate sustainability issues into their organizations’ strategic planning and operational decisions.

Originality/value of paper

Market pressures toward greener and more responsible operations equally affected organizations in both countries, without differentiation in operation between an emerging country such as Brazil and a developed country such as New Zealand. Directions for future research are presented. These are based on how organizations measure sustainability outcomes of management practices and collaborative alliances, and how organizations map upcoming market demands and opportunities to deliver more value to society as the sustainable development debate continues to evolve.

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About the Authors

Pages 417-418
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DOI
10.1108/S2043-905920148
Publication date
2014-09-17
Book series
Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-152-7
eISBN
978-1-78441-151-0
Book series ISSN
2043-9059