Bringing Together the Big and the Small: Multinational Corporation Approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility and Entrepreneurship in Africa
Benét DeBerry-Spence, Lez Trujillo Torres, and Robert Ebo Hinson
Multinational corporations (MNCs) have the potential to influence job and business formation in the Africa through Corporate Social Responsibility Entrepreneurship (CSRE) programs and support. Surprisingly, the best approaches and/or means to support, track, and report these efforts remain unclear. Through a review of twelve prominent companies, this chapter expands the current literature on CSR by providing a broader view of MNCs role in promoting entrepreneurship priorities in Africa. Five major types of CSRE that current initiatives fall under are identified, along with the intended contributions, beneficiaries (e.g. micro-entrepreneurs, SMEs, women), and ways in which MNCs track and report impact. While MNCs efforts are laudable for their depth and breadth, major challenges remain to ascertain the real impact of these priorities and actions on the entrepreneurial landscape. The authors discuss these and suggest important considerations for MNC continued and improved support of African entrepreneurship and African entrepreneurs.
Thomas N. Gladwin
This article addresses whether market-based capitalism might chiefly be responsible for the global environment crisis and the dominant “dark” forces resisting solutions to this crisis. The emphasis is particularly on the Anglo-Saxon form of capitalism. It also addresses six contentions as to why capitalism might represent the ultimate cause of ecological destruction and resistance to change on behalf of a sustainable future. Corporations, and the people within them, are following a system of logic that leads inexorably toward dominant behaviors. The business and the natural environment (B&NE) field needs to become proficient at analyzing the impacts of business. The field must also present judgments of what is right versus wrong and good versus evil. It must also assign duties and moral obligations, demand sacrifices, and normatively focus on what should be.
Robert Chia and Ajit Nayak
This chapter argues that paradox arises, not from our phenomenal experience, but from our efforts at conceptualizing it through the logic of comprehension dominating Western thought. It identifies an Aristotelian-inspired “Being” ontology and a corresponding representationalist epistemology as the primary underlying cause of paradox in truth claims made on empirical observations. Drawing on a Heraclitean-inspired tradition in the West, this chapter shows how paradox may be circumnavigated through an alternative logic of Otherness. Underlying this metaphysical outlook is an ontology of Becoming, which takes flux and change as pervasive and inexorable. Language and logic are thus seen as futile attempts to fix the unfixable. Embracing a Becoming world view of reality enables us to recognize the limits of logic and representation and hence develop more nuanced and oblique modes of communication and responses. A Becoming world view sensitizes us to a necessary Otherness always already immanent in representational truth claims.
Lisa L. Shu and Max H. Bazerman
This article investigates interventions at the micro level—the level of the individual—from both the citizen and policymaker perspectives. It concentrates on recognized cognitive barriers from the behavioral decision-making literature. It specifically highlights three cognitive barriers that impede sound individual decision-making that have particular relevance to behaviors impacting the environment. Then, it describes possible ways to overcome these cognitive barriers, first from the perspective of the individual citizen and then from the perspective of the policymaker. Over-discounting the future can contribute to a broad array of environmental problems. The three biases—positive illusions, egocentrism, and the tendency to discount the future—can have an interactive effect. They are innate and pervasive roadblocks that prevent individuals from adopting energy-efficient behaviors and technologies. It is noted that strategies are necessary to help policymakers overcome their loss aversion. Finally, the remaining questions on the research frontier are presented.
Ioannis Ioannou and George Serafeim
A key aspect of the governance process inside organizations and markets is the measurement and disclosure of important metrics and information. In this chapter, we examine the effect of sustainability disclosure regulations on firms’ disclosure practices and valuations. Specifically, we explore the implications of regulations mandating the disclosure of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information in China, Denmark, Malaysia, and South Africa using differences-in-differences estimation with propensity score matched samples. We find that relative to propensity score matched control firms, treated firms significantly increased disclosure following the regulations. We also find increased likelihood by treated firms of voluntarily receiving assurance to enhance disclosure credibility and increased likelihood of voluntarily adopting reporting guidelines that enhance disclosure comparability. These results suggest that even in the absence of a regulation that mandates the adoption of assurance or specific guidelines, firms seek the qualitative properties of comparability and credibility. Instrumental variables analysis suggests that increases in sustainability disclosure driven by the regulation are associated with increases in firm valuations, as reflected in Tobin’s Q. Collectively, the evidence suggest that current efforts to increase transparency around organizations’ impact on society are effective at improving disclosure quantity and quality as well as corporate value.
Howard Gospel and Andrew Pendleton
This article examines the role and extent of employee participation in the main areas of corporate governance. It becomes apparent that there are considerable differences between countries in governance institutions and practices. Many of these differences hinge on the role of employees in the governance process. The article provides an overview of the main practitioner and academic perspectives on governance, highlighting differences in the role accorded to employees. It outlines the broad national and comparative perspectives to provide some context for the subsequent discussion of more specific aspects of employee involvement. The article also identifies the main elements of corporate governance systems: the involvement of owners, the role of governing boards, information flows and transparency, the remuneration of managers, and the market for corporate control. All these are addressed with reference to the actual and potential participation of employees. In the last section, some broad conclusions are drawn.
Denis G. Arnold and Sabrina L. Speights
The base of the pyramid (BoP) proposition holds that corporations can profit from providing goods and services to the global poor while simultaneously improving the lives of the impoverished. Critics of the BoP proposition argue that, at best, a select few corporate initiatives can achieve these simultaneous goals, and, at worse, such initiatives will result in harmful exploitation in the guise of responsible corporate behavior. This chapter provides an historical overview of the original BoP proposition, summarizes criticisms the proposition has received, describes empirical research on BoP initiatives, and details examples of successful ventures. The BOP proposition is situated in theories of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics in order to differentiate between exploitative and empowering BoP ventures and to emphasize the broader imperative to consider both the economic and the ethical dimensions of successful BoP ventures.
Corporate Social Irresponsibility in Spite of Efforts to Act Responsibly: The Nature, Measurement, and Contextual Antecedents of CSR and CSiR by Organizations
Corporate social irresponsibility (CSiR) can occur even as organizations strive to be socially responsible. Research has sought to achieve a better understanding of CSiR, its antecedents and consequences, including its interrelationship with corporate social responsibility. This chapter reviews some of this work with a focus on its nature, measurement, and contextual antecedents. It reviews research on the roles of organizational climates, organizational culture, incentives, leadership, governance, and regulation; concluding with research and practical implications with a focus on these factors.
Akwasi Opoku-Dakwa and Deborah E. Rupp
This chapter distinguishes four facets of CSR and explains how they influence employees’ experience of meaningful work. Specifically, it is described how stakeholders’ CSR expectations help employees understand which aspects of their work are of value to others; how CSR assessments provide feedback to employees about whether they are meeting stakeholders’ expectations; how CSR attributions affect employees’ experience of kinship at work; and how organizations’ CSR responses provide opportunities for employees to experience personal agency in addressing socio-environmental concerns. Boundary conditions on these effects are discussed, including (1) employees’ agreement with stakeholder expectations, (2) their sense of control over socio-environmental outcomes; and the degree to which employees (3) identify with groups to which stakeholders attribute social (ir)responsibility and (4) perceive personal growth opportunities through CSR involvement. These insights contribute to understanding CSR as a context that influences employees’ experience of work.
Jonathan Doh, Bryan W. Husted, and Valentina Marano
In this chapter, we explore the rise and proliferation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in emerging markets. We trace the history of CSR in emerging markets, a process that grew, in part, from criticisms of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the global economy. We then turn our attention to the principal macro- and meso-level conceptual and theoretical lenses that have been used to inform the study of CSR in emerging markets, namely, institutional theory and cross-cultural perspectives. Finally, we review firm, network, and stakeholder perspectives that have guided the study of CSR in emerging markets. We consider the literature and practical accounts that have explored CSR by developed country MNEs in emerging markets, as well as the emerging literature on CSR by emerging market firms and MNEs (EMMNEs). We conclude with our overall assessment of the current understandings of CSR in emerging markets and make recommendations for future research.
This chapter provides a clearer and more balanced understanding of both the benefits and limitations of corporate volunteering, along with possible directions for future research. First, background is provided through an outlining of definitional issues, some statistics on the growing influence of corporate volunteering, and the nature and evolution of current corporate volunteering offerings. Corporate volunteering’s historical association with broader, societal critiques of the role of business in society is also discussed. Second, the strong influence of business case discourse on the focus of academic research is reviewed, along with the subsequent normative assumption that corporate volunteering is overwhelmingly “good” and should be promoted more widely. Third, the literature is critiqued for its unexamined problems, unheard voices, and unquestioned social and political agendas. The chapter concludes by suggesting avenues for future research that will address these gaps.
Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee
This article discusses some critical perspectives on business and the natural environment (B&NE). It introduces critical management studies (CMS) and the intellectual and philosophical traditions that inform this field. Issues of power and domination are addressed in CMS. It then reviews a critical research agenda for the study of B&NE. Particular constructions of the “environment” and “nature” emerge when environmental issues are framed from the conventional economic paradigm. There is a danger that CMS can become an insular sub-discipline in organization and management studies. Pollution prevention and product stewardship may be the “win-win” environmental strategic capabilities that firms can develop, but it is doubtful if these strategies can address the broader goals of economic, environmental, and social sustainability. It finally covers five themes for future B&NE research that depart from the mainstream: paradigmatic research, empirical research, critical political economic approach, global environmental governance, and critical engagement.
A relationship between CSR and environmental law is intuitive; however, the nature, substantive content, and boundaries of the relationship remain unclear. This chapter explicates the relationship by examining the elements and ideas that shape it. It first considers the scope of CSR as a type of international private law, arguing that CSR does encompass environmental liabilities. It next reviews the earlier corporate environmentalism movement and its impact on CSR and environmental regulation. The chapter moves to consider the nature and scope of environmental law as primarily a domestic regulatory regime and what that entails as hard law. This approach is then contrasted with CSR’s international soft law focus and corollary regulatory approach of standards and reporting. After a discussion of the three main environmental principles—polluter-pays, prevention, and precaution—the chapter evaluates the relationship and its trajectory.
Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility: Exploring the Potential Connections between Top Management Team/Board Diversity, CSR, and Workforce Diversity
Frances J. Milliken
Understanding the complex and multi-faceted connections between organizational diversity and CSR requires that we go beyond simply noting the percentages of women and minorities employed by an organization or serving on a board of directors. We need to understand the likely effects of diversity at different levels of the organization (e.g., top management versus lower-level management and non-managerial workers). We also need to better understand the potentially different effects of the various types of diversity (race, gender, age, and less visible forms of diversity like educational or functional background). The main focus of this chapter will be on exploring how and why the presence of various types of diversity on a TMT or board of directors might affect the actions the organization is likely to take with respect to goals and initiatives in the area of CSR, especially ones that involve enhancing opportunities for women and minorities.
Bruce E. Kaufman and Daphne G. Taras
The distinctive approach considered in this article is indirect participation through forms of non-union employee representation (NER). NER has been practiced in industry for more than a century, with considerable diversity and variation both across countries and over time. This article defines NER and provides a thumbnail sketch of its historical evolution. It describes the various forms of NER and its alternative functions. The article then synthesizes these diverse forms and functions into four distinct models/strategies of NER (called the ‘four faces’ of NER). Furthermore, it provides a brief overview of theorizing on NER. The article surveys the recent empirical literature on NER, with an emphasis on evidence regarding NER's performance and strengths and weaknesses. It ends with a brief recapitulation of the main theme; that is, that NER exhibits great diversity in form, purpose, and outcome, and that sweeping generalizations are therefore hazardous.
Paul J. Gollan
Non-union collective voice (NCV) has tended to play a minimal role in many Anglo industrial relations systems, with few formal processes or legal requirements. However, the lack of representative structures covering increasing numbers of non-union employees due to declining levels of trade union density and legislative changes banning closed shop or compulsory union arrangements have prompted the current interest in NCV arrangements. This article explores management strategies towards, and the development of, NCV arrangements and union responses to such arrangements in predominately English-speaking countries. It also tracks the development of dual-channel NCV and union voice arrangements, and examines the interplay between channels of NCV and trade unions. Overall, the article reviews this theory and raises debates around management strategies and issues involved in the process of transition from NCV to unionism.
This article presents some observations about repositioning the research on enterprise sustainability in a new direction. In addition to its past focus on external spaces, it also suggests focusing on internal spaces of the human mind and emotions. Sustainability 2.0 is concerned with developing an emotional and passionate relationship to nature, as a prelude to making “improvements” to it. Social and emotional engagements with sustainability are complementary to each other. Enterprise Sustainability 2.0 evokes a sustainable organizational aesthetic. Art offers an antidote to the mental and emotional pollution of commercialism, which eventually lead to the toxification of air, land, water, and the excessive consumption of carbon. Sustainability 2.0 is an invitation to look at the less examined but essential emotional and embodied aspects of sustaining humans on Earth. Arts as a repository of emotions can serve as a vehicle for infusing passion for sustainability into enterprises.
Maija Renko and Michael J. Freeman
We address social responsibility through the lens of entrepreneurship. We first describe difficulties faced by specific disadvantaged populations, such as women, minorities, immigrants, and people with disabilities. We then describe how models used by social enterprises—that is, non-profit and for-profit ventures with a primary goal of helping a disadvantaged group—can help. Social responsibility is at the core of social enterprises that provide services and products for the disadvantaged, while entrepreneurship within disadvantaged populations is an often overlooked element in the discussion of CSR and entrepreneurship. Though they may not have explicitly altruistic goals, members of disadvantaged populations engaging in self-employment and micro-enterprises use their work to offset disadvantage, which is implicitly socially responsible. This inclusive view of entrepreneurship by the disadvantaged, combined with the unconflicted CSR of entrepreneurship for the disadvantaged, provides a basis for researching entrepreneurship that is more concerned with positive outcomes than negative barriers.
This chapter starts by looking at waste production as the inevitable by-product of business activity. Then it examines the challenges to corporate environmental management that come from shifting public attitudes, the opposing ideological frameworks that proponents of the environmental movement advance, the limitations of economic analysis and reasoning for resolving controversial environmental dilemmas, and the inadequacies of scientific and technical information for accomplishing this purpose. The chapter then discusses solid waste management and atmospheric pollution as central issues in corporate environmental management. It concludes with an examination of strategic environmental management (SEM), a capability within the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm that can lead to better outcomes for companies and for society. The roles of public policies, markets, and the values and beliefs in firms acquiring a capability for SEM are considered.
Lammertjan Dam, Tommy Lundgren, and Bert Scholtens
This chapter reviews and offers a taxonomy of the theoretical literature on environmental responsibility. A substantial part of the review is devoted to the theory behind environmentally responsible investing and its connection to corporate environmental responsibility (CER), which have not, to our knowledge, been provided elsewhere. It is concluded that a theory about CER needs to balance between personal taste and values, social norms, and market imperfections. An essential ingredient of advancing academic research about CER is improving environmental accounting frameworks and insights in the impact of the interaction between the economy and the environment. Otherwise, any theory about CER runs the risk of remaining sterile as it would be impossible to put it to the test.