An Institution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Multi-National Corporations (MNCs): Form and Implications

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 Last revised: 17 Jun 2012

See all articles by Krista Bondy

Krista Bondy

University of Bath

Jeremy Moon

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS)

Dirk Matten

York University - Schulich School of Business

Date Written: January 9, 2012

Abstract

This article investigates corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an institution within UK multinational corporations (MNCs). In the context of the literature on the institutionalization of CSR and on critical CSR, it presents two main findings. First, it contributes to the CSR mainstream literature by confirming that CSR has not only become institutionalized in society but that a form of this institution is also present within MNCs. Secondly, it contributes to the critical CSR literature by suggesting that unlike broader notions of CSR shared between multiple stakeholders, MNCs practice a form of CSR that undermines the broader stakeholder concept. By increasingly focusing on strategic forms of CSR activity, MNCs are moving away from a societal understanding of CSR that focuses on redressing the impacts of their operations through stakeholder concerns, back to any activity that supports traditional business imperatives. The implications of this shift are considered using institutional theory to evaluate macro-institutional pressures for CSR activity and the agency of powerful incumbents in the contested field of CSR.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, critical perspectives, multinational corporations, institutional theory, business case, qualitative

Suggested Citation

Bondy, Krista and Moon, Jeremy and Matten, Dirk, An Institution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Multi-National Corporations (MNCs): Form and Implications (January 9, 2012). Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2083508

Krista Bondy (Contact Author)

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

Jeremy Moon

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom
+44 0 115 9514781 (Phone)

Dirk Matten

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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