Corporate Social Responsibility Does Not Avert the Tragedy of the Commons -- Case Study: Coca-Cola India

35 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2013 Last revised: 18 Nov 2013

See all articles by Aneel G. Karnani

Aneel G. Karnani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

'Tragedy of the commons' is a powerful concept to analyze a variety of problems related to environmental sustainability. The commons problem can be solved if individuals behave altruistically. In the business context, this article studies the proposition that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can avert the tragedy of the commons by examining one case study in depth: Coca-Cola's bottling operations in Rajasthan, India. In spite of choosing a context favorable to the proposition, the results indicate that CSR does not avert the tragedy of the commons. To address the major environmental challenges, it is essential to develop regulatory regimes with appropriate incentives and ability to enforce sanctions.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; tragedy of the commons; common-pool resource; environmental sustainability

JEL Classification: H41, M14, O13

Suggested Citation

Karnani, Aneel G., Corporate Social Responsibility Does Not Avert the Tragedy of the Commons -- Case Study: Coca-Cola India (October 1, 2013). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1210. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2354022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2354022

Aneel G. Karnani (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

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