Responsible Business in Fragile Contexts: Comparing Perceptions From Domestic and Foreign Firms in Myanmar

Sustainability 2019, 11, 598

18 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2019

See all articles by Ralf Barkemeyer

Ralf Barkemeyer

Queen's University Belfast

Jason Miklian

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO); University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment

Date Written: January 23, 2019

Abstract

After decades of isolation, Myanmar opened up its economy to international trade in 2012. This opening led to a rapid influx of international investment, exposure to the international corporate social responsibility (CSR) community and presumed pressures to conform to related norms and practices. We report on a large-scale survey of firms operating in Myanmar, comparing perceptions of corporate practitioners of CSR and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our findings show that awareness levels of CSR among domestic Myanmar firms match those of their international peers, but the application of and selection criteria for CSR implementation by domestic firms in Myanmar differs from typical CSR activities observed in other parts of the world, in particular by Global North firms. More surprisingly, Myanmar firms have a higher awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) than their multinational counterparts. Our findings have implications for CSR advocacy in Myanmar as well as for the dissemination of corporate responsibility and sustainability into the developing world more generally.

Keywords: Myanmar, Corporate Social Responsibility, Institutional Theory, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Global South, Corporate Sustainability

JEL Classification: O12, O15, O17, O19, O35, O43, O53, M14

Suggested Citation

Barkemeyer, Ralf and Miklian, Jason, Responsible Business in Fragile Contexts: Comparing Perceptions From Domestic and Foreign Firms in Myanmar (January 23, 2019). Sustainability 2019, 11, 598, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3321173

Ralf Barkemeyer

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Jason Miklian (Contact Author)

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

Oslo
N-0260 Oslo
Norway

University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment ( email )

P.O. Box 1116 Blindern
K1A 0G9
0317 Oslo
Norway

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