Corporate Social Responsibility in Challenging and Non-Enabling Institutional Contexts: Do Institutional Voids Matter?

53 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2020

See all articles by Kenneth Amaeshi

Kenneth Amaeshi

University of Edinburgh Business School; Cranfield University - School of Management

Emmanuel Adegbite

University of Nottingham

Tazeeb Rajwani

Cranfield School of Management

Date Written: January 2, 2020

Abstract

The extant literature on comparative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) often assumes functioning and enabling institutional arrangements, such as strong government, market, and civil society, as a necessary condition for responsible business practices. Setting aside this dominant assumption, and drawing insights from a case study of Fidelity Bank, Nigeria, we explore why and how firms still pursue and enact responsible business practices in what could be described as challenging and non-enabling institutional contexts for CSR. Our findings suggest that responsible business practices in such contexts are often anchored on some CSR adaptive mechanisms. These mechanisms uniquely complement themselves and inform CSR strategies. The CSR adaptive mechanisms and strategies, in combination and in complementarity, then act as an institutional buffer (i.e. ‘institutional immunity’), which enables firms to successfully engage in responsible practices irrespective of their weak institutional settings. We leverage this understanding to contribute to CSR in developing economies, often characterised by challenging and non-enabling institutional contexts. The research, policy and practice implications are also discussed.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), adaptive mechanisms, institutional theory, developing countries institutional voids, Nigeria

Suggested Citation

Amaeshi, Kenneth and Adegbite, Emmanuel and Rajwani, Tazeeb, Corporate Social Responsibility in Challenging and Non-Enabling Institutional Contexts: Do Institutional Voids Matter? (January 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3512774 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3512774

Kenneth Amaeshi

University of Edinburgh Business School ( email )

29 Buccleuch Place
Central Area
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/about/people/738/Kenneth/Amaeshi

Cranfield University - School of Management ( email )

Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL
United Kingdom

Emmanuel Adegbite (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Tazeeb Rajwani

Cranfield School of Management ( email )

Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL
United Kingdom

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