Towards a Typology of Corporate Responsibility in Different Governance Contexts

24 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2005

See all articles by Anthony Gambino

Anthony Gambino


Naomi Cahn

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: December 15, 2004


This paper develops a typology of different country governance contexts, in which we propose four broad categories of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our analysis measures the most appropriate methods for helping to create a climate that is receptive to fostering corporate accountability. Our criteria are based on several different factors, none of which is determinative: the natural resources of the country; the country's dependence on one commodity; the corruption level; the stability and accountability of the government; the state of civil society; and the existence of ongoing conflict. Examining these factors together results in measuring not just the country's receptivity to change, but also the means for producing change.

At one end of the spectrum, what we label Category 0 countries, are nations with economies and governments that are so poorly managed that there is little multinational investment - sometimes even in the context of lucrative investment opportunities. At the other end lie those countries with acceptable levels of good governance, more developed economies and markets, and with, consequently, a comparatively high level of both domestic and multinational corporate investment. We examine the appropriateness of strategies to apply external or internal pressure in different types of countries. Next, we discuss the affects of applying the proposed intervention strategies to the countries, addressing both short and long-term expected results. We find that in Category 0 countries, with extremely low levels of international investment, strategies should focus on improving governance and overall human welfare, which often could lead to welcoming international corporate investment. Other categories of countries, with greater - and often problematic - international corporate involvement, require different types of approaches.

Keywords: Africa, corporate accountability, governance, corporate investment

JEL Classification: G34, K22, O55

Suggested Citation

Gambino, Anthony and Cahn, Naomi R., Towards a Typology of Corporate Responsibility in Different Governance Contexts (December 15, 2004). Available at SSRN: or

Anthony Gambino

Independent ( email )

Naomi R. Cahn (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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