On the Economic Dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility: Exploring Fortune Global 250 Reports
Business and Society, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 457-478, 2007
26 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2006 Last revised: 17 Sep 2008
The macro-level debate on the economic impact of multinational enterprises (MNEs) is still unsettled. This paper explores micro-level evidence by examining what Fortune Global 250 firms themselves report about their economic impact. Such reporting embodies corporate attempts to account for their economic implications, in addition to the environmental and social aspects of their activities that have traditionally received more attention in the context of corporate responsibility. Firms' reports turn out to provide a rich illustration of the mechanisms through which MNEs (can) affect economic development (including sheer size, technology transfer, and backward linkages), and of how such impacts are being operationalised and measured. We also test which MNEs are most likely to disclose information on the various mechanisms, and find that it is influenced by region, sector and size, but not by profitability. Implications of this exploratory study for research and practice are discussed.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, economic impact, foreign direct investment, multinationals, reporting
JEL Classification: D21, F23, H7, L1, L2, M1, M14, O1, O19, O2
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