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Corporate Social Responsibility And Corporate Governance: Role Of Context In International Settings

S. Young, Vijaya Thyil
Published 2014 · Economics

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This research aims to explore the relationship between corporate governance and CSR: What are the major factors that play a direct role in the establishment of this relationship? How does context and institutional background impact upon the relationship between CSR and Governance? Using in-depth semi-structured interviews from two types of governance systems in three countries over three years, this study has demonstrated that in practice, within different settings, CSR is being used both as a strategy as well as a reaction to different drivers. We call this adaptive governance where governance can be defined as a flexible system of action incorporating strategic and monitoring activities that determines the way a company enacts its responsibilities to its shareholders and stakeholders and which is determined at any given time by the interrelationship of institutional drivers and behavioural norms. Governance systems and their interrelationships with CSR are demonstrated as fluid according to the national and institutional context, economic situation and industry impact. In the eyes of practitioners corporate governance includes both structural and behavioural factors as well as responsibilities and actions towards shareholders and stakeholders. Contextual factors that this research highlights to be important to the incorporation of CSR into governance include the economic environment, national governance system, regulation and soft law, shareholders, national culture, behavioural norms and industry impacts. Hypotheses on the impact of institutional contexts, industry impacts and economic situations on different types of CSR actions are proposed for further research.
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