Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Policy, and NGO Activism in Europe and the United States: An Institutional-Stakeholder Perspective
AbstractCorporate social responsibility (CSR) is an increasingly pervasive phenomenon on the European and North American economic and political landscape. In this paper, we extend neo-institutional and stakeholder theory to show how differences in the institutional environments of Europe and the United States affect expectations about corporate responsibilities to society. We focus on how these differences are manifested in government policy, corporate strategy, and non-governmental organization (NGO) activism towards specific issues involving the social responsibilities of corporations. Drawing from recent theoretical and empirical research, and analysis of three case studies (global warming, trade in genetically modified organisms, and pricing of anti-viral pharmaceuticals in developing countries), we find that different institutional structures and political legacies in the US and EU are important factors in explaining how governments, NGOs, and the broader polity determine and implement preferences regarding CSR in these two important world regions. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2006.
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