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Institutional Dynamics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in an Emerging Country Context: Evidence from China

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  • Juelin Yin

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  • Yuli Zhang

    ()

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    Abstract

    This study identifies unique corporate social responsibility (CSR) dimensions and develops a framework to analyze different levels of institutional dynamics in understanding CSR in China. Based on multiple case studies of 16 firms, the article examines the CSR philosophy and approach in China’s emerging market. The findings suggest that Chinese CSR understanding is largely grounded in the context of ethical and discretionary actions. This focus is mainly attributed to the dominant role of ethical leadership, governmental dependency, and cultural traditions in Chinese CSR. Moreover, the weakness or the absence of conducive social normative environment and positive peer pressure, and misalignment between CSR and organizational design further contribute to a lack of systemic and institutionalized approach to CSR in China. Our study implies that CSR is still evolving at a preliminary stage in China, and institutional infrastructure and cultural ethics are exerting abiding influence on CSR approach in the emerging economies. The article also suggests the implications for practice and policy making. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-012-1243-4
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 301-316

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:111:y:2012:i:2:p:301-316

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

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    Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; China; Emerging economy; Case study;

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    1. Tarun Khanna & Joe Kogan & Krishna Palepu, 2006. "Globalization and Similarities in Corporate Governance: A Cross-Country Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 69-90, February.
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    3. Zu, Liangrong & Song, Lina, 2008. "Determinants of Managerial Values on Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 3449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    7. Carroll, Archie B., 1991. "The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: Toward the moral management of organizational stakeholders," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 39-48.
    8. William Shafer & Kyoko Fukukawa & Grace Lee, 2007. "Values and the Perceived Importance of Ethics and Social Responsibility: The U.S. versus China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 265-284, February.
    9. Shangkun Xu & Rudai Yang, 2010. "Indigenous Characteristics of Chinese Corporate Social Responsibility Conceptual Paradigm," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(2), pages 321-333, May.
    10. Petra Christmann & Glen Taylor, 2006. "Firm self-regulation through international certifiable standards: determinants of symbolic versus substantive implementation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(6), pages 863-878, November.
    11. Xiaohe Lu, 2009. "A Chinese Perspective: Business Ethics in China Now and in the Future," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(4), pages 451-461, June.
    12. Philippe Gugler & Jacylyn Shi, 2009. "Corporate Social Responsibility for Developing Country Multinational Corporations: Lost War in Pertaining Global Competitiveness?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 3-24, April.
    13. Andy Lockett & Jeremy Moon & Wayne Visser, 2006. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Management Research: Focus, Nature, Salience and Sources of Influence," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 115-136, 01.
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