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CSR-Based Political Legitimacy Strategy: Managing the State by Doing Good in China and Russia

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  • Meng Zhao

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    Abstract

    The state is a key driver of corporate social responsibility across developed and developing countries. But the existing research provides comparatively little knowledge about: (1) how companies strategically manage the relationship with the state through corporate social responsibility (CSR); (2) how this strategy takes shape under the influence of political institutions. Understanding these questions captures a realistic picture of how a company applies CSR to interacting with the state, particularly in countries where the state relationship is critical to the business operation. This article draws on political legitimacy as a useful concept to directly address both strategic and politically embedded natures of CSR. This work extends the currently under-specified political implication of the strategic view of CSR and provides fresh insights to the political legitimacy research by specifying a typology of CSR-based legitimacy strategies and its contextual variation. China and Russia are the focal settings. A qualitative analysis of business–state interaction cases is done using a database that contains the majority of CSR reports published in Chinese and Russian as the end of 2009. As a result, this paper identifies four qualitatively different types of CSR-based political legitimacy strategies and reveals how the adoption of these strategies differs across Chinese companies, Russian companies, and multinational corporations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-012-1209-6
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 111 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 439-460

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:111:y:2012:i:4:p:439-460

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

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    Keywords: Business–state interaction; China; Corporate social responsibility; Multinational corporation; Political embeddedness; Political legitimacy; Russia;

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    1. 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.
    2. David P. Baron, 2001. "Private Politics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Integrated Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 7-45, 03.
    3. Stephen Fineman, 1996. "Green Stakeholders: Industry Interpretations And Response," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(6), pages 715-730, November.
    4. Bryan W Husted & David B Allen, 2006. "Corporate social responsibility in the multinational enterprise: strategic and institutional approaches," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(6), pages 838-849, November.
    5. Abagail McWilliams & Donald S. Siegel & Patrick M. Wright, 2006. "Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategic Implications," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 1-18, 01.
    6. Jun Su & Jia He, 2010. "Does Giving Lead to Getting? Evidence from Chinese Private Enterprises," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 73-90, April.
    7. Roberts, Robin W., 1992. "Determinants of corporate social responsibility disclosure: An application of stakeholder theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 595-612, August.
    8. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, 03.
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