Corporate social reporting in Malaysia: a case of mimicking the West or succumbing to local pressure
Purpose - The primary objective of this paper is to explore and interpret the perceptions and motives of selected Malaysian managers on CSR by using Institutional theory. Design/methodology/approach - The paper attempts to explain the local CSR trend by interviewing senior managers from selected companies who have been identified as good reporters. The interview findings are analysed systematically and narrated in order to capture the spontaneity and candidness of the reporters' feelings on CSR practices and motives. The data are than interpreted through the lens of institutional theory. Findings - Despite low level of awareness of CSR, there is an increasing trend of reporters. A popular reason given by the respondents to explain this paradox is the need to follow the reporting trend, echoing the finding of an earlier study by Mohamad Zain. By following the reporting trend, the companies expect to be accepted as one of the international players. This mimetic action taken by some of the companies reflects the pressure of globalisation where social and environmental issues have taken centre stage. Based on the overall findings, the rising trend in the number of reporters can only find its explanation in western mimicry. Practical implications - The study uncovers some of the motives for the adoption of CSR by companies in developing countries. Rather than relying on the western experience of CSR, which is well published in established journals, this study provides useful and unique insights into a developing country's CSR experience that can be used as a trajectory to understand the experiences of developing countries as a whole. Originality/value - This paper offers an important insight about the CSR practices through the institutional theory perspective.
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Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
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