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Corporate perceptions of sustainability challenges in developed and developing countries: constituting a CSR divide?

  • Ralf Barkemeyer
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    Purpose – This paper aims to explore sustainability-related perceptions of proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from 53 countries in order to shed light on contextual differences regarding the conceptualization of the role of CSR in global governance. Design/methodology/approach – The results of a survey of corporate UN Global Compact participants are presented, focusing on respondents' perceptions regarding 23 key issues in sustainability. Non-parametric statistics are applied to identify regional and country-level patterns within the overall sample. Findings – While general perceptions regarding the urgency of key global sustainability challenges appear to be relatively homogeneous around the globe, significant differences can be identified regarding the specific roles and responsibilities respondents attribute to their own companies in countries from the global North and South, respectively. Research limitations/implications – The paper focuses on generic patterns within the overall sample; more detailed analysis is needed in future work to explore their origins and impact on corporate practice. Practical implications – There is a need for an improved integration of Southern stakeholders in CSR practice and policy making in order to fully unfold the potential of CSR in global governance. Originality/value – The paper uncovers generic differences between conceptualizations of the corporate role in global sustainability between the global North and South.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 257-281

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:6:y:2010:i:2:p:257-281
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