Purpose – The aim of this paper is to examine how corporations in India interpret corporate social responsibility (CSR). Focusing on four commonly known approaches: the ethical, the statist, the liberal, and the stakeholder approach, the paper seeks to investigate the reported drivers and barriers to implementing CSR practices. Design/methodology/approach – The paper surveyed top‐level managers of a sample of companies currently engaging in a CSR initiative, representing a variety of industry sectors. Findings – The study finds that the CSR approach that is most favored by Indian firms is the stakeholder approach and that the caring or the moral motive, followed by the strategic or profit motive, are important drivers for Indian firms to pursue CSR. Further, the results indicate that the most significant obstacles to CSR implementation are those related to lack of resources, followed by those related to the complexity and difficulty of implementing CSR. Research limitations/implications – The study focuses on the activities of leading Indian firms participating in the UN Global Compact (GC), thereby restricting one's knowledge of CSR practices of non‐participants. Future research should expand on this effort either by conducting comparative studies of non‐participants to the GC, or by investigating CSR practices of firms engaging in other voluntary initiatives. Originality/value – The majority of studies on CSR are still embedded in the economic and organizational contexts of Europe and the USA. This research aims to address this gap by focusing on the CSR framework of developing nations, particularly the emerging market of India.
Corporate Governance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 9, 2011
Keywords: Corporate responsibility; Emerging markets; India; CSR drivers; CSR barriers; UN Global Compact; Social responsibility
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