Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to attempt to answer specific research questions by investigating two case studies which involve large global mining multinational enterprises (MNEs) and how they implement sustainable development programs across rural communities in Tanzania. The author specifically examines how MNEs use internal stakeholders that is employees, as intermediaries, to influence external stakeholders, the local communities, to address social problems. Design/methodology/approach – The author uses an exploratory research method which involves MNEs and 18 communities in western Tanzania as the cases. Semi-structured interviews, observation and the use of relevant archival documents was used to collect data. Findings – This study suggests that, if MNEs are to leverage sustainability initiatives in rural communities, they must consider implementing a locally oriented strategy in their overall business activities that incorporates meaningful engagement initiatives with their employees and with the communities. Research limitations/implications – Despite the study was limited to one country, the results point to the importance of incorporating the role of community institutional environments’ influence over MNEs sustainability activities which could be generalized to other developing countries such as the case study of Tanzania. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the nascent but growing literature on the role of business in the community, how employees as intermediaries facilitate effective CSR in communities, and the overall impact of community institutional environment on businesses. The author provides some practical policy implications related to MNE-community relationships in developing countries.
Personnel Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 7, 2015
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