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The adoption of CSR practices in Egypt: internal efficiency or external legitimation?

The adoption of CSR practices in Egypt: internal efficiency or external legitimation? This study aims to focus on the factors triggering the adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in a developing country context. The authors examine whether the adoption of CSR practices is triggered more by internal efficiency forces or external legitimation forces. As early adoptions of new systems are more likely driven by efficiency motives, the authors argue that CSR practices in developing countries at nascent stages are more likely adopted for efficiency rather than legitimation reasons.Design/methodology/approachA cross-sectional sampling design was used to collect data on the CSR practices of top listed Egyptian firms and multinationals operating in Egypt. The sample size is selected based on a purposive criterion sampling method. The final sample size consists of 110 companies operating in Egypt, which includes 54 local and 56 multinational companies. To examine the relationship between the explanatory variables of the study and CSR, multiple regression analysis was used.FindingsUsing data from 110 top listed local companies and multinational firms operating in Egypt, the results show a significant influence of internal corporate governance on CSR. Yet, the effects of external factors, specifically legal regulations and stakeholder pressures, on CSR are perceived to be insignificant. This finding contrasts studies from industrialized countries in the Western world where firms are often motivated to invest in CSR by external forces.Practical implicationsThe results indicate that the adoption of CSR practices in large firms in Egypt is driven more by internal efficiency gains rather than external legitimacy pressures. The study thus presses the need for the effective enforcement of governmental laws and regulations to strengthen external institutional pressures and demands for socially responsible behavior.Social implicationsThe results of the study indicate a perceived absence of stakeholder pressure for CSR practices. As such, raising awareness for corporate accountability amongst Egyptian consumers, employees and the general public would increase corporate incentives to improve their social and environmental performance. In addition, the concept of CSR must be cultivated in the organizational culture where high value is placed on corporate ethics and managerial values.Originality/valueThis study provides insights about the predominant drivers of CSR in Egypt on two different levels; the organizational and the business environment. Salient links between CSR, internal corporate governance mechanisms and external drivers such as external stakeholder and legal pressures are explored. The results of the study also emphasize the importance of internal corporate governance mechanisms and how it is perceived to be the main driver of CSR in Egypt as opposed to external influences. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

The adoption of CSR practices in Egypt: internal efficiency or external legitimation?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-10-2017-0126
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to focus on the factors triggering the adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in a developing country context. The authors examine whether the adoption of CSR practices is triggered more by internal efficiency forces or external legitimation forces. As early adoptions of new systems are more likely driven by efficiency motives, the authors argue that CSR practices in developing countries at nascent stages are more likely adopted for efficiency rather than legitimation reasons.Design/methodology/approachA cross-sectional sampling design was used to collect data on the CSR practices of top listed Egyptian firms and multinationals operating in Egypt. The sample size is selected based on a purposive criterion sampling method. The final sample size consists of 110 companies operating in Egypt, which includes 54 local and 56 multinational companies. To examine the relationship between the explanatory variables of the study and CSR, multiple regression analysis was used.FindingsUsing data from 110 top listed local companies and multinational firms operating in Egypt, the results show a significant influence of internal corporate governance on CSR. Yet, the effects of external factors, specifically legal regulations and stakeholder pressures, on CSR are perceived to be insignificant. This finding contrasts studies from industrialized countries in the Western world where firms are often motivated to invest in CSR by external forces.Practical implicationsThe results indicate that the adoption of CSR practices in large firms in Egypt is driven more by internal efficiency gains rather than external legitimacy pressures. The study thus presses the need for the effective enforcement of governmental laws and regulations to strengthen external institutional pressures and demands for socially responsible behavior.Social implicationsThe results of the study indicate a perceived absence of stakeholder pressure for CSR practices. As such, raising awareness for corporate accountability amongst Egyptian consumers, employees and the general public would increase corporate incentives to improve their social and environmental performance. In addition, the concept of CSR must be cultivated in the organizational culture where high value is placed on corporate ethics and managerial values.Originality/valueThis study provides insights about the predominant drivers of CSR in Egypt on two different levels; the organizational and the business environment. Salient links between CSR, internal corporate governance mechanisms and external drivers such as external stakeholder and legal pressures are explored. The results of the study also emphasize the importance of internal corporate governance mechanisms and how it is perceived to be the main driver of CSR in Egypt as opposed to external influences.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Corporate governance; Legal regulations; Neo-institutional theory; Stakeholders pressure

References