The false developmental promise of corporate social responsibility: evidence from multinational oil companies

Frynas, Jedrzej George (2005) The false developmental promise of corporate social responsibility: evidence from multinational oil companies. International Affairs, 81 (3). pp. 581-598. ISSN 0020-5850

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Using the example of multinational oil companies, this article suggests that there are fundamental problems surrounding the capacity of private firms to deliver development and the aspiration of achieving development through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) may be fundamentally flawed. The article is based on an extensive twelve-month research project on the Gulf of Guinea region funded by the Nuffield Foundation. This research identified a number of constraints to a developmental role for CSR: the subservience of CSR schemes to corporate objectives; country- and context-specific issues; the failure to involve the beneficiaries of CSR; the lack of human resources; technical/managerial approaches of company staff and the lack of CSR's integration into larger development plans. But even if private companies were able to overcome practical problems, it argues that the current CSR agenda fails to address the crucial issues of governance and the negative macro-level effects that multinational companies cause in host countries. The article concludes by suggesting that a focus on CSR may divert attention from broader political, economic and social solutions for developmental problems.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Business School > International Management and Innovation
Business School > International Management and Innovation > Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics group
Citations on ISI Web of Science:55
ID Code:946
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Deposited On:05 Feb 2009 16:49
Last Modified:15 Oct 2014 12:48

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