Cultural configuration models: corporate social responsibility and national culture

Namporn Thanetsunthorn, Rattaphon Wuthisatian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to empirically examine the underlying cultures of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities contributing toward employee: compensation and benefits (CB); diversity and labor rights (DLR); and training, safety and health (TSH), with a view of supporting both business corporations and policymakers in effectively designing and implementing employee-related CSR strategies in the global market. Design/methodology/approach: The proposed empirical model, namely, pooled ordinary least square (OLS) regression, is tested against a novel proprietary data set of 8,940 corporations from 48 countries across nine different regions. The prototypical models of cultural configurations are benchmarked against Hofstede’s country cultural scores on six dimensions to categorize the lists of countries in which the three specific employee-related CSR activities would appear to be culturally appropriate, as well as difficult to implement. Findings: The study offers the cultural configuration models to identify the potential nature and range of cultural values that seem to support CSR activities contributing toward employee: CB – high power distance, high individualism, low masculinity, low uncertainty avoidance, medium long-term orientation and either relatively medium or low indulgence; DLR – medium power distance, medium individualism, low masculinity, high uncertainty avoidance, either relatively medium or low long-term orientation and medium indulgence; TSH – medium power distance, medium individualism, low masculinity, high uncertainty avoidance, medium long-term orientation and medium indulgence. The study further categorizes countries (cultural areas) in which these three specific employee-related CSR activities would appear to be culturally appropriate, as well as difficult to implement. Research limitations/implications: The findings provide both the motivation and a starting point for further academic inquiries. First, future research should further explore how specific industry and firm size have an impact on firms’ employee-related CSR activities. Second, the dynamic relationship of national culture and employee-related CSR activities over time should also be examined. Finally, appropriate management techniques or interventions to overcome the cultural constraints that prevent business corporations from promoting employee physical and mental fineness should also be fruitful area for further investigation. Practical implications: The study offers meaningful strategic implications of employee-related CSR activities for business corporations and policymakers. Specifically, the cultural configuration models, together with the practical framework, should serve as a benchmark for evaluating a likelihood of successful implementation on a particular employee-related CSR activity in a given context and for customizing business corporations’ CSR strategies and activities to fit within a cultural environment of the host country in which they operate. For policymakers dealing with employee rights and labor standards, the findings can be applied to assess foreign investor’s preferences regarding employee-related CSR engagement and activities. Originality/value: This is the first study to develop the cultural configuration models that provide business corporations culturally meaningful insights into how to effectively design and implement their employee-related CSR strategies in the global market. The study also offers a practical framework – a set of countries in the global marketplace where employee-related CSR activities are likely to be implemented successfully, or encounter challenges and difficulties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1175
Number of pages39
JournalManagement Research Review
Volume41
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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