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A CSR framework due to multiculturalism – the Swiss Re case


Sachs, Sybille; Rühli, Edwin; Mittnacht, Veronika (2005). A CSR framework due to multiculturalism – the Swiss Re case. Corporate Governance, 5(3):52-60.

Abstract

urpose– Owing to the fact that the concept of ‘‘CSR orientation in different cultural settings’’ is stillquite unexplored, both in CSR theory and in empirical research the paper aims to contribute to thequestion of how corporations can deal with different CSR orientations when they perform their activitiesin different cultural settingsDesign/methodology/approach– Theoretically, the analysis is based on two well-known corporatesocial responsibility (CSR) approaches: first, reference is made to Carroll who reflects the economicparadigm as the basic layer of a pyramid in all cultural settings as economic responsibility and, onthe opposite side, to Kang and Wood who give priority to moral and social responsibilities alignedto the difference of cultural settings. Based on the comparison of these theories in addition to aqualitative case study in the reinsurance industry some practical insights will be provided into andmanagerial implications developed regarding how to respond to the challenges of corporateresponsibility due to multiculturalism.Findings– It is claimed that corporations which follow a CSR understanding corresponding to thepyramid of Kang and Wood are better prepared to deal with differences regarding CSR orientation indifferent cultures compared with corporations that are based on the thinking of Carroll’s pyramid.Originality/value– Changing societal concerns and different local expectations across variouscountries, in the context of instantaneous world-wide communication, have strongly increased theexposure of corporations to external criticism and challenge. These effects are intensified for largemultinational firms, where complex interactions among distant and diverse constituencies have becomecommonplace. Broad societal concerns challenge the core strategies of corporations and requirestrategic responses. But this important strategic challenge response process cannot be analyzed withinthe traditional views of the firm. Therefore, a paradigm shift is asked in corporate responsibility.

Abstract

urpose– Owing to the fact that the concept of ‘‘CSR orientation in different cultural settings’’ is stillquite unexplored, both in CSR theory and in empirical research the paper aims to contribute to thequestion of how corporations can deal with different CSR orientations when they perform their activitiesin different cultural settingsDesign/methodology/approach– Theoretically, the analysis is based on two well-known corporatesocial responsibility (CSR) approaches: first, reference is made to Carroll who reflects the economicparadigm as the basic layer of a pyramid in all cultural settings as economic responsibility and, onthe opposite side, to Kang and Wood who give priority to moral and social responsibilities alignedto the difference of cultural settings. Based on the comparison of these theories in addition to aqualitative case study in the reinsurance industry some practical insights will be provided into andmanagerial implications developed regarding how to respond to the challenges of corporateresponsibility due to multiculturalism.Findings– It is claimed that corporations which follow a CSR understanding corresponding to thepyramid of Kang and Wood are better prepared to deal with differences regarding CSR orientation indifferent cultures compared with corporations that are based on the thinking of Carroll’s pyramid.Originality/value– Changing societal concerns and different local expectations across variouscountries, in the context of instantaneous world-wide communication, have strongly increased theexposure of corporations to external criticism and challenge. These effects are intensified for largemultinational firms, where complex interactions among distant and diverse constituencies have becomecommonplace. Broad societal concerns challenge the core strategies of corporations and requirestrategic responses. But this important strategic challenge response process cannot be analyzed withinthe traditional views of the firm. Therefore, a paradigm shift is asked in corporate responsibility.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:2005
Deposited On:12 Sep 2019 07:50
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:38
Publisher:Emerald Publishing
ISSN:1472-0701
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1108/14720700510604698
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:4052

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