This paper explores how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is used as a political strategy. Drawing on social exchange theory and using data from firms operating in Ghana, the findings reveal that when CSR is politicized, it involves the design and implementation of politically charged CSR initiatives that entail firm–polity negotiated exchanges. Firms exchange social interventions for political influence in ways that allow politicians to take the credit to boost their re-election. To do this, the choice of target politician hinges on political vulnerability, the selection of CSR initiatives is based on CSR orientation and CSR benefit personalization, the location of CSR is linked to politicians’ electoral constituencies and the timing of CSR is affected by election cycles. Overall, this paper provides new insights into how CSR is used in indirect social exchanges in political markets, shows that CSR can be CPA and thus extends nonmarket strategy integration from its focus on CSR's complementarity with CPA to its instrumentality in CPA. The findings have important theoretical and practical implications.
|Journal||British Journal of Management|
|Early online date||14 Jul 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation