Killing Two Birds with One Stone in the Nonmarket Environment: The Orchestration of Corporate Social Responsibility as a Political Strategy

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1360-1386
Number of pages27
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Volume34
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

No funders were acknowledged.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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