Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries: An Institutional Analysis

  • Alberto Willi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly significant element in contemporary business. Globalisation, a growing concern for environmental degradation, and evident social inequality have installed CSR on the global agenda. Companies around the world are introducing CSR programs, and many of the Schools of Management or Business Schools have CSR courses in their core programmes, including their MBAs. Organisations such as EFMD (, ABIS ( and PRME ( are prompting universities and business schools to implement CSR as well as sustainability courses and seminars.Conceptual research concerned with the influences on firms’ socially responsible actions has recently emphasized the importance of institutional factors. However, current institutional accounts of corporate social responsibility implicitly assume the presence of well-developed and relatively stable institutional characteristics found in developed countries. In order to address this gap, this thesis presents a conceptual model, which explores how institutional pressures configure a local company’s CSR practices in developing countries. This thesis presents empirical findings drawn from in depth open-ended interviewees to managers of local companies in Argentina, taking into account type of industry, size, and the presence of multinational companies (MNCs). In so doing, this study contributes to extending the application of institutional theory to developing countries context and to theoretical analysis of local companies CSR practices in such contexts. Within this analysis, this study places particular emphasis on the role of MNC and the State in the processes of adoption of CSR practices by local companies in a developing country. Finally, this thesis contributes with practical implications for mangers of local companies and managers of MNCs’ subsidiaries in developing countries
Date of Award20 May 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SponsorsUniversidad Austral
SupervisorAndrew Millington (Supervisor), Steve Brammer (Supervisor) & Stephen Pavelin (Supervisor)


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • developing countries
  • institutional theory

Cite this