Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 1–9

The Social Responsibilities of International Business Firms in Developing Areas


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-006-9192-4

Cite this article as:
Bird, F. & Smucker, J. J Bus Ethics (2007) 73: 1. doi:10.1007/s10551-006-9192-4


Three principles must be taken into account in assessing the social responsibilities of international business firms in developing areas. The first is an awareness of the historical and institutional dynamics of local communities. This influences the type and range of responsibilities the firm can be expected to assume; it also reveals the limitations of any universal codes of conduct. The second is the necessity of non-intimidating communication with local constituencies. This requires the firm to temper its power and influence by recognizing and responding to local concerns in the pursuit of its own objectives. The third is the degree to which the firm’s operations safeguard and indeed improve the social and economic assets of local communities. At issue is the question of adequate compensation for the inevitable disruptions that an international business brings to a local community. Beneficial returns must be shared and sustained over the long term in an equitable manner. The nine studies in this special edition illustrate in different ways the importance of these three principles.


dialogsustainabilitysocial responsibilityinstitutional context

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ReligionConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada