, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 807-819
Date: 26 Oct 2007

The Political Roots of Corporate Social Responsibility

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This article argues that whether and how a firm chooses to adopt Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives is conditional in part upon the domestic political institutional structures present in its home market. It demonstrates that economic globalization has increased the pressure applied to companies to develop CSR policies that might help overcome specific governance gaps associated with the globalization phenomenon. Drawing upon an examination of domestic institutions and overall political structure, it argues that the political conditions and expectations present in a company’s home market will condition whether a firm might pursue CSR activity. For home markets, it is posited that perceived electoral salience will be filtered through government type and ideology, and state/societal structures will influence if and how firms will use CSR. Specific arguments are developed from these categorizations. The article concludes with a discussion of how researchers might further explore links between CSR, domestic political structures, and corporate political activity.