Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 93, Supplement 2, pp 241–255 | Cite as

MNC Reporting on CSR and Conflict in Central Africa

  • Ans KolkEmail author
  • François Lenfant
Article

Abstract

In recent years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in developing countries has received more attention. However, in this literature, Africa is much less well represented than other regions, and existing studies about Africa have mainly focused on South Africa and Nigeria. This focus has resulted in scant research on other African countries where MNCs are located as well, and where their presence is notable. Settings largely unexplored include conflict-ridden areas in Central Africa where a limited number of usually large MNCs can potentially have a large impact on the local situation and play a role in addressing the huge problems with which these countries are confronted. Moreover, the MNCs themselves face large CSR dilemmas, related to the contribution they can (or cannot) give in the different setting compared to their home countries as well as their attitude vis-à-vis ongoing conflicts. In order to help shed light on these issues, this article explores how MNCs report on CSR and conflict in three Central African countries (Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Republic of the Congo). Our analysis of company information reveals that opportunities are widely seen and that most MNCs report on their economic and social impacts. However, CSR reporting is fairly generic, and the specific context seems to bear little influence on the type of CSR activities. The conflict dimension also receives limited attention, although some companies show awareness and outline the limitations of their power and the dilemmas inherent to their presence in these countries. The potential for MNCs’ involvement in (co)creating sustainable economies is recognised, and needs further research attention in the coming years.

Key words

conflict Multinational Corporations CSR Angola Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andriof, J. and M. McIntosh (eds.): 2001, “Perspectives on corporate citizenship”, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield.Google Scholar
  2. Bais, K. and M. Huijser: 2005, “The profit of peace: Corporate Responsibility in conflict regions”, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield.Google Scholar
  3. Banfield, J.: 2003, “From fuelling the conflict to oiling the peace: harnessing the peace-building potential of extractive-sector companies operating in conflict zones”, in R. Sullivan (ed.), Business and human rights (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield), 220-231.Google Scholar
  4. Banfield, J., V. Haufler and D. Lilly: 2005, “Transnational Corporations in conflict-prone zones: Public policy responses and a framework for action”, Oxford Development Studies, 33(1), 133-147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baskin, J.: 2006, ‘Corporate Responsibility in Emerging Markets’, Journal of Corporate Citizenship 24(Winter), 29–47Google Scholar
  6. Bennett, J.: 2002, “Multinational corporations, social responsibility and conflict”, Journal of International Affairs, 55(2), 393-410.Google Scholar
  7. BHP Billiton: 2007, ‘BHP Billiton Sustainability Report. Full Report 2007’, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  8. Boele R., H. Fabig and D. Wheeler: 2001, “Shell, Nigeria and the Ogoni. A study in unsustainable development: The story of Shell, Nigeria and the Ogoni people. Environment, economy, relationships: Conflict and prospects for resolution”, Sustainable Development, 9(2), 74-86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chevron: 2007, ‘2006 Corporate Responsibility Report’, San RamonGoogle Scholar
  10. Dawkins, C. and F.W. Ngunjiri: 2008, “Corporate social responsibility in South Africa. A descriptive and comparative analysis”, Journal of Business Communication, 45(4), 286-307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Jongh, D. and P. Prinsloo: 2005, ‘Why Teach Corporate Citizenship Differently?, Journal of Corporate Citizenship 18(Spring), 113–122Google Scholar
  12. Dunning, J.H. and S.M. Lundan: 2008, “Multinational enterprises and the global economy”, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham and Northampton.Google Scholar
  13. Egels, N.: 2005, ‘CSR in Electrification of Rural Africa: The Case of ABB in Tanzania’, Journal of Corporate Citizenship 18, 75–85Google Scholar
  14. Eweje, G.: 2006, “The role of MNEs in community development initiatives in developing countries Corporate Social Responsibility at work in Nigeria and South Africa”, Business and Society, 45(2), 93-129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Exxon Mobil: 2007, ‘2006 Corporate Citizenship Report’, TrentonGoogle Scholar
  16. First Quantum: 2007, ‘Annual Information Form’, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  17. Fortanier, F. and A. Kolk: 2007a, “Multinationals perceptions of their economic and social impacts”, in R. Sinkovics and M. Yamin (eds), Anxieties and management responses in International Business (Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke), 100-115Google Scholar
  18. Fortanier, F. and A. Kolk: 2007b, “On the economic dimensions of corporate social responsibility. Exploring Global Fortune 250 reports”, Business and Society, 46(4), 457-478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Halliburton: 2007, ‘Corporate Sustainability Responsibility Report 2006’, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  20. Hamann R.: 2003, “Mining companies’ role in sustainable development: the why and how of corporate social responsibility from a business perspective” Development Southern Africa; 20(2), 237-254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hamann R. and P. Kapelus: 2004, “Corporate Social Responsibility in mining in Southern Africa: Fair accountability or just greenwash”, Development, 47(3), 85-92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hamman, R.; T. Agbazue; P. Kapelus and A. Hein: 2005, “Universalizing Corporate Social Responsibility? South African challenges to the international organization for standardization’s new social responsibility standard”, Business and Society, 110(1), 1-19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Handelsman, S.: 2003, “Mining in conflict zones”, in R. Sullivan (ed.), Business and human rights (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield), 125-142Google Scholar
  24. Haufler, V.: 2004, “International diplomacy and the privatization of conflict resolution”, International Studies Perspectives, 5(2), 158-163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heineken: 2007, ‘Annual Report 2006’, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  26. Hillier, D.: 2007, Africa’s Missing Billions. International Arms Flows and the Cost of Conflict (IANSA, Oxfam International and Saferworld)Google Scholar
  27. Idahosa, P.: 2002, “Business ethics and development in conflict (zones): The case of Talisman Oil”, Journal of Business Ethics, 39(3), 227-246 .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Idemudia, U.: 2008, ‘Oil Extraction and Poverty Reduction in the Niger Delta: A Critical Examination of Partnership Initiatives’, Journal of Business Ethics. doi: 10.1007/s10551-008-9916-8
  29. Idemudia U. and U.E. Ite : 2006, “Corporate-community relations in Nigeria’s oil industry: Challenges and imperatives”, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 13(4), 194-206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. IMF: 2007, ‘Angola: Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix; Country Report, No 07/355’, Washington DC, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2007/cr07355.pdf. Last accessed 22 Nov 2007
  31. Ite, U.E.: 2004, “Multinationals and Corporate Social Responsibility in developing countries: A case study of Shell in Nigeria”, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 11(1) 1-11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ite, U.E.: 2005, “Poverty reduction in resource-rich developing countries: what have multinational corporations got to do with it?”, Journal of International Development; 17(7), 913-929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ite, U.E.: 2007, “Changing times and strategies: Shell’s contribution to sustainable community development in the Niger Delta, Nigeria”, Sustainable Development, 15(1), 1-14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kapelus, P.: 2002, “Mining, Corporate Social Responsibility and the “community”: The case of Rio Tinto, Richards Bay Minerals and the Mbonambi” Journal of Business Ethics; 39(3) 275-296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kolk, A.: 2005, ‘Environmental Reporting by Multinationals from the Triad: Convergence or Divergence?’, Management International Review, 45, 145-167.Google Scholar
  36. Kolk, A., R. van Tulder and B. Westdijk: 2006, “Poverty alleviation as business strategy? Evaluating commitments of frontrunner Multinational Enterprises”, World Development, 34(5), 789-801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. KPMG: 2005, ‘KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2005’, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  38. MacDonald, G. and T. McLaughlin: 2003: “Extracting conflict”, in R. Sullivan (ed.), Business and human rights (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield), 232-242.Google Scholar
  39. Malone D.and S. Goodin: 1997, “An analysis of U.S. disinvestment from South Africa: unity, rights, and justice”, Journal of Business Ethics, 16(16), 1687-1703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mehlum, H., K. Moene and R. Torvik: 2006, “Cursed by resources or institutions?”, The World Economy, 29(8), 1117-1131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Meyer, K.E.: 2004, “Perspectives on multinational enterprises in emerging economies”, Journal of International Business Studies, 35, 259-276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nelson, J.: 2000, “The business of peace”, Prince of Wales Busines Forum, London.Google Scholar
  43. Nestle: 2005, ‘The Nestle Commitment to Africa’, VeveyGoogle Scholar
  44. Newell, P. and J.G. Frynas: 2007, “Beyond CSR? Business, poverty and social justice: an introduction” Third World Quarterly, 28(4), 669-681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nikanor: 2007, ‘Annual Report 2006’, LondonGoogle Scholar
  46. Norsk Hydro: 2007, ‘Annual Report 2006’, OsloGoogle Scholar
  47. Oetzel, J., K. Getz and S. Ladek: 2007, “The role of multinational enterprises in responding to violent conflict: A conceptual model and framework for research”, American Business Law Journal, 44(2), 331-358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ojo, O.: 2008, “Nigeria: CSR as a vehicle for economic development” in Idowu, S.O. and W.L Filho, (eds) Global Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility, Springer, Berlin, 393-433Google Scholar
  49. Omeje K.: 2006, “Petrobusiness and security threats in the Niger Delta, Nigeria”, Current Sociology, 54(3), 477-499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Phillips, F.: 2006, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility in an African context’, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 24, 23-27.Google Scholar
  51. Reed D.: 2002, “Resource extraction industries in developing countries”, Journal of Business Ethics, 39(3), 199-226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Reichardt M. and C.L. Reichardt: 2006, “Tracking sustainability performance through company reports: a critical review of the South African mining Sector” in W. Visser, M. McIntosh and C. Middleton (eds), Corporate citizenship in Africa: Lessons from the past; paths to the future (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield), 171-189.Google Scholar
  53. Sachs, J.D. and A.M. Warner: 2001, “The curse of natural resources”, Natural Resources and Economic Development, 45, 827-838.Google Scholar
  54. SGS: 2007, ‘Annual Report 2006’, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  55. Statoil: 2007, ‘Statoil and Sustainable Development 2006’, StavangerGoogle Scholar
  56. Sullivan, R. (ed.): 2003, “Business and human rights”, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield.Google Scholar
  57. SustainAbility: 2006, ‘Taxing Issues. Responsibility Business and Tax’, SustainAbility, London.Google Scholar
  58. UNCTAD: 2006, ‘World Investment Report 2006. FDI from Developing and Transition Economies: Implications for development’, United Nations: New York and Geneva.Google Scholar
  59. UNCTAD: 2007, “World Investment Report 2007. Transnational corporations, extractive industries and development”, United Nations, New York and Geneva.Google Scholar
  60. Visser, W.: 2002, “Sustainability reporting in South Africa”, Corporate Environmental Strategy, 9(1) 79-85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Visser, W.: 2005, “Corporate Citizenship in South Africa: A review of progress since democracy”, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 18, 29-38Google Scholar
  62. Visser, W.: 2006a, “Research on corporate citizenship in Africa: A ten-year review (1995-2005)”, in W. Visser, M. McIntosh and C. Middleton (eds), Corporate citizenship in Africa: Lessons from the past; paths to the future (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield).Google Scholar
  63. Visser, W.: 2006b, “Revisiting Carroll’s CSR pyramid. An African perspective”, in E.R. Pedersen & M. Huniche (eds.), Corporate Citizenship in Developing Countries, Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press, 29–56.Google Scholar
  64. Visser, W, M. McIntosh and C. Middleton (2006) (eds), “Corporate citizenship in Africa: Lessons from the past; paths to the future” Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield.Google Scholar
  65. Wheeler, D., H. Fabig and R. Boele: 2002, “Paradoxes and dilemmas for stakeholder responsive firms in the extractive sector: Lessons from the case of Shell and the Ogoni”, Journal of Business Ethics, 39(3), 297-318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. World Bank, 2007: ‘Africa Development Indicators’, Washington: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Amsterdam Business SchoolAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations