Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 139–152 | Cite as

Sharing the Shared Value: A Transaction Cost Perspective on Strategic CSR Policies in Global Value Chains

  • Aurélien Acquier
  • Bertrand ValiorgueEmail author
  • Thibault Daudigeos


This paper explores the conditions favouring or inhibiting the implementation of strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies in the context of global value chains (GVCs). Using transaction cost theory (TCT), we specify the economic and behavioural issues raised by strategic CSR policies. We show that the existence of market rewards for such policies does not constitute a solution per se, but tends to increase the difficulties that value chain members face. Bringing TCT into the analysis of the diffusion of strategic CSR policies in GVCs helps us to make different contributions. We first theoretically identify some limiting conditions of strategic CSR policies in GVCs. We also contribute to developing a more robust theoretical perspective for CSR in GVC research, which remains underdeveloped and mostly driven by empirical case studies. Finally, we shed light on new research questions and topics that could guide major theoretical and empirical investigations in the capacity of GVCs members to bypass the numerous difficulties involved in the implementation of strategic CSR policies.


Global value chains Strategic corporate social responsibility Transaction cost theory Asset specificity Governance structure 



Corporate social responsibility


Global value chain


Multi-stakeholder initiative


Non-governmental Organisation


Transaction cost theory


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aurélien Acquier
    • 1
  • Bertrand Valiorgue
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thibault Daudigeos
    • 3
  1. 1.ESCP EuropeParisFrance
  2. 2.CRCGMEcole Universitaire de ManagementClermont-FerrandFrance
  3. 3.Grenoble Ecole de ManagementGrenobleFrance

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