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CSR in China Research: Salience, Focus and Nature

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Abstract

This article investigates the development of research in the field of CSR in China. The justification for this is that (i) there is evidence that CSR is emerging as a management practice and management field internationally; (ii) there is a general interest in the distinctiveness or comparability of management and management research in Asia and China; (iii) there is evidence that CSR is growing as a management issue in China; and (iv) yet, the mainsprings of this are very different from those in Western business systems. This article adopts a methodology used in wider analysis of CSR in management research (Lockett et al., Journal of Management Studies 43, 2006, 115) to bring forth comparisons over the salience, focus and nature of CSR in China research. It finds a rapidly growing salience of CSR in China research, albeit from a low base. It parallels Lockett et al.’s (2006) finding of a ‘thickening’ of CSR research focus from early concerns with Ethical issues only to greater attention to Social, Environmental and Stakeholder concerns. It also generally parallels Lockett et al.’s (2006) findings on the balance of research methodologies deployed. The significance of the findings for future CSR research in China is considered both for the notion of a CSR field of research and for our understanding of the development of CSR in China.

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge support for this research from the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, the Centre for Global Finance, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, and the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham. They are also grateful to Sue Bishop and Richard Pascoe for their support for this research, and to the Journal reviewers for their helpful comments.

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Moon, J., Shen, X. CSR in China Research: Salience, Focus and Nature. J Bus Ethics 94, 613–629 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0341-4

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