KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 1939–1951 | Cite as

Driving Mechanism of CSR Strategy in Chinese Construction Companies based on Neo-Institutional Theory

  • Xiaojiang Gao-Zeller
  • Xiaodong Li
  • Fan YangEmail author
  • Weina Zhu
Construction Management


Chinese construction companies, represented by huge Chinese construction corporations (HCCCs), have taken steps to develop their CSR (corporate social responsibility) strategy. To investigate the driving mechanisms of the CSR strategy of HCCCs, an analytical framework is proposed based on neo-institutional theory to explore how organizational legitimacy affects managerial perceptible institutional pressures and ultimately affects the development of CSR strategy. Specific scales were developed for HCCCs, and a questionnaire survey was conducted. Structural equation modelling was adopted to verify the paths proposed by the theoretical model. The results show that the expectations of the public and subcontractors/suppliers do not constitute sources of HCCCs’ organizational legitimacy. Different stakeholders have different influences on different institutional pressures. Environmental organizations have the most prominent effects. Government can reduce concerns about the CSR performance of HCCCs in society, and clients have a significant influence on the formation of institutional pressure, but employees’ demands still need to be taken seriously by management. Additionally, due to the lack of regulations and norms in China, the promotion of CSR strategies relies mainly on the spontaneous demands of HCCCs. The applicability of neo-institutional theory to construction corporations is verified. The identified driving mechanisms help to effectively promote business strategy for HCCCs.


corporate social responsibility Chinese construction corporation neo-institutional theory institutional pressure organizational legitimacy 


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaojiang Gao-Zeller
    • 1
  • Xiaodong Li
    • 1
  • Fan Yang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Weina Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Construction ManagementTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Management Science & EngineeringCentral University of Finance and EconomicsBeijingChina

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