Asian Business & Management

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 129–148

Corporate social responsibility in China: Between the market and the search for a sustainable growth development

  • Loong Wong
Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/abm.2009.1

Cite this article as:
Wong, L. Asian Bus Manage (2009) 8: 129. doi:10.1057/abm.2009.1


Despite the opening and greater liberalization of the market, the state still represents a dominant feature in China's economic strategy and policy management. As such, attempts that fail to consider the state's import in corporate social responsibility (CSR) formulation and implementation are unlikely to succeed. In this paper, we start off with an introduction to the issue of CSR and recent interest and developments in CSR in China. We note its externally driven ethos, but argue that further development needs to consider the role of state action. The Chinese state has recently introduced a plethora of reform measures, including labour laws, and these have significant effect on CSR practices. We also suggest that the trajectory of CSR development differs from its ‘western’ progenitors, and that Chinese history and institutions are critical in fashioning an alternative model and practice. This model appears to be an exception to the idealized expectation of an internationalized market economy conforming to liberalized economic market views, involving rather both an active state and private partnership initiatives and collaboration. We also offer some tentative views on the limitations of the CSR model as practised and suggest a greater reflexivity in terms of aims and philosophy is necessary.


corporate social responsibility China labour practices human rights multinational corporations codes of conduct 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loong Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business and Government, University of Canberra Faculty of Business and Government, University of CanberraCanberraAustralia

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