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Walking the walk or talking the talk? Corporate social responsibility decoupling in emerging market multinationals

  • Peter Tashman
  • Valentina Marano
  • Tatiana Kostova
Article

Abstract

Research shows that emerging market multinational enterprises (EM-MNEs) increasingly use corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting as a global legitimation strategy. Less is known about when their CSR reporting is decoupled from their CSR performance. Drawing on neo-institutional theory, we argue that EM-MNEs’ CSR decoupling is shaped by their dual embeddedness in their home countries and the global institutional environment. We then examine how EM-MNEs’ home country institutional voids and degree of internationalization affect their tendency to engage in such decoupling. Our model receives partial support in a study of 93 MNEs from 15 emerging markets between 2005 and 2012.

Keywords

neo-institutional theory corporate social responsibility decoupling emerging market multinationals institutional voids liabilities of origin 

Resume

La recherche montre que les entreprises multinationales des marchés émergents (EMN-ME) utilisent de plus en plus les rapports sur la responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RSE) comme stratégie de légitimation mondiale. On en sait moins sur le moment où leur rapport RSE est découplé de leur performance RSE. Sur la base de la théorie néo-institutionnelle, nous considérons que le découplage RSE des EMN-ME est façonné par leur double ancrage dans leurs pays d’origine et dans l’environnement institutionnel mondial. Nous étudions ensuite comment les vides institutionnels du pays d’origine des EMN-ME et le degré d’internationalisation affectent leur tendance à s’engager dans un tel découplage. Notre modèle est partiellement validé par une étude de 93 entreprises multinationales de 15 marchés émergents entre 2005 et 2012.

Resumen

La investigación muestra que las empresas multinacionales de mercados emergentes usan cada vez más los informes de responsabilidad social empresarial (RSE) como una estrategia de legitimación global. Poco se conoce sobre cuando los reportes de RSE están desconectados de su rendimiento de RSE. Basándonos en la teoría neo-institucional, argumentamos que la desconexión de la RSE de multinacionales de mercados emergentes está formado por su doble insertación a sus países de origen y al entorno institucional global. Entonces examinamos cómo los vacíos institucionales y el grado de internacionalización de las empresas multinacionales de mercados emergentes afecta su tendencia a embarcarse en dicha desconexión. Nuestro modelo recibe apoyo parcial en un estudio de 93 empresas multinacionales de 15 mercados emergentes entre el 2005 y el 2012.

Resumo

Pesquisas mostram que as empresas multinacionais de mercados emergentes (EM-MNEs) usam cada vez mais os relatórios de responsabilidade social corporativa (CSR) como uma estratégia de legitimação global. Pouco se sabe sobre quando o relatório de CSR é dissociado de seu desempenho em CSR. Com base na teoria neoinstitucional, argumentamos que a dissociação do CSR de EM-MNEs é moldado por sua dupla integração nos seus países de origem e no ambiente institucional global. Em seguida, examinamos como os vazios institucionais do país de origem e o grau de internacionalização das EM-MNEs afetam sua tendência de se engajar em tal dissociação. Nosso modelo recebe apoio parcial em um estudo de 93 empresas multinacionais de 15 mercados emergentes entre 2005 e 2012.

抽象

研究表明, 新兴市场跨国企业(EM-MNEs)越来越多地将企业社会责任(CSR)报告作为全球合法化战略。然而它们的CSR报告在什么时候与它们的CSR业绩脱钩所知较少。借鉴新制度理论, 我们认为, EM-MNEs的CSR脱钩是由它们在本国和全球制度环境中的双重嵌入性所造成的。我们因而研究了EM-MNEs的母国制度空隙和国际化程度如何影响它们参与这种脱钩的倾向。我们的模型在2005至2012年间对来自15个新兴市场的93家跨国企业进行的研究中获得了部分支持。

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to our editor, Klaus Meyer, and the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable guidance and support throughout the review process. We also thank Northeastern University’s Center for Emerging Markets and University of South Carolina’s Center for International Business Education and Research for their financial support.

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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Tashman
    • 1
  • Valentina Marano
    • 2
  • Tatiana Kostova
    • 3
  1. 1.Manning School of BusinessUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA
  2. 2.D’Amore-McKim School of BusinessNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Sonoco International Business Department, Moore School of BusinessUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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