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Analyzing Capacity Development Approaches in CSR Implementation and Their Societal Impact: A Case Study of ITC’s E-Choupal

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Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility


This paper examines capacity development for collective action and institutional change through implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Indian context. Capacity development for collective action focuses on creating and strengthening capacities that represent the potential for collaborative response to social problems. Framework developed by Rama et al. (2009) has been used to study Collective Action Model (CAM) integrated with capacity development approaches to study CSR implementation and its impact in the context of ITC’s e-chaupal (India). ITC’s e-chaupal has been instrumental in development of individual and organizational capacity, collaborative capacity in enabling environment. This case is pertinent to CSR initiatives in rural development projects. The case shows a good fit to the framework and highlights multi-stakeholder collaborations for an enabling environment and development at grassroots. Framework based analysis is useful, as it enables practitioners and researchers to develop an integrated view of CSR implementation.

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Correspondence to Sumita Sindhi .

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Annexure: CSR implementation: The Elements of the Framework for Capacity Development

Annexure: CSR implementation: The Elements of the Framework for Capacity Development

Capacity Type


Use in CSR implementation framework (Fig. 3.1)

Enabling environment

Enabling environment capacity refers to the actionable elements of the broader social, economic, political, legal, and cultural environment that can be shaped by collective action

Enabling environment capacity was included as it is a key element in our framework as systemic approaches to capacity development underscore the importance of the enabling environment level as well as the linkages to the other three levels in Fig. 3.1 (Lusthaus et al. 1999)


Terms such as collaborative capacity, network capacity, coalition capacity, and relational capacity have been used in the context of collaborative efforts by multiple stakeholders (Butterfoss et al. 1993; Chaskin 2001; Foster-Fishman et al. 2001; Innes and Booher 2003; Wells et al. 2006; Zakocs and Guckenburg 2007). ‘Collaborative Capacity’ was preferred to coalition capacity because it represents the notion of capacity for collective action by multiple stakeholders. Consistent with prior literature, the authors’ notion of collaborative capacity encompasses organizational (organizational structures, administration, leadership, incentives, communication systems, and continuous learning and evaluation), and relational capacities (shared vision, a cohesive and trusting working climate, and a culture that promotes internal power sharing, inclusiveness and regular interactions among diverse stakeholders of the collaboration (Foster-Fishman et al. 2001)

The term ‘Collaborative Capacity’ refers to the overall capacity of a collaborative effort. It includes both organizational and relational capacities. As shown in Fig. 3.1, collaborative capacity is realized through two types of entities—MSC and MSC networks:

1. MSC capacity (Civil Society Organization—Multi-Stakeholder Coalition) The term MSC refers to the subset of CSO that host the collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholders in order to enact institutional change

2. MSC network capacity: We use this term to refer to specialized networks within a larger collaboration (e.g., The Corporate Council of The Points of Light Foundation)


Organizational capacity includes elements such as organizational structures, administration, leadership, incentives, communication systems, and continuous learning and evaluation. Elements of organizational capacity have been examined in several studies. (De Vita et al. 2001; Linnell 2003; UNDP 1997, 2006; World Customs Organization 2003)

As shown in Fig. 3.1, the framework includes (1) external organizational capacity (capacity of CSO that are external to the business organization), and (2) internal organizational capacity (the capacity of the business organization to engage in CSR). External organizations can include organizations that are part of the MSC or others that are impacted by the MSC actions


Individual capacity refers to individuals’ ability to solve problems, participate in decision-making, and understanding their roles and responsibilities

In the context of the framework, CSR programs can develop capacities in employees as well as those individuals who are engaged in collective action

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Sindhi, S., Maurya, U., Shukla, M. (2014). Analyzing Capacity Development Approaches in CSR Implementation and Their Societal Impact: A Case Study of ITC’s E-Choupal. In: Ray, S., Siva Raju, S. (eds) Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility. Springer, New Delhi.

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