CSR strategies in Greater China: Global, East Asian, American, European Style?
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility emerged in the United States and spread to Europe and Asia while being adapted to national/local characteristics. Since borders between markets and societies are blurring and globalization is promoting MNCs which find themselves acting in hybrid societies, international institutions put efforts into the development and moral acceptance of global CSR standards. The scientific interest in CSR focused on the conflicts between company returns and benefits for society. The resulting concepts of performance-oriented, awareness-oriented and welfare-oriented CSR should facilitate the evaluation of CSR strategies implemented by MNCs. In research on the cultural dimensions of economies, it might be possible to allocate geographically the three concepts. Regarding the newly emerging Chinese MNCs, the paper aims to shed light on which concept they follow. On the one hand, CSR concepts of American and/or European MNCs that are present in China might serve as a role model; on the other hand, by learning from Taiwanese/ Hong Kong MNCs, a "greater China CSR approach" might emerge. Empirical studies and own field research suggest that compared to American and European companies, CSR is less deeply rooted in Chinese companies. Furthermore, significant differences between Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwanese companies indicate that a Greater Chinese CSR approach does not yet exist. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that American and European CSR concepts will experience a Chinese influence in the near future. (original abstract)
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