Swimming Against the Tide of Mainstream Economics: An Evaluation of Corporate Social Responsibility in International Development
AuthorKemp, Courtney Jean
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMillions of people around the world live in poverty. For decades, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) attempted to address this issue, spurring an intense debate about the proper role of business in society. Recently, the idea of CSR has extended to the business of private firms in developing countries, which is also highly contested by academics, development workers, international organizations, business managers, and professionals from the public sector. This paper seeks to analyze the extent of CSR’s potential effectiveness in a developing country context, attempting to answer the question, "Where should business fit within development?" Beginning with a literature review of CSR, the paper then analyzes prominent CSR challenges and presents a new conceptual framework for thinking about business and development. In this new framework, two ideas about CSR, business, and development are reconciled. CEMEX, a large multinational corporation (MNC), is then analyzed through the new conceptual framework. It is concluded that if business conducted in the firm’s self-interest is combined with voluntary social programs under a certain set of conditions, it will create a mutually beneficial relationship between business and development, creating value for firms and their shareholders as well as alleviating poverty and contributing to development.
Degree ProgramHonors College