An empirical test of a cross-national model of corporate social responsibility

Journal of Business Ethics 25 (1):33-51 (2000)
Most models of corporate social responsibility revolve around the controversy as to whether business is a single dimensional entity of profit maximization or a multi-dimensional entity serving greater societal interests. Furthermore, the models are mostly descriptive in nature and are based on the experiences of western countries. There has been little attempt to develop a model that accounts for corporate social responsibility in diverse environments with differing socio-cultural and market settings. In this paper an attempt has been made to fill this gap by developing a two-dimensional model of corporate social responsibility and empirically testing its validity in the context of two dissimilar cultures – Australia and Bangladesh. The two dimensions are the span of corporate responsibility and the range of outcomes of social commitments of businesses. The test results confirm the validity of the two-dimensional model in the two environments. The Factor analysis revealed two leading dimensions. Cluster analysis pointed to two distinctive clusters of managers in both Australia and Bangladesh, one consisting of managers with a broad contemporary concept of social responsibility, and the other with a limited narrow view. The paper concludes that corporate social responsibility is two-dimensional and universal in nature and that differing cultural and market settings in which managers operate may have little impact on the ethical perceptions of corporate managers
Keywords business ethics  business and society  consumerism  corporate environmentalism  corporate social accounting  corporate social responsibility  stakeholder model  societal marketing
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