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A Comparative Study of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Developed

and Developing Countries

Tilakasiri K.
Department of Accountancy
University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

Welmilla I.
Department of Human Resource Management
University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

Armstrong A.
Victoria Law School, Victoria University, Australia.

Heenatigala K.
Victoria Law School, Victoria University, Australia.

This exploratory study examines the theoretical and practical comparison of the concept of
CSR between the developed and developing countries with CSR definitions, frameworks and
concepts being considered. In reviewing CSR literature on developed and developing world
specially this study concerned

the CSR practices and theoretical understanding between

the two world. However, it is argued that the business and society in these countries have
been rather misrepresented in their historical perceptions of CSR, and are now being
misrepresented as having intentions other than philanthropic. To understand the CSR
benefits, measurements and definitions also add to the concept of CSR. However, the major
limitation of the study is that there is a dearth of research in CSR in the developing world
which is still in its primary stage.
Key words: Corporate Social Responsibility; Developed countries: Developing Countries:
economic social and environmental

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) definitions vary between studies, even though there is
considerable common ground among them (Carroll, 1979; Welford, 2004). Davis and
Frederick (1984) stated that CSR is an organizations obligation to engage in activities that
protect and contribute to the welfare of society, including general communities, customers,
shareholders, the environment, and employees. Their point is that these groups have come to
expect something more from business than their normal products and services. However, a
basic problem in the field of CSR is that there is no commonly accepted CSR definition.
Thus, the scholars used the following definitions for their studies to comprehend a clear idea
of the concept.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) defined CSR as the
continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic
development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as
of the local community and society at large (WBCSD, 1999, p. 3).
Further, the European Union defined the CSR as a concept whereby companies integrate
social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with
their stakeholders on a voluntary basis (European Commission, 2002).
The above definitions articulate two common fundamental nature of CSR (Prayukvong &
Olsen, 2009). Accordingly, businesses are advocated to show concern and take actions and
responsibilities to society and environment, and businesses should integrate environmental
and social implications into their day today business operations. In sum, CSR is integrated
into three areas (often referred to as triple bottom line) namely people (society), planet
(environment) and profit (economics) (Agarwal, 2008; Prayukvong & Olsen, 2009).
This information is implies that, even though the CSR concept has been initiated in the
developed world it cannot be adopted directly into the developing world.

Therefore, to

understand the application of the CSR in the developing countries a review of literature in
both developed and developing countries is required. However, it can be questioned as to
why this concept cannot be directly adopted by these countries as developed world.

Objective of the Study

The prior CSR studies have acknowledged some business benefits by implementing this
concept for

business and the society. Many CSR scholars have discussed these benefits

from the developed countries point of view (Visser 2007). Later, they suggested a clear CSR
notion for the developing countries point of view. However, the Western world pointed out

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that their CSR principles, standards and indices cannot be appropriated to the developing
world (Chapple & Moon, 2005). The issue is, if so, what are the other CSR applications to
understand the CSR for the developing world. This is the basic task of the CSR study when
comparing the CSR between the developed and developing world. The objective of the study
is to make out the gap between the developed and developing countries CSR practices by
reviewing the literature.

Problem of the Study

The focus of most CSR studies in developing countries are Asia, Africa, Middle East and
the Latin American regions (Belal & Momin, 2009). Generally, they have defined CSR as a
concept meaning that, organisations should integrate economic, social and environmental
concerns into their business strategies, their management tools and their activities, going
beyond compliance and investing more on human, social and environmental capital (Perrini,
2006 p.306). Nevertheless, socially responsible corporate behaviour becomes many difficult
to define as it means different things in different places to different people and at different
times (Campbell, 2007 p.950). Votaw (1972) cited in (Lindgreen et al., 2009) pointed out
that CSR stands for something but not always the same thing to everybody.
The problem of the study is, Why the existing CSR practices cannot be directly taken up to
the developing world?

Significance of the Study

Implementation of the CSR concept is really cost concept (Friedman 1982). However, this is
practiced by the companies for the different reasons. However, the concept was identified the
significance benefits to the both business and society based on the developed countries

Also prior researches have disclosed the social and environmental related

activities are affected to growth and the survival of the firms. Therefore, this study tried to
identify the benefits which have discussed by the developed world, then it can be directly
taken up to the developing world and search out the benefits them.

Literature Review
Many CSR studies have highlighted that the developed countries like US, UK and many
European countries are strong with the concept of CSR (Crane & Matten, 2007). These
countries have developed CSR frameworks, standards, indices, and principles, both locally
and internationally to be used in their organisations CSR practises. Meanwhile, it has been

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criticised that these standards and principles which developed based on the practise of those
countries which are biased toward the US context, because their applicability may limited
globally (Lindgreen et al., 2009). They argued that the accepted practices of CSR
considerably vary among different countries. Chapple and Moon (2005) supported this
argument by describing the variation among seven Asian countries. In their analysis of
website reporting of CSR in those seven countries confirm that there is no single pattern of
CSR in Asia (p.436). They therefore suggest that CSR is instead dependent on national
factors. Also found that international companies adapt their CSR to the specific national
contexts of their host business systems.
Matten and Moon (2004) also showed that CSR differ from nation to nation because of the
cultural traditions. Furthermore, Matten and Moon (2008) discovered the differences in CSR
across countries using the Whitleys (1999) national business systems framework. In
particular they explain, why CSR in US companies has largely been explicit, whereas CSR in
Europe has until recently, been mostly implicit. They conclude in their analysis, assessing
the nature of the political system, financial system, education and labour systems and cultural
system in the UK and Europe, and explain how differences in these key institutional arenas
influence CSR on either side of the Atlanthic. Further, Visser (2007) stated that the cultural
traditions strongly affect the organizations CSR implementation. In the developing
countries as a result of the cultural traditions, philanthropy and the CSR have a close
relationship. Their culture is enormously depending on the religion of the country, and many
Asian countries people practice Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Nelson (2004)
showed the Buddhist traditions are aligned with CSR in Asian countries. As well, Chapple
and Moon (2005) have highlighted that CSR does vary considerably among Asian countries
but that this variation is not explained by (levels of) development but by factors in the
respective national business systems (p.15).
Burton et al (2000) found difference in the relative importance of the types of CSR
responsibilities between Hong Kong and US students and Ksk and Zarkada Fraser (2004)
reported significant variations in corporate citizenship practices among Australian and
Turkish organisations. According to them, cultural differences are the major variations, and
the level of development of a country may be a key indicator (Burton et al., 2000; Chapple
& Moon, 2005). Ksk and Zarkada Fraser (2004) showed the differences as lack of legal
regulations and lack of legal applications for environmental and anti discrimination laws of
the country, the level of top management interests for CSR, customer loyalty and strong
organisational commitment and internal corporate culture.

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A considerable amount of CSR literature has been published on cross national CSR variations
(Chapple & Moon, 2005; Ksk & Zarkada Fraser, 2004), CSR applications (Carroll, 1979;
Whitley, 1999; Wood & Jones, 1995) and development of CSR frameworks for developed
countries (Clarkson, 1995; Davenport, 2000).. On the other hand, the researchers pointed out
that CSR concept gives many intangible advantages. It is argued that the companies
implement CSR programmes may obtain business benefits (Porter & Kramer, 2002), for
example: enhanced enterprise image and reputation (Schwaiger, 2004); increased sales and
customer loyalty for the products and services of the company; increased productivity and
quality, reduced complexity and costs; better control and management of risks; increased
ability to attract and retain employees; and higher motivation of employees. These benefits
could be achieved to the developing countries firms when they apply the CSR concept and
the long term it may be positively affected to the firms financial performance (Rais &
Goedegebuure, 2009; Ruf et al., 2001).

Role of the Business in CSR: Developing Countries Context

Business organisations have obligations to their society such as to increase in societal

expectations of business, a reduction in the power and scope of government, globalisation,
heightened media reach, the greater spread of democracy, and a series of corporate scandals
that have undermined confidence in the integrity of corporations, financial institutions and
markets (OECD, 2004; Smith, 2003). As a result management may choose to implement the
concept even though it pays off. In addition the global organisations like united nations,
expects to implement the Millennium Development Goals a world with less poverty,
hunger and disease, greater survival prospects for mothers and their infants, better educated
children, equal opportunities for women, and a healthier environment (UnitedNations, 2006
p.3) in 2000. They expect that this development can be done by participation of these
organisations and that is there key role of the business in tackling the critical issues of human
development and environmental sustainability (Visser, 2007). However, many developing
countries organisations are concerned about the above global aspiration in a most horrible
However, it has been accepted that many companies in developing countries such as India,
Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, set up CSR programs as a response to their dissatisfaction
with the existing social arrangement. Nevertheless, Sood, Arora et al. (2006) argued that the
motivation of social responsibility activities depend on the companys leadership and
orientation of the top management of the organisation.

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Difference CSR perspectives between developed and developing countries

Visser (2006) has focused following four rationales for adopting CSR in developing countries
as distinct from CSR in the developed world.

Developing countries have dynamic changing economies and therefore the profit

making growth markets available for the business activities (IMF, 2006).

Many social crises and environmental disasters have been recently experienced in

developing countries (UNDP, 2006; WRI, 2005).

Developing countries are where globalisation, economic growth, investment, and

business activity are likely to have the most dramatic social and environmental impacts (both
positive and negative) (WorldBank, 2005).

Developing countries present a distinctive set of CSR agenda and their challenges are

quite different to those faced in the developed world. Visser (2007) explained this idea as
many of the CSR issues in developing countries present themselves as dilemmas or tradeoffs, for example, development versus environment, job creation versus higher labour
standards, and strategic philanthropy versus political governance. Further, he added, the
issues being prioritized under the CSR banner are often different in developing countries, for
example, tackling HIV/AIDS, improving working conditions, provision of basic services,
supply chain integrity, and poverty alleviation.
Building on prior research, Welford (2005) reported a significant relationship between CSR
and economic development of a country. He stated that the CSR polices are based on
localized issues and cultural traditions of the nation. Consistent with these findings, Visser
(2007) pointed out that the difference in the focus of CSR mainly comes from the internal and
external drivers in developing countries.

Alternatives to CSR practices on developing countries

However, Schwabenland (2006) introduced the three categories as alternatives to


practices in developing countries such as alternatives to the state, alternative to community

and alternatives to the market which are adopted. Each of the categories is described in the
following section. Also it provides answers to the question Why CSR is needed for the
developing countries?

Role of the government

The first category is alternatives to the states. The private sector involvement in social
responsibility is an important character in the developing world (Schwabenland, 2006). Many

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governments in these countries facing poverty problem are trying to involve the private
sector, to a certain extent, to carry on some social and environmental activities in their own
way. In other words the authorities have been promoting the adoption of CSR without
imposing a mandate.
The role of the government is creating an enabling environment for CSR and providing
incentives to help companies, and ensuring minimum legal standards and the firms policy
frameworks become more responsible and accountable, for example, the government allow
tax benefits for CSE involvement by the companies

Table 1: Public Sector Roles Corporate Social Responsibility Practice


Enabling approach



and Regulators

control legislation
Facilitating Enabling legislation
Funding support



and Legal




penalties and reward


Capacity building


Stimulating markets

Raising awareness

Combining resources Stakeholder



Political support

Publicity and praise

Source: adopted from Fox, T. et al. (2002)

The research carried out by (Aaronson & Reeves, 2002; Fox et al., 2002; Nidasio, 2004) on
governments and development identifies different key roles for governments in promoting
CSR. One of the most useful classifications of governmental roles was developed by Fox et
al. (2002), where they present the different roles that could be adopted by governments:
mandating (legislative), facilitating (guidelines on content, fiscal and funding mechanisms,
creating framework conditions), partnering (engagement with multi stakeholder processes,
stimulating dialogue) and endorsing (tools and publicity).

Common Social problem

The second alternative is responding to other social problems in addition to the communities
(Schwabenland, 2006). This is done with infrastructure facilities like roads, water supply,
drainage, garbage disposal, power and open spaces for the development of the environment.
Today, there are many organisations in the developing countries that are concerned with

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environmental protection activities, whether they have engaged in the environment pollution
or not. For example, in 2004, the UN selected Tata Steel Company as one of six examples of
urban planning excellence in India (Lee, 2008). The Tata Steel Company started welfare for
its workers in 1902. In 1902, the son of group founder Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata wrote a
letter to his son about building a workers' city around his Tata Steel works: "Be sure to lay
wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick-growing variety. Be sure that
there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens." After his death in 1904, the city took his
name, becoming Jamshedpur. Today Jamshedpur, with free housing, free hospitals and free
schools, sports stadiums and clean streets, remains the envy of the country. In 2004, the U.N.
chose italong with Melbourne and San Franciscoas one of six examples of urbanplanning excellence (Lee, 2009).

Alternative social business enterprises

The final alternative is identified as alternative markets. Social business enterprises are based
on market principles, but dedicated to improving the lives of the poor. Developing countries
are concerned about these types of organisations. Some of the well known organisations have
established their CSR in the social enterprises, as an example, Micro Finance company and
Amul company in India. However, Arora and Puranik (2004), pointed out that many
foundations have established structures for a companys charitable giving; as an example, it
is estimated the over 100 corporate foundations are involved in CSR activities in India.
Theoretical perspectives about CSR in the developing countries

Carrolls CSR model developed for the developed world (Matten & Crane, 2005; Visser,
2006). Therefore, Visser (2007) redesigned the Carrolls model for the developing countries
context. He identified the CSR manifestation in the developed world, and investigated how
far it is equivalent with the developing world. In addition, he rearranged the Carrolls (1999)
CSR pyramid, and replaced discretionary responsibilities with philanthropic responsibilities.
The basis of his pyramid was the economic category, the foundation upon the other four
categories rested.

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Figure 1: CSR pyramid for developing countries

voluntary codes
of governance and

Ensure good relations with
government officials

Set aside/ community de funds for
corporate social projects

Economic Responsibilities
Provide investment, create jobs and pay taxes

Source: Extracted from Visser, (2007)

Even though Carroll proposed a linear evolution in the model where economic
responsibilities came first and philanthropic responsibility came in the last stage of CSR
maturity, a growing body of evidence suggests that in developing countries CSR practice is
focusing on philanthropic responsibilities (Jamali & Mirshak, 2007; Visser, 2007; 2008).
Visser (2007) shows this came in the second stage of the pyramid.
Vissers (2007) also suggested 10 major drivers that characterize CSR in those contexts and
he divided these drivers into internal and external drivers. See Figure 1. Visser (2007)
considered the internal drivers represent pressures from within a country, such as, cultural
tradition, political reform, socio-economic priorities, governance gaps, crisis responses and
market access, on the other hand external drivers represent the international standards,
investment incentives, stakeholder activism and supply chains, which tend to have a global

Differences and similarities of CSR between the developed and developing countries

The major differences of CSR between the developing and developed countries are still being
argued. However studies show that there is a considerable gap in CSR research between
developed and developing countries. These have been identified with economic, social,

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environmental, health-related or industrial crises which are normally associated as the big
issues in developing countries. Furthermore access to markets in the developed countries by
developing countries (Baskin, 2006) is also seen as an enabler.
However, in developing countries CSR plays an equal role which is identified by CSR
scholars (Uriarte, 2008). Uriarte, concluded this idea by considering 14 Asia Pacific countries
which includes five South East Asian Countries namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines,
Singapore, and Thailand.
According to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC, 2006) report, Corporate Social
Responsibility in the APEC Region the following similarities have been noted in CSR
practices and activities in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region:

The origins and conceptualization of CSR are rooted in the historical and cultural

traditions of each country and deeply influenced by ethical concepts and religious practice.
(APEC, 2006)

CSR is gradually moving from its historical focus on business philanthropy to a

broader set of activities that engage business with the full range of its stakeholders and
integrate the practice of CSR into the core strategy of the organization (APEC, 2006).

Efforts at measurement and reporting are growing rapidly in the belief that formal

monitoring and evaluation of outcomes will enhance the credibility of CSR and make it easier
to substantiate (APEC, 2006).

CSR is evolving in response to profound external forces, including meeting legal and

regulatory obligations and responding to the elite and broader public opinions that demand
higher standards of accountability, for example, meeting environmental requirements and
assuring appropriate labour standards throughout the supply chain (APEC, 2006).

Companies are increasingly turning to partnerships with other stakeholders including

both governments and non-government organizations in implementing CSR activities (APEC,


Despite the overall similarities, there are notable differences between the experiences of the
developed countries and those of the developing countries. Maignan and Ralston (2002)
found that organisations in different nations varied in the extent to which they reported CSR

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activities on their web sites, as well as their managerial practices and stakeholder issues that
were emphasised. The CSR activities in the developed countries tend to have the following

Strong environmental responsibility

When compared with the developing countries the developed countries are more concerned
of the environmental responsibility and increased environmental management practices
(Mazurkiewicz, 2004). Furthermore, many citizens consider corporate environmental
responsibility as: the duty to cover the environmental implications of the companys
operations, products and facilities; eliminate waste and emissions; maximize efficiency and
productivity of its resources; and minimize practices that might adversely affect the
enjoyment of the countrys resources by future generations (Mazurkiewicz, 2004).

Strong and active civil society involvement

Civil society particularly includes non-government organisations (NGOs) such as

Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Community Aid Abroad, the councils of Social Service.
The tools that NGOs use to regulate businesses are very different to the market and
government. They are, in the first instance, neither price nor law. Often they are just ideas
expressed in a strange new language, which is the language of CSR such as Corporate
Citizenship, the Triple Bottom Line, and the Stakeholder Corporation. These language and
the ideas are seductive and appear benign. However, whatever the language Corporate Social
Responsibility is really Civil Society Regulation in disguise (Mel, 2004).

In addition to the above differences, the following characteristic have been extracted from
Vissers study (2007), which is related to the developing countries CSR practices.

Formal CSR practices are being used by large, high profile national and international

companies (Abboud & AbdulRazek, 2010; Crane et al., 2008).

Formal CSR practices are applicable by the companies of developing countries for

their own issues (e.g. fair trade, supply chain, HIV/AIDS) or sector-led (agriculture, textiles,
mining) (Abboud & AbdulRazek, 2010; Crane et al., 2008).


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Common CSR practices are philanthropic activities such as education, health sports,

development, the environment, and other community services (Crane et al., 2008; Jamali,
2007; Lantos, 2001).

Economic contributions are the most important CSR activities which is an effective

way for business to make a social impact (Berniak-Wozny, 2011; Porter & Kramer, 2002).

Businesses engaged in social activities see CSR as governments responsibility

(Matten & Moon, 2008).

Cultural values and religious concepts are strongly adopted with the CSR in

developing countries (Welford, 2005).

The focus on CSR in developing countries can be a catalyst for identifying, designing

and testing new CSR frameworks and business models (Visser, 2007).

According to Welford, there are less policies and practices implemented in the organisations
of the developing world than in European firms. He pointed out that there are differences in
policies between European and Asian firms regarding fair wages, freedom of association and
equal opportunities for employees. Welford (2005) also stated that the policies of
philanthropy are common in North America and less popular in Europe and lowest in the
Asia. Furthermore, according to Ramasamy and Ting (2004)

the awareness of CSR in

developing world is less than the developed countries. They also reported that thelevel of
CSR awareness in Malaysia is generally lower than in Singapore. It was noted that while
many companies in the region do not understand CSR (Rathnasiri, 2003), but the
philanthropic and community development are widely known and implemented in Asia.
Baughn et al.(2007) also stated that the philanthropic and community development are not
new to Asia and such CSR activities are done using variety of names including donations and
social giving.
Many CSR studies, for examples, (Baughn et al., 2007; Dobers & Halme, 2009; Lindgreen et
al., 2009; Visser, 2008) have discussed the CSR practices in Africa and Middle East, Central
and Eastern Europe, South and Latin America, Asian countries. The governments of these
countries are driving their economy which is considerably weak position (Lindgreen et al.,

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2009). As well as the health issues of these countries such as HIV/AIDs and lower life
expectancy at birth are paying more attention. As a result they are looking for solutions from
developed countries to relieve the existing unfavorable situations in these countries
Furthermore, they conclude by stating the meaning and practices of CSR in Africa and Asia
differ from the traditional US model. There are no comparative studies been published in core
CSR journals in these countries and the literature review suggests that CSR practice may be
influenced by factors such as culture, stage of CSR maturity, and the immediate socio
economy environment.

CSR in Asia

Chambers et al.(2003) studied CSR in Asia by reviewing the websites of companies operating
in India, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. They found
three primary factors that characterized CSR in Asia. They are: CSR lags behind the western
world; different national systems of business-society relationships influence CSR, therefore,
there is no uniformity among Asian countries; and CSR in Asia is enhanced by globalisation.
However, two major limitations were identified in Chambers et al.s study. First, websites
are not widely used for business communications in Asia, because the information
technology facilities are still in preliminary stage and internet usage is low (Chapple &
Moon, 2005; Rotchanakitumnuai & Speece, 2003). Second, the top fifty companies are the
largest companies in the country which adopt more strategies to implement the CSR.
However larger firms implement more CSR than the smaller firms in developing countries
(Lepoutre & Heene, 2006; Perrini et al., 2007).
Visser (2008) stated that Asia is the developing region that is most often covered in the CSR
literature, with a significant focus on China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia
(Balasubramanian et al., 2005; Blowfield, 2004). However, whilst Asian countries share
similar concerns regarding environmental management, social responsibility and sustainable
development, each country has very different priorities, norms and values, and is at different
stages of economic development (Rock, 2002; Ruud, 2002). Therefore, it is necessary to
consider in-depth, the concerns, norms and priorities of each country.

Many researchers have investigated the meaning of CSR in Asian, African and Latin
American organizations to develop suitable CSR principles and models (Khan & Atkinson,
1987; Khan, 2005; Visser, 2008). Some have suggested that CSR in developing countries is
purely philanthropic (Mohan, 2001; Visser, 2008), but others maintain CSR activities go

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beyond this (Arora & Puranik, 2004; Belal, 2001; Fernando, 2007; Haslam, 2007; Kemp &
Unies, 2001; Khan, 2005; Kumar et al., 2001; Ratanajongkol et al., 2006; Thompson &
Zakaria, 2004; Visser, 2008; Welford, 2004). In order to understand the CSR in different
countries in the developing world, this study revealed the global literature related CSR which
would help to develop a CSR framework for the developing countries such as Sri Lanka.
As discussed in Chapter two, scholars have researched the relationship between CSR and
company performance to identify the linear relationship (Griffin & Mahon, 1997; Tsoutsoura,
2004; Ullmann, 1985; Waddock & Graves, 1997). These research studies are based on the
developed countries CSR and its firm performance. However, this relationship have been
studied less in the developing countries due to the problems such as measurement of CSR,
reporting, and no experience of the concept. Thus, some developing countries such as
Malaysia, Thailand, China and India, have tried to identify the relationship between CSR and
financial and non financial variables (Fauzi et al., 2007; Mishra & Suar, 2010; Rais &
Goedegebuure, 2009) .

CSR and Company performance in developing countries

CSR is predominantly considered as a Western phenomenon due to strong institutions,

standards, and appeal systems, which are weak in developing countries of Asia (Chapple &
Moon, 2005). Such weak standards pose considerable challenge to firms practicing CSR, in
developing countries including Sri Lanka. The relation between CSR and firm performance
has evoked much interest among researchers. There are few empirical research studies
(Mishra & Suar, 2010; Rais & Goedegebuure, 2009) for example, which have considered the
relationship between CSR and firms performance in the developing country context.
Recent study by Rais and Goedegebuure (2009) examined corporate social performance and
financial performance in 101 Indonesian firms in the manufacturing industry. They examined
stakeholder relations as a solid measure of CSP (Clarkson, 1995) and its impact on firm
performance. They understood the stakeholder relationship is a meaningful measure of social
performance. Using the Structural Equation Model they measured CSP as a single attribute of
the firm, which was derived from primary stakeholder issues as defined by (Clarkson, 1995)
(Davenport, 2000; Moore, 2001). They concluded that the CSP strongly and significantly
affects both a firms competitive position and its financial performance. They also identified
the relationship between CSP and financial performance is not mediated by firm strategy, but
by the firms strategic position in market place.


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Wickramasinghe (2006) explored the impact and relationship of CSR on the success of
selected manufacturing companies in Sri Lanka. He considered six CSR issues: economic,
personal, product, environment, discrimination and community and measured company
success using Return on Investment (ROI). He concluded that there is a significant positive
relationship between the success of the selected companies and the level of social
responsibility in Sri Lankan companies. Further analysis revealed that economic
(shareholders) and personal (employee) issues are the major social issues that affect a
company. As a result environmental, discrimination, and community involvement are

Benefits from the CSR

By the late 1990s, CSR had attracted worldwide attention and several scholars had
determined that socially responsible companies enjoy a number of benefits. These include
profitability factors, such as achieving a competitive advantage (Porter & Kramer, 2002;
Smith, 1994), generating a positive corporate image (Smith & Stodghill, 1994), attracting and
retaining high quality employees (Turban & Greening 1997) and enhancing product loyalty
via an overall evaluation of the firm (Brown & Dacin, 1997). Some acknowledged, however,
that socially responsible initiatives could create additional costs (Agarwal, 2008) and
companies could experience some economic disadvantages from implementing CSR (Turban
& Greening, 1997; Ullmann, 1985). The table 1 shows the benefits from the CSR which
identified by the recent studies. Those benefits summarized for five areas such as positive
effects on company image and reputation: positive effects on employee motivation, retention,
and recruitment: Cost savings; Revenue increases from higher sales and market share: CSRrelated risk reduction or management.

Implication from the literature to current study

The literature in developing countries have highlighted that, each stakeholder can be
measured separately when the stakeholder framework is used (Mishra & Suar, 2010; Rais &
Goedegebuure, 2009). Current research on CSR in Sri Lanka are mostly limited to nature and
characteristics (Rathnasiri, 2003; Tilakasiri & Higgins, 2010; Tilakasiri et al., 2008), and
policies and practices of CSR in some Sri Lankan companies

(Fernando, 2010) without

linking it to firm performance. Therefore intention of this study is to fill that gap. It replicates
and extends the past findings on CSR and firm performance of Western and some developing
countries (Cochran & Wood, 1985; Mishra & Suar, 2010; Rais & Goedegebuure, 2009;

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Ullmann, 1985; Waddock & Graves, 1997; Wickramasinghe, 2006). This research will be
carried out in a country which was affected by political and economic instability in the recent
past, at a different time period and also in different industries using different measures. Such
replications are warranted to establish the external validity of results and to rebuild the
confidence of researchers and practitioners on earlier findings.

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