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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in a Developing Country: An Analysis of Public-listed Corporations in Malaysia

Ahmad, Anis Suriati (2016) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in a Developing Country: An Analysis of Public-listed Corporations in Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This study examines the nature and extent of CSR practices in Malaysia, a developing country located in the South-East Asia. The cause for concern highlighted in a number of studies in the field of CSR is centred on the unparalleled economic, social and political power that corporations possess in a contemporary economic environment. It has been argued that corporate large-scale operations pose considerable challenges to existing domestic and international governance institutions. In response to various pressures from civil society groups and NGOs, corporations espouse CSR commitment by producing codes of conduct and increasingly report its CSR engagement. Nevertheless, the present form of modern corporations, anchored by the ‘ideology’ of economic and legal views of the corporation offer limited insight into the practice of CSR. It has been argued that developing countries’ institutional structures are often devised to increase capital mobility and pressure to attract foreign investment in order to foster social and economic growth. This may influence the development of institutional structures for promoting social responsibility and public accountability and indeed shape social relations in a capitalist society. In the case of Malaysia, it can be observed that the powerful social elite set the agenda for maintaining social cohesion, mobilising Bumiputera hegemony in the process of capital accumulation and suppressing concerns about the tensions between capitalism and socio-economic and environmental concerns. In this context, CSR provided corporate managers and political elites with a tool, used to maintain the status quo and masked conflicting interests under the notion of ‘corporate social responsibility’. The analysis of several reports and documents of public-listed corporations in Malaysia showed gaps in the knowledge of CSR discourse and how it can be ‘operationalised’ in the best interest of the public at large. The review of documented evidence also indicated the gap between corporate pledges of CSR and what actually happened in practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Anis Binti Ahmad
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2016 13:31
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:31
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16289

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