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Corporate social responsibility and developing

countries
Regardless of whether one accepts or rejects CSR premise, the idea of CSR presupposes
that businesses have obligations to society that go beyond profit-making to include
helping to solve societal social and ecological
Problems. However, while there is a tacit consensus that CSR will vary from region to
region and even within regions the mainstream CSR agenda failed to adequately reflect
this diversity. As a result, despite the importance of universal principles for both
businesses and stakeholders, there is a recurring tension
Between universal expectations and local challenges and opportunities

A critique of mainstream CSR and the need for a Southcentre CSR agenda
tax avoidance, unsustainable investment and poverty reduction do not appear on the
agenda; nor does it attempt to address the structural and policy determinants of
underdevelopment mainstream CSR was also criticized for universalizing a set of
conditions that do not exist in developing countries The failure to consider this issue of
power relationships in mainstream CSR meant the one-size-fits-all model that seems to
underpin mainstream CSR agenda allowed for inappropriate expectations of companies .
Mainstream CSR was also criticized for a tendency to ignore the big picture; that is, the
wider ramifications of CSR demands for
the people it is supposedly expected to protect These criticisms of mainstream CSR
agenda rest on the assumption that while the environment and priorities of people in
developing countries might share some
Similarities with western societies, it is also sufficiently different from them. This
difference in environment is argued to not only shape the nature of obligations business
can be expected to attend to in developing
Countries, but also affects the success or failure of business initiatives to meet their
social obligation

The South-centered CSR agenda: emerging themes and


issues
The contextual issues dimension to the South-central CSR agenda has evolved into three
main aspects.
that the sense of morality that undergirds most CSR policies and practices of western
MNCs is often loosely based on Judaeo-Christian values and specifically deontological
ethics which are incompatible with many societies As such, the use of such ethical values
that might not be sensitive to the environment of developing countries should be deemphasized .Advocates of CSR as a vehicle for development assert that in an
increasingly globalized economy, where competition has become more fierce and
traditional differential
Factors among firms are on the verge of obsolescence, the successful firms will be those
that are able to respond to the demands of their stakeholders whatever these demands
might be the pursuit
Of CSR policies that contribute to development makes good business sense as it can
serve as a basis to generate new profits, reduce cost owing to stakeholder activism,
enter new markets and obtain a competitive edge over ones competitors skeptics argue
that CSR is structurally constrained by the logic

of capitalist production and profitability and that when push comes to shove, business
will continually choose profitability over making meaningful contributions to
development that might incur cost not compensated for in profit

The South-centered CSR agendas polices and practices


Differences in the state of CSR practice scan also are attributed to the different role
governments of developing countries have played in either fostering or hindering CSR
practices. CSR practices in developing countries are also influenced by historical factors
and cultural relationships Differences in the state of CSR practices Can also be attributed
to the different role governments of developing countries have played in either fostering
or hindering CSR practices. Where there are no strong links between business and
religion,
And where the institutions in opposition to colonial authorities have since been absolved
into mainstream politics, the civil society is often weak and unable to drive CSR without
external support. This weak civil society
Partly explains the relatively poor state of CSR practices in such countries