Title: Multinational enterprises' subsidiary initiative-taking: a model for implementing corporate social responsibility

Authors: Robert Ebo Hinson; Ogechi Adeola; Joseph Amankwah-Amoah; Samuel Adomako

Addresses: University of Ghana Business School, P.O. Box, LG 78, Legon, Accra, Ghana; University of the Free State Business School, Bloemfontein, South Africa ' Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Km 22, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ajah, Lagos, Nigeria ' Kent Business School, University of Kent, Kent ME4 4TE, UK ' School of Management, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between subsidiary initiative-taking and corporate social responsibility (CSR). We conducted a qualitative study of the CSR practices of Unilever PLC and Unilever Ghana to document the key features of this relationship. Our findings show that subsidiary mandates and initiative-taking occur in three phases: 1) identifying key and prominent stakeholder issues; 2) implementing subsidiary initiatives; 3) taking steps to bridge the feedback loop. This research shows that Unilever maintains a pragmatic perspective, with a preference for practical rather than theoretical interactions with stakeholders who form the basis of CSR strategy development and implementation. These findings have important implications for understanding how multinational enterprise subsidiaries in developing countries position themselves to achieve sustainable development at the firm level.

Keywords: Africa; multinational enterprise; MNE; sustainability; corporate social responsibility; CSR.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCS.2020.114681

International Journal of Multinational Corporation Strategy, 2020 Vol.3 No.2, pp.153 - 170

Received: 14 Sep 2019
Accepted: 18 Jun 2020

Published online: 21 Apr 2021 *

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