Title: Contexts and corporate social responsibility: the case of Saudi Arabia

Authors: Tareq Emtairah, Asya Al-Ashaikh, Abdulmohsen Al-Badr

Addresses: International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University, PO Box 196, Tegnersplatsen 4, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden. ' Tamkeen International, PO Box 6537, 21452 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. ' Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), PO Box 5927, Riyadh 11432, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: This article intends to shed some light on the contextual realities that shape the perceptions and practices of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Saudi Arabia. Using both primary and secondary data collection and analysis, we chart some of the key socio-cultural and business drivers that shape the picture of Saudi Arabian CSR. In addition to providing an account of an important, but significantly under-researched context, our findings point to a distinctive picture of Saudi Arabia CSR. Contrary to expectations drawn from external reviews, CSR in Saudi Arabia can be characterised as responsive within the exiting normative and institutional pressures in the local context. However, weaknesses in the stakeholders| environment limit the potential to broaden the CSR agenda. Furthermore, lack of institutionalised and systemic approaches limit the potential for strategic CSR.

Keywords: business drivers; corporate social responsibility; CSR; environmental performance; Saudi Arabia; social performance; socio-cultural context.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2009.028905

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2009 Vol.1 No.4, pp.325 - 346

Available online: 11 Oct 2009

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