What does managerial CSR change? The inputs of a systemic method of assessment

By Jean-Pierre Chanteau, Thomas Borrell, Ludovic Temple

The move toward “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) is spreading out to South countries. It is often presented as a social innovation in the sense that, by means of “voluntary” initiatives changing the productive organization or the governance of a firm, business would take in charge social and ecological issues raised by its activities. This paper offers methodological tools to conduct comprehensive assessments, up to the societal level, of CSR managerial devices, after it has explained the limits of some popular methods of impact assessment. To do this, we draw upon the IAD-SES methodological institutionalism: firstly we explain the framework and our contribution to make it work in non-cooperative situations. Then we show our results from a field work on the case of the export-banana agro-industry in Cameroon, taken into account the rules in use and the double-effects, particularly to assess the impact of CSR managerial devices on the social structuration of land use management. Our results support the hypothesis that CSR would have conservative rather than innovative effects on the concerned social system. JEL Codes: B52, M14, O13, O17, O35

  • Innovation
  • CSR
  • Cameroon
  • Double-Effects
  • IAD-SES Framework
  • Methodological Institutionalism
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