The influence of ownership and traditional culture on perceptions and practices of corporate social responsibility in China

Zhang, D 2016, The influence of ownership and traditional culture on perceptions and practices of corporate social responsibility in China, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Title The influence of ownership and traditional culture on perceptions and practices of corporate social responsibility in China
Author(s) Zhang, D
Year 2016
Abstract The purpose of this study is to explore how company managers in China perceive and practice corporate social responsibility (CSR). Perceptions of CSR by managers and executives from three different organisation types—state-owned enterprises (SOEs), private companies and multinational companies (MNC) were compared in this study employing a qualitative approach (in-depth interviews supplemented by document research). A total of 33 managers from 32 companies in China participated in the study, including two managers from one company. After analysing CSR perceptions and practices in China, this study found that culture and ownership influence CSR in China. The results show SOEs undertake CSR for sustainable development, which reflects Taoism. They also practiced corporate philanthropy, which reflects Confucianism and Mohism. Very few SOEs conducted strategic CSR (SCSR).

Most private companies (include social enterprises) practice corporate philanthropy, while few large or medium private companies conduct SCSR. The study finds that most MNCs in China conducted SCSR, and four multinational companies consider CSR as a tool for sustainable development and for the good of society. The results suggest that ownership and Chinese culture (Confucianism, Taoism, I-Ching, Mohism, and Sunzi) influence the CSR programs of companies in China. While philanthropy plays an important role in CSR, respondents still believe economic responsibility and employee relationships are most important.

I propose a new table of CSR stages by different ownership companies in China. A company’s CSR programs usually lead to positive outcomes, except in some isolated cases, for example when there are scandals involving transparency problems about donations. CSR is not equivalent to “good deeds” of companies in China, because although some participants’ companies do very well on some aspects of CSR/corporate philanthropy, they still that have corruption problems at a management level.

This study is useful to PR and CSR practitioners of companies in China who intend to undertake CSR, and to scholars who are interested in CSR in China by helping them to understand CSR in China through the lens of Chinese culture. In particular, the discussion of I-Ching’s influence on CSR in China reflects a new contribution to international public relations scholarship.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Subjects Communication Studies
Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Keyword(s) China
Culture
Ownership
I-Ching
Corporate social responsibility
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 364 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 04 Nov 2016, 12:53:21 EST by Keely Chapman
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us