Corporate Social Responsibility: : a concept under translation in China
Sammanfattning: The starting point of this thesis is the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in China. CSR can certainly not solve all of the social and environmental problems, but we believe that it can play a part, which is why we find it interesting to study the status quo of the concept in China. The research question of the thesis is “How is CSR depicted in China?”. The purpose of this study is to identify and describe Chinese views of CSR and analyze the differences between these views and CSR, as it is commonly understood in the West, in order to contribute to a better understanding of the CSR concept in China. We spent ten weeks in China conducting a qualitative case study. We interviewed companies, academics and governmental and non-governmental organisations, within the CSR area in China. Our material was then categorised into five views of CSR, where CSR is depicted as: - CSR as labour law compliance - CSR as law enforcement - CSR as codes of conduct compliance - CSR as a PR exercise - CSR with Chinese characteristics In addition to describe these views, we set out to analyze the differences between these views, and CSR as understood in the West. When analyzing the views we have mainly departed from CSR theory and translation theory. The main differences can be seen when it comes to the, from a Western point of view, limited scope of corporate responsibility, the lack of stakeholder dialogue, the lack of consideration for environmental issues, and in the concept of a harmonious society, which is not a part of CSR in the West. CSR with Chinese characteristics still seems to be an aspiration they are striving for, while the other four views rather are different aspects of the problems related to CSR in China at present. Our views are examples of how CSR has been translated in China, but none of them seems to be a suitable option for the further development of the concept. Put together, these views give a quite negative image of CSR in China, and it comes forth as rather ineffective. If the concept is going to have any impact on the social and environmental problems in China there is a need for further research. The development of the concept needs to be in accordance with the realities of the Chinese society, addressing the problems in the society as well as the problems with the concept.
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