Chapter 16: Islam and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Arab World: Reporting and Discourse
Cameron Thibos and Kate Gillespie Despite a rapidly globalizing world, the scholarly literature concerning corporate social responsibility (CSR) has remained largely focused on the experience of Western firms. This oversight is unfortunate. The emerging markets of the Arab world offer markedly different contexts, constraints and possibilities for CSR activity and research, and many Arab companies stand out in their creative efforts to do good for the communities in which they operate. This chapter adds to the slowly growing body of work on CSR in the Middle East by examining the impact of Islam on CSR reporting and legitimatization discourse in the Arab world. Academics have had a difficult time agreeing on any one theory of corporate social responsibility. This is due in part to the broad and abstract nature of the concept. For the purposes of this chapter, CSR is defined as any corporate activity designed to benefit society as a whole or in part that may or may not directly benefit the corporation itself. While academic scholarship on corporate social responsibility in a Western context is now extensive, such research in a specifically Middle Eastern context is extremely sparse. Studies on the Levant (predominately Lebanon) dominate the empirical literature of CSR in the Middle East (Jamali and Mirshak, 2007; Jamali et al., 2008; Jamali, 2008; Jamali and Sidani, 2008; Jamali and Keshishian, 2009; Jamali et al., 2009a; Jamali et al., 2009b). However studies also include work on Turkey (Atakan and Eker, 2007; Turker, 2009) and the Arab Gulf (Katsioloudes...
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