Multinational Enterprises and the Challenge of Sustainable Development
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Multinational Enterprises and the Challenge of Sustainable Development

Edited by John R. McIntyre, Silvester Ivanaj and Vera Ivanaj

Transnational corporations play a role in the design, diffusion, and consolidation of sustainable development in the context of globalization and multinational firms. In this timely book European and American contributors analyze this role and explore the complex and dynamic phenomena of economic, political, cultural and legal interactions involved.
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Chapter 13: The Discourses and Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility as a New Component of the Strategies of Multinational Companies: An Illustration with French Multinational Companies

Pierre Bardelli and Manuela Pastore-Chaverot


Pierre Bardelli and Manuela Pastore-Chaverot INTRODUCTION Sustainable development, an already established concept, is nowadays at the heart of several academic debates in the management sciences (Krupicka and Dreveton, 2005). It is also at the center of the concerns of companies, especially multinationals. These companies, with their power, size and planetary presence, are greatly concerned about their economic, social, cultural and ecological environment. Their activities in turn have significant effects on the ecological environment, society and the economy. In this context, many organizations (particularly non-governmental organizations – NGOs) are asking a right to look at the activities of these companies, which do not fall under state regulations. Ecological accidents, social scandals (as with Nike or Puma) and financial scandals (Enron and Worldcom, for example) have altered the image of the big company, bringing about suspicion and mistrust. The commitment of a company to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility appears to be a means to repair a legitimacy that has been damaged (Salmon, 2005) but also a way to prevent certain risks (financial, events that could harm the image and the reputation of the company, ecological issues). According to Bardelli (2006), in response to this development, the discourses and practices of corporate social responsibility (DP-CSR) 245 246 Multinational enterprises and sustainable development is helping form answers from the companies, especially multinationals, to the pressure of the different social actors involved. The NGOs are demanding from the companies an account of the economic, social and ecologic impacts of their activities. Likewise, the DP-CSR...

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