Socially Responsible International Business
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Socially Responsible International Business

Critical Issues and the Way Forward

Edited by Leonidas C. Leonidou, Constantine S. Katsikeas, Saeed Samiee and Constantinos N. Leonidou

Acting in a socially-responsible manner has become a crucial success factor for many international firms due to the highly complex, competitive, and volatile global environment in which they operate. This book will contribute new ideas, contemporary knowledge, and original research to the area of socially-responsible international business, and offers challenging directions for future research. Topic covered range from global environmental influences on acting in a socially-responsible way; foreign buyer reactions to responsible business and international market targeting to development of socially-responsible international business strategies.
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Chapter 11: Ethical issues in Japanese foreign direct investment in developed versus developing countries

Paul W. Beamish, George Z. Peng and Jean-Marie Nkongolo-Bakenda


We examine the relationships between national ethical environment (NEE) and foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing and developed countries from an institutional theory perspective. Based on a NEE measure developed by Franke and Nadler (2008) and FDI data from the Ministry of Finance of Japan, we find that the relationship between the level of NEE and Japanese FDI inflow is positive for developing countries, but negative for developed countries. Our findings highlight the need to consider both transaction cost and conformity cost when studying FDI behavior, and to distinguish between developing and developed countries due to the fundamental differences in sensitivity of each cost to institutions in these two settings. We call for a refocus on institutional theory’s core purpose of understanding how organizations acquire institutional conformity without sacrificing their internal efficiency. This study also sheds indirect light on how FDI behaves with regard to “socially responsible international business.”

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