Presentation (Project) Title

Multinational Corporations’ Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Economies: A study of IKEA in India and TOMS in Haiti

Mentor Information

Jean Kabongo (Muma College of Business)

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Event

Abstract

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is approached with varying strategies by different companies, bringing about distinct results. This study aims to investigate corporate approaches to corporate social responsibility in two developing economies – IKEA in India and TOMS in Haiti, while analyzing the social practices of each. We address the following research questions: What impact does CSR have on communities in a developing economy and what different approaches can be taken? How do corporations utilize cultural marketing research to compliment CSR? And Who do they collaborate with? Qualitative research focused on a case study was used, accessing public documents from IKEA and TOMS with an interpretative approach in line with the perspectives of the Stakeholders Theory. This study should serve as an example of varying CSR approaches and their true impact on communities for current and future corporations. Any future research should also include more primary research such as stakeholder interviews. Preliminary results show how important it is to do proper research on a developing country’s social and economic issues to predict the effects of any outside efforts; IKEA’s approach follows the stakeholder theory by partnering with local businesses, maintaining a set code of conduct, and increasing social spending every year to address India’s issues, while TOMS follows a feel-good marketing approach utilizing donations or handouts as their sole focus. IKEA has created over 45 thousand jobs and continues to work toward developmental goals in India, while TOMS has given 95 million shoes to 82 countries after changes to their initial model.

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Multinational Corporations’ Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Economies: A study of IKEA in India and TOMS in Haiti

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is approached with varying strategies by different companies, bringing about distinct results. This study aims to investigate corporate approaches to corporate social responsibility in two developing economies – IKEA in India and TOMS in Haiti, while analyzing the social practices of each. We address the following research questions: What impact does CSR have on communities in a developing economy and what different approaches can be taken? How do corporations utilize cultural marketing research to compliment CSR? And Who do they collaborate with? Qualitative research focused on a case study was used, accessing public documents from IKEA and TOMS with an interpretative approach in line with the perspectives of the Stakeholders Theory. This study should serve as an example of varying CSR approaches and their true impact on communities for current and future corporations. Any future research should also include more primary research such as stakeholder interviews. Preliminary results show how important it is to do proper research on a developing country’s social and economic issues to predict the effects of any outside efforts; IKEA’s approach follows the stakeholder theory by partnering with local businesses, maintaining a set code of conduct, and increasing social spending every year to address India’s issues, while TOMS follows a feel-good marketing approach utilizing donations or handouts as their sole focus. IKEA has created over 45 thousand jobs and continues to work toward developmental goals in India, while TOMS has given 95 million shoes to 82 countries after changes to their initial model.