Corporate Community Relations: A sub-Saharan bank perspective

Jillian Farquhar, Linda Deigh, Maria Palazzo, Alonso Siano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
This paper aims to extend corporate social responsibility (CSR) theory by exploring how firms engage with community. The community is frequently cited as a stakeholder of the firm, but in spite of its status in networks it has not been the focus of research. Drawing on community theory and Carroll’s pyramid for the foundation of this study, the authors undertake an empirical investigation to advance knowledge in CSR engagement with a particular stakeholder group.

Design/methodology/approach
To generate an in-depth insight, the study adopts a multiple case study approach involving the purposeful selection of three retail banks in Ghana as units of analysis. It draws on multiple data sources to strengthen its findings.

Findings
The study finds that community engagement consists of four spheres of activity: donations, employee voluntarism, projects and partnerships. Philanthropy forms part of largely ad hoc CSR actions by firms. The study also finds that philanthropy is not merely a desired function of the CSR pyramid but an essential one.

Practical implications
This research imparts increased understanding of how firms engage with an important but frequently overlooked stakeholder group – community.

Originality/value
This study presents specific theoretical extensions to CSR through its identification of four core activities of community engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-240
JournalQualitative Market Research
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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