Dr. Vidhi Chaudhri (department of Media & Communication at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication) co-authored a book chapter titled ‘CSR in the community: Implications for communication, development, and engagement’ in The Routledge Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility Communication, edited by Amy O’Connor.
The chapter is based on a field *case study of a public sector oil company in India and highlights how CSR and community development efforts are rife with opportunities, tensions, and paradoxes that render CSR ‘best practices’ illusive.
No easy answers
One of the key questions that the case study (and book chapter) examines is why the oil company constantly found itself at loggerheads with the community despite substantial CSR efforts. Why was it a frequent target for higher demands and subjected to operational obstructions and often violent protests if those demands were not fulfilled? The in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and company management soon learned that there a no easy answers to these questions. There is a complex confluence of factors at play.
Dr. Chaudhri: “This case exposes the multi-layered complexities of CSR and community development in a way that challenges the implicit ‘win-win’ approach in much management scholarship. Notably, the case also problematizes the assumption in extant research that treats communities as ‘victims’ of power asymmetries raising interesting questions for future research".
*The full case study on which the chapter is based will also be available via the Harvard Business School Case collection in the upcoming months.