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Playing to the audience? Multilevel interactions between stakeholders and institutions around CSR in Bangladesh

Roy, Taposh; Burchell, Jon; Cook, Joanne


Taposh Roy

Jon Burchell

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Professor Joe Cook
Professor in Organisational Behaviour/Human Resources Management


Purpose: While corporate social responsibility (CSR) research and practice has expanded and evolved rapidly in recent years, little is known about how MNC subsidiaries develop their CSR strategies and how they reconcile global and local demands and pressures from both institutions and stakeholders. The paper aims to understand how institutions and stakeholder pressures interact at both national and international levels and how these interactions shape MNC subsidiaries' CSR in Bangladesh. Design/methodology/approach: Multiple case studies were used to investigate the CSR practices of 10 MNC subsidiaries operating in Bangladesh. To collect data, twenty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted. For supplementing primary data, secondary data from annual reports and websites were collected. Findings: The article demonstrates that the practice of CSR in Bangladesh is a result of pressures exerted by parent companies, international institutions and international stakeholders. The article reveals how lack of pressure from local stakeholders and institutions enables subsidiaries to gain traction and use their agency to apply globalised CSR conceptualisations not necessarily applicable to the localised context. Originality/value: The study has synthesised existing approaches to develop a multilevel framework for understanding how the intricate interactions between institutions and stakeholders from different levels (i.e. national and international levels) determine the trajectory of CSR adopted by subsidiaries in developing countries. This interaction undoubtedly plays a key role in determining the types of CSR strategy being enacted, the potential agency of different actors to shape change and the extent to which such pressures are likely to lead to CSR strategies that actually reflect and respond to the needs of local stakeholders.


Roy, T., Burchell, J., & Cook, J. (in press). Playing to the audience? Multilevel interactions between stakeholders and institutions around CSR in Bangladesh. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 15, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 5, 2022
Journal Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Print ISSN 0951-3574
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Institutional theory; Multinational corporations (MNCs); Stakeholder theory; Bangladesh
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Accepted manuscript (743 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact

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