The impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility
A systematic review of the effects of government supported
interventions on...
Aim

 Find out what have been the outcomes and results of Dutch
government’s efforts to influence the way companies
appro...
CSR intervention core theory of change

Figure 2
Review methods & results
Figure 1

7 = Dutch policy
18 = policy in other country

10 = NGO
policy
20= National
legislation...
Quality of evidence: weakness a problem.....
Quality parameter

Independence
of evidence

10

Not independent
authors
Inde...
Results: Location of evidence – HD level

total %
3 = medium
development
country
No information
policy %

2 = Low - medium...
Evidence on CSR behaviours
80%

70%

60%

50%

40%

Information policy %
No information policy %

30%

total %

20%

10%

...
Pathways
Pathways : with & without mention of policy
32%

42%

32%

HUMAN RIGHTS

32%

ENVIRONMENT

OTHER

FAIR OPERATING
PRACTICES...
Pathways : with & without mention of policy

Other

community involvement / development

consumer issues

fair operating p...
Evidence from specific sectors: implications
for target ting policy & corporate interest?
60%

50%

40%

Information polic...
Dutch CSR Policy
Government roles
Level of impacts
Results:

Q1. What are the effects (impacts, outcomes and
cost-effectiveness, directly or indirectly) of government suppor...
Results:

Q2. What is known about the effects of CSRbehaviour of enterprises, influenced by government supported
intervent...
Results:

Q3. What are the main gaps in evidence?



The whole pathway from government intervention to poverty alleviatin...
Looking backwards: What worked well
with policy on CSR in terms of gaining an
impact and what did not?





Worked well
...
Looking forward: Recommendations

 Policymakers could identify pathways by which a policy and
its intervention mechanisms...
Conclusions

1. empirical evidence re policy-induced CSR behaviour in

developing countries still scarce and limited, also...
Conclusions (cont)

 4. Majority of documented CSR behaviour from industry
and trade sectors (energy, mining, textiles an...
Conclusions (cont)

 8. Main reported impact areas of CSR behaviour - in

order of importance - (i) labour practices (ii)...
The role of government in corporate social responsibility acitons by enterprises: systematic review of literature
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The role of government in corporate social responsibility acitons by enterprises: systematic review of literature

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Role of government in corporate social responsibility (CSR) role of government Ingram et al. June 2013

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The role of government in corporate social responsibility acitons by enterprises: systematic review of literature

  1. 1. The impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility A systematic review of the effects of government supported interventions on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) behaviour of enterprises in developing countries For the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Verina Ingram, Karin de Grip, Giel Ton, Marieke Douma, Marieke de Ruijter de Wildt, Koen Boone 24-10-2012
  2. 2. Aim  Find out what have been the outcomes and results of Dutch government’s efforts to influence the way companies approach CSR in developing countries.  Systematically explore & analyse effectiveness of public policy support for enhancing or supporting CSR in private sector development programs in developing countries  Different pathways for generating CSR behaviour explored that could have effects on employment relations, human rights, fair operating practices (combat of bribery and corruption), environmental care, consumer interests, community involvement and organizational governance (including information disclosure
  3. 3. CSR intervention core theory of change Figure 2
  4. 4. Review methods & results Figure 1 7 = Dutch policy 18 = policy in other country 10 = NGO policy 20= National legislation 14 = supranational policy/ convention
  5. 5. Quality of evidence: weakness a problem..... Quality parameter Independence of evidence 10 Not independent authors Independence not clear Clear 23 52 74 30 71 2 7 5 12 7 5 19 6 14 7 47 16 59 23 55 8 53 10 37 18 43 Strong 8 53 10 37 18 43 4 27 6 22 10 24 Unclear 4 1 27 7 5 2 19 7 9 21 3 7 12 80 23 85 33 79 Mixed methods b 2 13 3 11 4 10 Included counterfactual No counterfactual 2 12 0 0 2 5 14 82 21 78 32 80 Largely quantitative Largely qualitative Counterfactual analysis or reasoning 17 63 67 20 3 20 1 Total number of publications n % Weak Type of study 33 Independent authors a Rigour of analysis 5 Publications with no information on policy intervention/support N % Unclear Reliability Peer reviewed Publications with information on policy intervention/support n % •reliability of information sources; representativeness of results, outcome indicators assessed . •clear indicators and steps in pathway , clear description of intervention strategy, consistency between results and conclusions. Note: Shaded rows indicate good quality, unshaded rows indicate lower quality.
  6. 6. Results: Location of evidence – HD level total % 3 = medium development country No information policy % 2 = Low - medium development 1 = Low income country Information policy % 0% 50% 100% M (48%) LM (18%) 57% - UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) rankings 2011
  7. 7. Evidence on CSR behaviours 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Information policy % No information policy % 30% total % 20% 10% 0% Communication Relationships Voluntary / disclosure on building CSR codes / CSR certification on CSR CSR policy internal in enterprise External reviewing / improving enterprise Enhancing credibility regarding CSR
  8. 8. Pathways
  9. 9. Pathways : with & without mention of policy 32% 42% 32% HUMAN RIGHTS 32% ENVIRONMENT OTHER FAIR OPERATING PRACTICES 63% 37% LABOUR PRACTICES CONSUMER ISSUES ORGANISATIONAL GOVERNANCE COMMUNITY INVOVLEMENT WITH INFO ABOUT POLICY COMMUNITY INVOVLEMENT HUMAN RIGHTS 44% 24% ENVIRONMENT 44% FAIR OPERATING PRACTICES OTHER 44% LABOUR PRACTICES COMMUNITY INVOVLEMENT 24% CONSUMER ISSUES NO INFO ABOUT POLICY ORGANISAITONAL GOVERNANCE
  10. 10. Pathways : with & without mention of policy Other community involvement / development consumer issues fair operating practices total % No information policy % labour practices Information policy % human rights organisational governance environmental 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%
  11. 11. Evidence from specific sectors: implications for target ting policy & corporate interest? 60% 50% 40% Information policy % 30% No information policy % total % 20% 10% 0% Industry and trade Business & commerce manufacturing agriculture, livestock, timber services other
  12. 12. Dutch CSR Policy
  13. 13. Government roles
  14. 14. Level of impacts
  15. 15. Results: Q1. What are the effects (impacts, outcomes and cost-effectiveness, directly or indirectly) of government supported interventions on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) behaviour of enterprises in developing countries?  Some evidence of impact of certain policy types, through specific pathways and in specific sectors on specific impact themes  Evidence of indirect impacts clustered around particular high profile concerns …. (e.g. Oil and gas impacts etc...)  Evidence on cost effectiveness extremely limited & generally anecdotal. Suggests positive cost effectiveness: CSR activities benefit access to finance, shareholder & customer goodwill and consumer acceptance. Some limited counterfactual evidence to support this.  Some literature with costs was excluded (eg corporate CSR reports) as did not mention policy drivers or impacts. 
  16. 16. Results: Q2. What is known about the effects of CSRbehaviour of enterprises, influenced by government supported interventions, on poverty reduction in developing countries? ● Vast majority of CSR interventions business practice driven (not policy), majority (61%) also by corporate philanthropy. ● Most interventions concentrate on internal CSR company policy, followed by voluntary codes, communication and disclosure and enhanced credibility ● Mainly in low developing countries – but varies over time, with increasing numbers of publications (perhaps an indicator of CSR behaviour ?– conjecture) now in countries that have moved up (e.g. Brazil, China, India, South Africa) ● Majority occur in industry and trade, but did have a bias towards specific sectors e.g. oil companies, consumers retail and those with dramatic histories of media coverage and academic discussion. Dominated by larger, multinational firms, but some X cases of smaller firms and national firms located in developing countries ● Evidence tends to be provided of long term (over 5 years) CSR activities. Idicative of longer time scales, or due to a bias in the studies? ● Main outcomes heavily focussed on labour issues, followed by environment. Could be bias in peer reviewed literature with a focus on specific topics and companies (e.g. Shell) ● Outcomes tend to be evidenced at firms/company level, followed by sector or chain, and community. A fifth each give impacts at micro scale (household or individual 18% together) or a macro/national economy (20%), some studies report on more than one level.
  17. 17. Results: Q3. What are the main gaps in evidence?  The whole pathway from government intervention to poverty alleviating impact in a developing country  Evidence gaps on a national or regional level: tends to be specific “projects’’ and geographically local    Weak level of analysis: reliance on anecdotes, difficult to verify  Little quantitative or multi methods based evidence presented: Majority qualitative, anecdotal with methods and references not provided   Little on (cost) effectiveness either policy or company level of CSR behaviour Long term time retrospective assessments lacking Lack of robust evidence that government supported interventions influence company CSR behaviour in developing countries: Most attention has been on impacts in developing countries and on outcomes and only 15 policy related studies Ad-hoc use of indicators and many different ones- limits comparability
  18. 18. Looking backwards: What worked well with policy on CSR in terms of gaining an impact and what did not?   Worked well ● 75% literature had some indicators, especially for on HR, labour & environment impact ● Certain impact types were indicated: environment, human rights, labour, community development ● Evidence especially about endorsing types of policy support, also mandating ● Influence of supranational policies/conventions and NGOs/ UN Compact/GRI etc. apparent (ISO not yet) Didn't work well  Sparse indicators for some impact groups (consumer, community involvement, organisational governance)  Robust evidence!  Total pathway linked evidence
  19. 19. Looking forward: Recommendations  Policymakers could identify pathways by which a policy and its intervention mechanisms means seek to impact poverty alleviation and sustainable development and the scale on which they can achieve this – and not only the outputs and outcomes of such interventions.  Developing pragmatic indicators for all assumed CSR impacts for policy and enterprises  PSOM/PSI Triodos study serves as good model – although additional focus on poverty impacts and indicators needed – now outcome based.  Definition of developing country needs to be clearer and flexible to account for changes over time  Review methods can be improved (broader or more specific country focus, longer publication date)
  20. 20. Conclusions 1. empirical evidence re policy-induced CSR behaviour in developing countries still scarce and limited, also due to the long time frame required to generate outcomes. 2. Company CSR behaviour triggered by multiple internal and external factors - effect of policy incentives difficult to disentangle. Governments play a key role in mediating between conflicting corporate and development agendas. 3. Government policies towards CSR make almost equal use of all 4 intervention pathways: endorsing, partnering, facilitating and mandating. Most positive impacts are documented for facilitating and partnering policies. Negative or mixed results were most reported for mandating and endorsing policies.
  21. 21. Conclusions (cont)  4. Majority of documented CSR behaviour from industry and trade sectors (energy, mining, textiles and crafts), followed by agriculture (good agricultural practices, fair trade) and manufacturing (consumer electronics). Impact reporting dominated by large multinational firms operating in or sourcing from developing countries.  5. Many indicators used for assessing CSR impact, lack of standardization makes comparison difficult. Most frequently used re labour relations (24%), environment (16%), community involvement (11%) and human rights (9%).  6. Impact of CSR behaviour on societal outcomes remains ambiguous, indicating both positive, negative and sometimes mixed effects.
  22. 22. Conclusions (cont)  8. Main reported impact areas of CSR behaviour - in order of importance - (i) labour practices (ii) community development, (iii) environment, (iv) human rights, (v) consumer issues, (vi) fair operating practices and (vii) organizational governance. Most policy information is available for the first three. - generally positive social, economic and/or environmental impacts, but 24% studies indicated negative and 22% both positive and negative effects  9. Sustainability of CSR impact is largely unknown, since few studies devote attention to long-term prospects. Indirect effects of CSR behaviour at local and sector level are likely to occur but scarcely documented  10. Little meaningful data re investments in and cost- effectiveness of CSR. Anecdotal evidence of benefits in (access to finance, stakeholder and consumer goodwill, and consumer acceptance.)

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