Academic journal article Journal of East European Management Studies

Corporate Social Responsibility in European Countries: The Keystones of the Concept and Intercultural Connotations

Academic journal article Journal of East European Management Studies

Corporate Social Responsibility in European Countries: The Keystones of the Concept and Intercultural Connotations

Article excerpt

The article presents research results concerning CSR-related criteria of managerial decision-making and their level of importance from the perspective of students of technically and business oriented study programs across seven European countries. The first part of the article deals with selected influential theoretical and methodological considerations in regard to CSR. The application part focuses firstly on a brief international comparison of results, and secondly on the specification of keystones of the CSR concept, which followed from an exploratory factor analysis. Moreover, cultural dimensions significantly associated with the CSR-related criteria in managerial decisionmaking are being identified.

Der Artikel präsentiert Forschungsergebnisse über die CSR-Kriterien von Management-Entscheidungen und den Grad ihrer Bedeutung aus der Perspektive der Studierenden technischer und wirtschaftlich orientierter Studiengänge in sieben europäischen Ländern. Der erste Teil des Artikels beschäftigt sich mit ausgewählten theoretischen und methodischen Überlegungen in Bezug auf CSR. Der Anwendungsteil konzentriert sich zunächst auf einem kurzen internationalen Vergleich der Ergebnisse und zum anderen auf die Spezifikation der Grundpfeiler des CSR-Konzepts, die aus einer Faktoranalyse hervorgegangen sind. Außerdem werden kulturelle Dimensionen identifiziert, die signifikant mit den CSR-Kriterien in ManagementEntscheidungen verbunden sind.

Key words: GLOBE, CEE countries, students, intercultural differences, corporate social responsibility, managerial decision making (JEL: J24, Ml 4)

1 Introduction

The purpose of our study is to gain a better understanding of the CSR-related decisional criteria from the perspective of students who will, at least to a certain extent, form the next managerial generation in seven European countries (for further information on the GLOBE Student project see the article by Cater, Lang and Szabo in this special issue).

In the first part of our article, basic theoretical and methodological issues are outlined. We assume that it is reasonable to discuss, at least briefly, the conception of CSR, which we consider as a basis for our research. Due to the lack of clarity in academic discussions, it seems that everybody could be an expert on the CSR topic today. Hence, in the introductory part of this article we aim at exploring the basic theoretical issues of the CSR debate. Firstly, we stress that the CSR concept is bound to three basic responsibility-related standards, these being the economic, legal, and ethical criteria of corporate conduct. Secondly, distinctions between the US and European approach to CSR are summarized in order to settle theoretic fallacy in the CSR-related debate. Although some acknowledged authors have already specified these distinctions, many researchers nowadays still fail to reflect on these disparities. From a methodological point of view, differences between the US and European conceptualisations of CSR have always to be taken into account, especially in case somebody interprets data from an international or intercultural research in CSR. The third theoretical stand we want to express regards the notion of values and eligible ways of their measurement. This last theoretical consideration is a necessity since the GLOBE Student research project, which we build upon in this article, derives from the international GLOBE project. Both projects use the same questionnaire. American authors, whose article on CSR in the GLOBE research was published in 2006 (see Waldman et al. 2006) used the term "CSR values of managers". We argue that this term is not applicable due to the methods by which the subject of CSR is researched in the GLOBE Student project. According to our understanding, the design of questionnaire items regarding the CSR concept does not consider the level of importance of CSRrelated values of managers, but the level of importance of selected criteria related to CSR within the process of managerial decision-making. …

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