Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Exploring the Impact of Strategic Proactivity on Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria's Petroleum Industry: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Exploring the Impact of Strategic Proactivity on Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria's Petroleum Industry: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Article excerpt


In the past few years, there has been a gradual re-orientation taking place in the relationship between business and society in the Nigerian petroleum industry. The re-emergence of democracy has led to an increased awareness about the role of oil companies in their host-communities. Oil companies are aware of this, and have devoted increased effort towards contributing to their host-communities. Despite the fact that, of recent, these oil companies are contributing more than ever, there is an increase in the conflict between these companies and the stakeholders in their host-communities. This is threatening their sustainability. This problem highlights a gap in theory and practice of CSR. In recent times, there have been calls for shift of scholarly focus towards a performance based CSR theory and practice. This paper empirically tested this performance based perspective by exploring the interactive process that leads to CSR outcomes. This was done through a quantitative research study. 623 members of Eket and Ibeno youth councils took part in a survey from which 591 valid samples were generated. A structural equation modelling (SEM) statistical technique was employed. The results showed a positive relationship between strategic proactivity and perceived CSR, with perceived economic value dimension demonstrating partial mediating impact on the relationship.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, strategic proactivity, perceived CSR, perceived value, sustainable development, structural equation modeling, and attribution theory

1. Introduction

The discovery of petroleum in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria in 1956 led to the influx of multi-national oil companies into Nigeria. This signalled an era of economic growth in the country due to high foreign direct investments (FDI). By the 1970s, the production and export of oil products had become the major source of national income for Nigeria (Davis, 2009). As a result, the Nigerian government placed high value on the sustenance of the operations of oil companies.

The 1970s to 1990s was characterized by strings of military coup d'états that saw oil companies operating under military leadership for many years. Within this period, the host-communities of these oil companies experienced a sporadic degradation of their social, economic and environmental wellbeing (Babatunde, 2012). The most impactful was the destruction of the aquatic ecology that the stakeholders in the community, who were prevalently fishermen and farmers, relied on. As a result, the members of the host-communities of oil companies saw them as being exploitative (Omotola, 2006). This led to protests that were initially peaceful, but became radicalized as these oil companies increasingly showed insensitivity under the protection of military governments (Omotola, 2006). This was the root of the rise of social activism in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. This was described as having developed from the shared experience and aspirations that stemmed from the deprivation of social good by the activities of oil companies (Jike, 2004).

However, in 1999, democratic leadership was restored in Nigeria. The Nigerian government, under civil leadership, demanded for more social responsibility from the oil companies. The oil companies responded by showing more sensitivity to their host-communities through embarking on diverse corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives (Aghalino & Eyinla, 2009; Ibok & Mboho, 2011). They have embedded the principles of sustainable development in their policy frameworks, and have contributed billions of dollars to the development of their host-communities, while creating responsive organizations to deal with negative occurrences from their production activities (Aghalino & Eyinla, 2009). Inspite of these efforts, the stakeholders in their host-communities still embark on protests, riots, militancy and sabotage, which threatens the sustainable development of both the oil companies and the societies within which they operate (Omotola, 2006). …

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