Corporate Engagement in Humanitarian Action: Concepts, Challenges, and Areas for International Business Research

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to open up new lines of research into the engagement of corporations during humanitarian crises. The paper provides an introduction to core concepts in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as a comprehensive overview of when, why, how, and to what effect corporations engage in humanitarian action.
Design/methodology/approach: Building on extant literature and policy reports, the paper synthesizes concepts and insights to map the interdisciplinary field of research on corporate engagement in humanitarian action.
Findings: The paper systematically reviews and describes different dimensions of corporate engagement for delivering humanitarian action and explains key complications that inspire new research questions. In particular, the paper highlights challenges associated with getting corporations to engage in humanitarian action; challenges associated with ensuring effective corporate engagement; and challenges associated with ensuring ethical engagement.
Originality/value: By raising new questions about corporate engagement in humanitarian action, this paper develops an original and positive research agenda for international business, management research, and related fields.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Perspectives on International Business
Issue number2/3
Pages (from-to)201-218
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • International management
  • International business
  • Multinational enterprises
  • Humanitarian action
  • Humanitarian crises
  • Business and society

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