MSI Deliberations and Context: The Influence of Southeast Asian Business Systems on Member Justifications and Approaches to Anti-corruption

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Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) convene stakeholders from different contexts to deliberate on corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues. Extant research focuses on the deliberative potential of internal governance structures yet neglects the influence of broader sociopolitical contexts on the members that participate in them. Anti-corruption is one CSR issue that MSIs increasingly address which is particularly context dependent. Therefore, this study examines how different sociopolitical contexts influence members’ justifications and approaches to anti-corruption during MSI deliberations and ultimately, how this impacts the MSI’s approach to anti-corruption. Through a single case study of an MSI, the ASEAN CSR Network which is situated in Southeast Asia with members representing business and CSR organizations in six different countries, the findings show that the different National Business Systems clearly influence the member justifications and approaches to anti-corruption. Further, the MSI reinforces and promotes the adoption of the different national business system-related justifications and approaches ultimately, leading to an MSI approach to anti-corruption which is a composite of the different national business system-related approaches. This paper makes three contributions to the literature on MSI deliberations. First, it proposes a novel framework that links the influence of national business systems to member justifications and approaches to anti-corruption during MSI deliberations by leveraging the orders of worth framework. Second, it shows that the concept of compromise may be more relevant to understanding and evaluating MSI deliberations than the notion of consensus. Third, it contributes through the empirical study of an MSI developed in Southeast Asia addressing anti-corruption.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility
Issue numberS1
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 25 May 2021.

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