Virksomheders social kapital-generering i Brasilien: En ny teoretisk tilgang til virksomheders samfundsmæssige ansvar

Iben Messell

Student thesis: Master thesis


The local companies in developing countries are often criticized for having a philanthropic and less strategic kind of corporate social responsibility (CSR). While the subsidiaries of Western multinational companies in developing countries on the other hand are often criticized – in their CSR-initiatives- of giving priority to stakeholders from their home country and thus having a less contextualized and suitable CSR-approach in the developing countries where they operate. At the same time there is a more general critique on lack of consensus in CSR and some CSR-researchers have criticized CSR-theories of having too little focus at the civil society as stakeholder. This Thesis begins with a review of different perceptions of strategic CSR and social capital. In an attempt to shed light on the criticisms of CSR in the local companies and the western MNCs subsidiaries in developing countries, the Thesis adopts a social capital-theoretical approach and investigates and compares in a case-study, how the two kinds of companies are contributing to social capital and development in their surrounding societies. The selected case-companies are 2 European multinational companies’ subsidiaries and two local companies in Brazil, - all within the cosmetic industry. The adopted social capital-theoretical approach is operationalized by a model developed by Jones, Nyland and Pollitt which counts and analyses the ways of the companies to make partnerships with the different organizations in the society, the subjects of the CSR-initiatives and some of their trust-generating indicators. Furthermore it will be investigated whether it is possible to define the social capital contribution of the companies through the more development-oriented social capital-concepts Bonding, Bridging and Linking social capital. The Thesis concludes that the local companies are contributing far more than the MNCs to development and social capital in Brazil, even though their CSR to some extent can also be classified as philanthropic. Related to their relatively larger contribution to development they can be seen as having a strategic kind of CSR from a developing country-oriented view. One of the local companies can even be classified as having a strategic CSR-approach from a Western view. The Thesis also concludes that the Brazilian subsidiaries of the European MNCs – even though they are trying to adjust their CSR to the developing context - are lacking much behind the local companies, regarding the entering of partnerships with civil society organizations and contribution to social capital at a local and national level in Brazil. Finally some advice is given to the MNCs as to how they can contribute more in a developing context and at the same time gain competitive advantages.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages98