Llera Bagüés, Maria
How Spanish Multinationals implement CSR in Latin American countries: a focus on the energy sector.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Spain is behind in the level of CSR implementation in comparison with other European countries, among other reasons due to low political commitment and support. In fact, private companies and in particular large corporations and multinationals are fostering the CSR arena in Spain, and despite the difficulties at home, the Spanish multinationals try to export their CSR initiatives abroad. Here, the energy sector is used as a guiding tool for the analysis due to the dominant position of the Spanish energy multinationals in the Latin American market. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the main reasons which motivate the Spanish energy multinationals to implement their CSR strategies in their Latin American subsidiaries and which issues must be taken into consideration.
The research makes use of two qualitative research methods. First, a literature review of the CSR history, main drivers, meanings and practices in Spain and Latin America, and the analysis of questionnaires answered by the most four relevant energy multinationals in Spain. Following the ideas of Matten and Moon (2008), an examination of the national business systems help us to understand the current situation of CSR in Spain and Latin America. Furthermore, this cross-cultural research also elaborates on the perspective of CSR as a cultural product (Gond and Matten, 2007). This view of CSR is particularly relevant to study the scenario in Latin America, as a developing and emergent region. The contextual component of CSR is used to explore the nature of the CSR practices of the Spanish energy companies in the Latin American countries where they operate, particularly in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
The findings of our study reveal multinationals generally implement CSR practices not only for ethical reasons, but also for as a tool for better reputation and wealth growth. The data analysis also demonstrates that although the CSR policies are designed by the headquarters, in practice they need to be adapted to the specific cultural, social and economic contexts, supporting the cultural perspective of CSR suggested by Gond and Matten (2007).
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