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Edited by two renowned specialists in CSR in the Middle East, this book features contributions from leading CSR scholars in the region. Each chapter provides a comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of the most pertinent issues within the subject area, and also includes a number of real life case studies addressing emerging and timely CSR topics facing organizations in the Middle East. The book is intended for researchers and students of CSR, providing a state-of-the-art overview of the key themes, best practices and current debates focused upon the Middle East.



1. Introduction

This introductory chapter sets the scene for the book. It starts by discussing the concepts of selfishness and sympathy for others and argues that they are not incompatible. It further argues that Middle Eastern cultures and religious values are fully compatible with modern corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles and concepts. The chapter ends with an outline of the book.
Belaid Rettab, Kamel Mellahi

CSR in the Middle East: Theoretical, Conceptual, and Empirical Issues


2. Corporate Social Responsibility: An Outline of Key Concepts, Trends, and Theories

This chapter puts corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the Middle East in the wider global context and is designed to help the reader to navigate this increasingly complex area. It discusses the meaning of CSR and related terms, the key global trends with regard to CSR practices, the role of context including differences between CSR in different countries, the use of CSR for corporate strategies, and the academic scholarship on CSR. What emerges is that CSR is very context specific: the understanding and the practice of CSR differ enormously between different countries, between different industries, or between small and large companies.
Jędrzej George Frynas, Camila Yamahaki

3. CSR in the Middle East: From Philanthropy to Modern CSR

Since the early 2000s, a number of significant developments have occurred in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This chapter provides an overview of the evolution of CSR in the Middle East. It tracks the evolution of CSR in the Middle East from its philanthropic origins to its current practice. The chapter draws on a survey of business in Dubai to illustrate the practice of CSR in the Middle East.
Kamel Mellahi, Belaid Rettab

4. CSR Logics in the Middle East

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) Logics research in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is still an understudied form of CSR discourse and practice. Juxtaposing the myriad forms of expressions across different countries and subregions is necessary to drive future research in this context forward. In recent years, CSR practices in MENA have become salient through tailoring and adaptation of Western CSR Logics. Each nation has a unique constellation of institutions (political, cultural, social, and economic) that help shape CSR Logics in context in somewhat different ways. In this book chapter, we consider the institutions relating to state, corporation, family, and religion in the Middle East and how they shape localized expressions of CSR, with nuanced comparisons between different MENA sub-clusters of contexts. We also keep in mind the analysis of Western Assumptive Logics of CSR and their increasing salience across the globe. The subregions in MENA that we study are clustered based on socioeconomic measures, namely, Human Development Index (HDI), and include Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), middle-HDI cluster, and low-HDI cluster, each having a unique set of political, social, and cultural understandings that shape CSR practices in the Middle East in different ways.
Dima Jamali, Mohamad Hossary

CSR Practices in the Middle East


5. SWFs and Corporate Social Responsibility

In recent years, alternative investors—private equity, hedge funds, crowdfunding, and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)—have assumed an increasingly high profile worldwide. What sets such investors apart are their distinct agendas, their lack of commitment to specific industries or locales, and their focus on securing maximum returns and/or the furthering of a clear and distinct agenda. With this prominence has come a host of ethical and social responsibilities: these range from the responsibility to balance between the interests of different stakeholders which might be sometimes conflicting to intergenerational competition for resources. Many resource-rich states—including those in the Gulf—have their own SWFs. This chapter provides an introduction to the SWF ecosystem and highlights the range of ethical and corporate social responsibility (CSR) debates that emerge, both for Middle Eastern SWFs and those from further afield, identifying best practices and potential ways forward.
Christine Bischoff, Geoff Wood

6. CSR and Corporate Performance with Special Reference to the Middle East

This chapter addresses the presumed link between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate performance in emerging economies with a specific focus on the Middle East. The chapter draws on a multiyear survey of the Dubai business community to highlight the adoption of CSR in the Middle East and examine the association between CSR practices and various organizational performances. The results support the business case for CSR in the Middle East.
Belaid Rettab, Kamel Mellahi

7. Supporting National Responsibilities in the Quest to Achieve an International Agenda: An Exploratory Case Study from the UAE

This chapter aims to explore how corporate social responsibility (CSR) can contribute to national responsibility to achieve the international agendas related to sustainability. This research reveals that in the context of sustainability within the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the private sector through CSR is influenced/motivated to support the national and international sustainability agenda. Findings from this research contribute to the process of designing sustainable development strategies for the federal government of the UAE to encourage the private sector to support sustainability agenda.
Kamal Al Yammahi, Vijay Pereira, Yama Temouri

8. Gender Equality and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Middle East

This chapter focuses on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in relation to gender equality in the Arab Middle East. It examines the relationship between CSR and gender in the workplace whilst exploring the link between CSR and human resource management (HRM) policies and practices. The chapter first presents some seminal work on gender equality and diversity management, looking at the business case for gender equality within the CSR and HRM contexts, before engaging with relevant work on gender equality in the Arab Middle East. It concludes by offering recommendations on advancing the equality agenda at the macro- and meso-levels, within a framework which recognises the centrality of agency of women, as well as the potential of positive changes through corporations being seen as ‘agents of change’. The chapter advocates for organisational and governmental policies to promote gender equality in the Arab Middle East.
Nicolina Kamenou-Aigbekaen

9. CSR in the Middle East: From a Philanthropic Model to a Social Investment Approach—The Case of Manzil

This chapter examines the transition of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from a philanthropic model to a more resilient, sustainable social initiative, suggesting corporate citizenship (CC) as a mutually beneficial business strategy to achieve broader social accountability. The global CC and CSR literature review suggests that CC should not be viewed as a replacement for CSR but should complement it while adding value. The role envisaged for CC and CSR is illustrated by a case study of Manzil, a non-profit institute for the education and advancement of people with disability located in the UAE. The case study illustrates the CSR investments that companies make, the ways in which they practice CSR, and the challenges this brings. The chapter tracks the progression of translating social inclusion awareness and action into a participatory CC development model. Manzil case study reflects how CSR activities can be made meaningful to both the beneficiary and the organization. The influence on the CSR landscape through advocacy, engagement, awareness, and provision of consultancy to stakeholders is discussed. The concluding discussion reflects why firms support CSR, the implications of the support they give, and the effectiveness of innovative policies.
Ayesha Saeed Husaini


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