Cross-national differences in stakeholder management: Applying institutional theory and comparative capitalism framework

Kamalesh Kumar, Giacomo Boesso, Rishtee Batra, Jun Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing upon the research in institutional theory and comparative capitalism, the present study investigates how cross-national differences in the political, business, and economic institutional contexts of the United States, Italy, and Japan are associated with the ways in which companies in each of these countries prioritize and engage in their stakeholder engagement activities (SEAs). Using Porter and Kramer's framework, which classifies corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities as falling into four categories (good citizenship, mitigating harm from value chain, transforming value chain activities, and strategic philanthropy), we investigate how companies in the United States, Japan, and Italy prioritize and engage in these four SEAs. An analysis of data collected from 340 companies across these countries reveals that while companies in each of these three countries undertake the four types of SEAs, the prioritization and prevalence of the four types of SEAs vary from one country to the other, in ways that align with the prevailing institutional contexts of each country. The results contribute to a more nuanced understanding of why and how companies' approaches to CSR differ across countries. From a practitioner's perspective, the findings highlight the cultural specificity of CSR, implying that despite the global nature of CSR, the implementation of CSR needs to be tailored to a country's context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • comparative capitalism and CSR
  • cross-cultural CSR
  • institutional theory and CSR
  • stakeholder engagement activities
  • stakeholder management

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