CSR performance in emerging markets: Evidence from Mexico

Alan Muller, Ans Kolk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Although interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in emerging markets has increased in recent years, most research still focuses on developed countries. The scant literature on the topic, which traditionally suggested that CSR was relatively underdeveloped in emerging markets, has recently explored the context specificity, suggesting that it is different and reflects the specific social and political background. This would particularly apply to local companies, not so much to foreign subsidiaries of multinationals active in emerging markets. Thus far, empirical research that systematically documents a range of CSR activities of local companies and their performance has been scarce. This paper reports the results of a survey conducted among companies in the Mexican auto industry. CSR performance was investigated across three dimensions: environmental, labor, and community, using measures from existing research and global, ‘Western’ standards of practice, to identify the type of CSR activities and the level of CSR performance that exists, if at all, in the emerging-market context. Results show that local companies do engage in the type of CSR activities commonly associated with CSR in developed countries. To the extent that comparisons could be made, our findings also indicate that CSR activities and levels among the sample are comparable to what is known about CSR in developed-country settings. Moreover, six of the nine CSR dimensions are intercorrelated, which suggests that CSR in the Mexican auto parts industry is more structural than incidental.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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