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Four Case Studies on Corporate Social Responsibility: Do Conflicts Affect a Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy?

Authors:

Cristina A. Cedillo Torres ,

Mercedes Garcia-French,

Rosemarie Hordijk,

Kim Nguyen,

Lana Olup

Abstract

This article studies four multinationals (Apple, Canon, Coca-Cola, Walmart) in relation to their CSR reporting. It will present a general outlook of the company's profile and its compliance with CSR standards. The article will focus on conflict situations concerning the social and environmental CSR practices of the four companies. Coca-Cola was criticized for over-exploiting and polluting water resources in India. Apple, Canon and Walmart were involved in social CSR issues. Walmart was caught using child labour in Bangladesh and has faced gender discrimination charges. In 2010 the media reported on suicides at Foxconn, one of Apple's biggest suppliers. And although Canon did not mention any employee stress-related problems at its factories, they nevertheless occurred.
This article will discuss the different CSR issues that emerged within the mentioned multinationals. It will provide a comparison of the companies' CSR reporting before and after the problematic events occurred. The case studies show whether the multinationals acted before a conflict emerged or adapted their CSR policy when the problem was already widely known. Thus, it analyses whether the companies adopted clear and quantifiable policies after the issues occurred. The conclusion points out that the companies not only reported on CSR but that they also adopted long-term commitments. The findings also suggest that the conflicts may have contributed to the adoption of these multinationals' CSR commitments.

Keywords: CSR multinationals reporting 
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.205
How to Cite: Cedillo Torres, C.A. et al., (2012). Four Case Studies on Corporate Social Responsibility: Do Conflicts Affect a Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy?. Utrecht Law Review. 8(3), pp.51–73. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.205
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Published on 19 Nov 2012.
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