The Transnational Corporation and New Corporate Citizenship Theory: A Critical Analysis

Jones, Marc T. and Haigh, Matthew (2007). The Transnational Corporation and New Corporate Citizenship Theory: A Critical Analysis. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 27 pp. 51–69.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.9774/GLEAF.4700.2007.au.00007

Abstract

A recent conceptualisation of corporate citizenship by Matten and Crane (2005) shifts focus onto the corporation’s role in providing individuals with the rights they are entitled to as citizens. This expanded corporate role is depicted as filling an institutional vacuum resulting from the withdrawal of the state. Marking an innovation to the corporate citizenship literature, we devise a three-part analytical framework from political institutionalism to question the concept’s ideological and empirical groundings. Incorporating a constrained game theory perspective, we use an example of the provision of Western corporate services by low-labour-cost nation-states to argue that the concept as strategy would in some circumstances exacerbate the implications of globalisation on individual citizenship rights. The analytical framework has application for research directed toward proposals to extend the reach of corporations in traditional public services and, more generally, for studies of corporate responsibilities. Future research on corporate citizenship would be strengthened in recognising, as we do, institutional incentives, constraints, decision-making modes and resources as used by the transnational corporation.

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