Ralf Barkemeyer and Jason Miklian: Responsible Business in Fragile Contexts: Comparing Perceptions from Domestic and Foreign Firms in Myanmar
In Sustainability, 2019.
Ralf Barkemeyer and Jason Miklian
After decades of isolation, Myanmar opened up its economy to international trade in 2012. This opening led to a rapid influx of international investment, exposure to the international corporate social responsibility (CSR) community and presumed pressures to conform to related norms and practices. We report on a large-scale survey of firms operating in Myanmar, comparing perceptions of corporate practitioners of CSR and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our findings show that awareness levels of CSR among domestic Myanmar firms match those of their international peers, but the application of and selection criteria for CSR implementation by domestic firms in Myanmar differs from typical CSR activities observed in other parts of the world, in particular by Global North firms. More surprisingly, Myanmar firms have a higher awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) than their multinational counterparts. Our findings have implications for CSR advocacy in Myanmar as well as for the dissemination of corporate responsibility and sustainability into the developing world more generally.