The Simulacra of Responsibility? The Efficiency of Global CSR Policies in CEE Countries: The Case Study of a Chemical MNE

Joanna Szymonek



The aim: The paper discusses global CSR policies applied by
multinational companies as well as identifies existing differences in the approaches to CSR presented by multinational enterprises (MNEs) in their headquarters and foreign subsidiaries located in the CEE region. The study concentrates on the labour perspective, as labour costs and access to qualified workforce are claimed to be determinants of the investment’s location. Methodology: The qualitative single case study methodology was applied. A MNE of Japanese origin operating in the chemical industry and its Polish subsidiaries were the units of analysis. Main findings: The study shows that the headquarters seem to be much more advanced in CSR than foreign subsidiaries. Some discrepancy between declaration and practice has been noticed from the Polish labour viewpoint. This may be associated with the style of diffusion of practices in industrial relations and HRM, and may create only a specific simulacrum of social responsibility. Also, the asymmetry in quality of information on CSR policies implemented in the parent company was observed what may affect the transparency of a whole group. Implication for further research: Exploration of other major competitors originating from other countries, operating in Poland, possessing significant market shares could help to reveal the level of advancement and presence of self-regulatory CSR mechanisms supporting the creation of local CSR approaches in the Polish subsidiaries of MNEs in the chemical industry. It could also reflect the trade union capacity in use of CSR tools for social monitoring of human and trade union rights at the workplace and their interests in contribution to building more sustainable workplace.  


CSR policies; multinational enterprises; simulacrum; labour

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