Human Resource Management and Political CSR in Global Supply Chains: Causes and Consequences of Host Communities’ Enduring Struggles

Frederick Ahen*, Hedda Ofoole Knoll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Little is known about how subsidiaries of MNCs implement political CSR across Africa. The purpose of this paper is to determine how corporations respond to the many ‘pressures’ to align competing socioeconomic demands through political CSR and how that affects local communities in global supply chains. Based on field work in an emerging economy, we focus on a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest multinational palm oil producers and its HR Management. Contrary to what extant literature presents as pressures on MNCs to fulfil demands that are neither related to their raison d’être nor competence, we found that socioeconomic demands in low-income countries are rather the local communities’ natural response to shocks emanating from the presence of the subsidiary in their community. The ensuing dramatic changes in the socio-cultural, political and economic institutions underpinning their way of life are articulated as ‘5Ds’: dispossession of land; displacement of people; destruction of the environment; desperation; and de-democratization through disenfranchisement. Our micro-level analysis reveals HR managers’ dilemma. They are mostly torn between responding to community’s grievances and the profit-maximization intents of the firm. They make attempts to liaise and create dialogue but ultimately loyalty to the subsidiary is privileged over social demands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCorporate Social Responsibility in Developing and Emerging Markets: Institutions, Actors and Sustainable Development
EditorsDima Jamali, Franklin N. Ngwu, Onyeka Osuji
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781108472111
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • CSR Governance Mechanisms
  • Global Supply Chain
  • Human Resource Management
  • Low-Income Countries
  • Political CSR
  • WECS Africa


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