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Marinilka B. Kimbro*, Ajay T. Abraham, Jay Lambe and Victoria Jones *(correponding author)

Corporate Social Responsibility: The Efficacy of Matched Alliances between Not-for-Profits & Multinational Enterprises in Developed and Emerging Markets

Responding to Pope Francis’ appeals in Laudato Si’ and to societal pressures, multinational enterprises (MNEs) are increasingly searching for ways to structure demands for corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, previous literature suggests that the positive effects of CSR initiatives are not certain, and that links between CSR initiatives and positive external outcomes remains weak. Further, alliance-based CSR remains understudied. We propose a model to increase the efficacy of, and positive response to, CSR initiatives. We argue that, by partnering with not-for-profit (NFP) organizations in alliances that “match” common objectives with complementary capabilities, MNEs increase CSR initiatives’ legitimacy and/or business-process efficiency, which results in positive responses to CSR initiatives. Our case and media-intensity analyses document positive media coverage surrounding CSR initiatives wherein MNEs partner with matched local NFPs. Additionally, positive media coverage is more for local rather than foreign MNEs, and for CSR initiatives in emerging rather than developed markets.