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Dr. Xiaohua Yang

Business Ethics Quarterly


Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Developing Country Multinationals



              Information about this special issue can be found on

Guest Editors

Jonathan Doh, Villanova University
Bryan Husted, York University and Tecnologico de Monterrey
Xiaohua Yang, University of San Francisco


Over the past decade there has been increasing recognition of the growing influence of multinational enterprise (MNEs) from developing countries. This influence has been acknowledged in both the popular and academic literature. Public and private organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, United National Conference on Trade and Development, investment banks and consulting firms have all documented the rise of developing country MNEs (DMNEs) (see Sauvant, McAllister & Maschek, 2010) and scholars have begun to explore the ramifications of the emergence of these DMNEs for established business and management theory (Carney, Gedajlovic, & Yang, 2009; Cuervo-Cazurra, 2012; Ramamurti, 2004; Ramamurti, Jitendra, & Singh, 2009).

To date, much of the research on DMNEs has focused on whether and how established theories of management and international business should be revised or extended, given the different institutional and cultural contexts in which DMNEs have emerged and the distinct ownership, governance and management strategies of these firms. And while ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) scholars have begun exploring the international and global dimensions of MNEs generally (Scherer, et al. 2009), especially in the area of human rights (Kobrin, 2009; Muchlinski, 2012; Wettstein, 2012), and some IB scholars have started examining the CSR practices of MNEs (Campbell, Eden, & Miller, 2012, Doh et. al. (2010) observed that the integration and assimilation of international management and ethics/CSR literature is, to date, relatively underdeveloped. In particular, very little attention has been directed toward the ethical orientation and corporate social responsibility practices of these DMNEs, with a few exceptions (Gugler & Shi, 2009).

The purpose of this special issue is therefore to explore ethics and corporate social responsibility in and by DMNEs. We are especially interested in scholarly investigations of the antecedents, processes and impacts of ethics and CSR as conducted and practiced by DMNEs.

Potential Topics

Among the topics that could be the focus of submissions are the following.

·  How do the ethical conduct and /or CSR policies and practices of DMNEs differ from their developed country counterparts? What theoretical explanations can be provided for such differences?

·  How do the institutional, cultural environment, and distinct ethical traditions of specific developing countries manifest in the ethical conduct and/or CSR policies and practices of the DMNEs that emerge from those countries?

·  How do ethical conduct and/or CSR policies and practices evolve as DMNEs globalize and enter other developing and developed countries?

·  Given the high proportion of state ownership among DMNEs, how does government influence affect the ethical conduct and/or CSR practices of DMNEs?

·  How do the ethical conduct and/or CSR policies and practices DMNEs from one region (e.g., Asia) compare to - and differ from - those from others (e.g., Africa, Latin America)?

·  How might the legacy of post-colonial influence; for example, British influence in India, affect ethical conduct and/or CSR practices and policies of DMNEs in those former colonies?

·  Unlike their developed country counterparts, many DMNEs maintain a broadly diversified portfolio of businesses. How does this diversification influence ethics and CSR policies and practices in DMNEs?

·  Are DMNEs more or less likely to participate in regional and global ethics and CSR standards and agreements such as the UN Global Compact, the UN Tripartite Framework on Business and Human Rights, GRI, etc.? Which ones are they more likely to participate in and which are they less likely to participate in? What theoretical explanations can be provided for such differences?

·  Does available evidence indicate that DMNEs are more or less compliant with labor, human rights, anti-corruption and other regional or global ethical standards than MNEs from developed countries? What theoretical explanations can be provided for such differences?

·  Does available evidence indicate that DMNEs engage in business practices that are more or less environmentally sustainable than MNEs from developed countries? What theoretical explanations can be provided for such differences?

·  When DMNEs enter into joint ventures and alliances with developed country MNEs, which sets of ethical conduct and/or CSR policies and practices prevails?

·  How do DMNEs strategize business ethics and CSR policies and practices to achieve competitive advantages? How should they?

·  How do DMNEs adapt their business ethics and CSR policies and practices to legitimize their presence in host countries?

·  Does the ethical and CSR behavior of DMNEs suggest a convergence or divergence of global ethical norms regarding international business?

These topics are meant to be illustrative; submissions on any topic that relates directly to the overall special issue theme are encouraged.

To address these questions, we seek a broad and relevant range of submissions, including both normative, philosophical research and theoretical or empirical (quantitative or qualitative) social-scientific research. We encourage contributions that make use of, and contribute to, one or more theoretical perspectives that find their place within business ethics and other relevant fields of inquiry (such as philosophy, business management, organization studies, international business, religion, psychology, sociology, political science/theory, legal theory, economics, etc.). In all cases the expectation for publication is that the submission will make an original theoretical contribution.

Following Cuervo-Cazurra (2012), we consider developing countries as those that are not advanced economies. As such, developing countries include emerging economies (high-growth developing countries) as well as transition countries (countries that used to follow a communist economic system). Consistent with Cuervo-Cazurra (2012), for purpose of this special issue, we also follow the classification of the International Monetary Fund and consider advanced economies to be the following: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States. Hence, papers that only study firms from advanced economies are not appropriate for this special issue.

Dates and Process

Authors must submit manuscripts by June 15, 2014, using BEQ's online submission system.

About BEQ

BEQ publishes new scholarly studies on topics relevant to CSR and the ethics of business.

·  Theoretical work including analytical, conceptual, and normative articles;

·  Qualitative (e.g., interview, participant-observer, ethnographic, case-based) work that makes an original theoretical contribution;

·  Quantitative (e.g., experimental, field, measure development) work that makes an original theoretical contribution; or

·  Historical work that makes an original theoretical contribution.

BEQ 2-year Impact Factor: 2.196 (2012)
BEQ 5-year Impact Factor: 2.555 (2012)

Review Process

The Guest Editors are seeking reviewers for this special issue, soliciting nominations and volunteers to participate in the review process. Authors of submitted papers will automatically be included as reviewers. Papers will be reviewed following the regular BEQ double-blind review process.

More Information

For additional information, please contact one of the special issue editors:

Jonathan Doh: [log in to unmask]
Bryan Husted: [log in to unmask]
Xiaohua Yang: [log in to unmask]


Campbell, J. T., Eden, L., & Miller, S. R. 2012. Multinationals and corporate social responsibility in host countries: Does distance matter? Journal of International Business Studies, 43 (1), 84-106.

Carney, M., Gedajlovic, E. & Yang, X. 2009. Varieties of Asian capitalism: Toward an institutional theory of Asian enterprise, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 26 (3), 361-380.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. 2012. Extending theory by analyzing developing country multinational companies: Solving the Goldilocks debate. Global Strategy Journal, 2 (3), 153-167.

Doh, J.P., Husted, B. W., Matten, D., & Santoro, M. 2010. Ahoy there! Toward greater congruence and synergy between international business and business ethics theory and research. Business Ethics Quarterly, 20 (3), 481-502.

Gugler, P. and Shi, J. Y. J. 2009. Corporate social responsibility for developing country multinational corporations: Lost war in pertaining global competitiveness? Journal of Business Ethics, 87(S1), 3-24.

Kobrin, S. J. 2009. Private political authority and public responsibility. Business Ethics Quarterly, 19 (3), 349-374.

Muchlinski, P. 2012. Implementing the new UN corporate human rights framework: Implications for corporate law, governance, and regulation, Business Ethics Quarterly, 22 (1), 145-177.

Ramamurti, R. 2004. Developing countries and MNEs: Extending and enriching the research agenda. Journal of International Business Studies, 35 (4), 277-283.

Ramamurti, R., & Singh, J. V. S., 2009. Emerging multinationals in emerging markets. Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sauvant, K., & McAllister, G. with M. Maschek. 2010. Foreign direct investments from emerging markets. London/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Scherer, A. G., Palazzo, G., & Matten, D. 2009. Globalization as a challenge for business responsibilities. Business Ethics Quarterly, 19 (3), 327-347.

Wettstein, F. (2012). CSR and the debate on business and human rights: Bridging the great divide, Business Ethics Quarterly, 22 (4), 739-770.

Best regards,
Xiaohua Yang, Ph.D. 杨小华博士教授
Director, China Business Studies Initiative 中国企业管理研究所所长
School of Management
University of San Francisco 旧金山大学商学院
2130 Fulton St, Malloy Hall 305
San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: 415-422-4330
Email: [log in to unmask]
Co-Editor, Business Ethics Quarterly Special Issue
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