Authentic, strategic and symbolic stakeholder engagement : an evaluation of CSR and accountability practices in Malaysian unit trust industry

Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2014
Thesis identifier
  • T13778
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • This thesis is concerned with exploring and assessing CSR and accountability practices that are regarded as part of the stakeholder engagement initiatives of five case organizations operating in the Malaysian unit trust industry. The case organizations consist of four unit trust management companies (UTMC) and one unit trust self-regulatory organization (SRO). The empirical content of the paper is derived from a series of semi-structured interviews, along with a comprehensive analysis of documentary sources and observation of organisational CSR and accountability practices. The empirical evidences were evaluated against an idealised model of stakeholder engagement. The model was developed in this study to differentiate between CSR and accountability practices undertaken due to authentic felt responsibilities, symbolic purposes, strategic advantage or the business case. The model was constructed from the interaction of two dimensions, with the first dimension from a typology of CSR and the second dimension from a typology of accountability practices, constructing four broad categories of stakeholder engagements. Firstly, the results reveal that the main CSR initiative of the case organizations is the voluntary financial education program for the public and the investors. Secondly, it is found that only one case organization provides accounts on social and environment through its CSR report. Thirdly, the empirical evidence suggests that the case organisations used the similar engagement practices for a range of different reasons, which included strategic and/or symbolic purposes. However, in some cases, the practices were associated with a mixture of concern for 'others' and their own business interest (Roberts, 2003, Shearer, 2002). The research is based on an analysis in a specific context which may limit its wider applicability. The analytical framework developed in this study is an attempt to understand the often complex relationship between CSR and accountability practices, particularly in the financial sector and in the Malaysian regulatory context.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2014
Former identifier
  • 1033054