Examining the links between CSR and IHRM strategy : a comparative study of the UK and Korea

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2009
Thesis identifier
  • T12357
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • This study examines an overlooked phenomenon of the link between CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and IHRM (International Human Resource Management) and considers how its practice may vary in different institutional circumstances. The research on CSR has predominantly focused on the external stakeholder views and hence the notion of the employee as related to IHRM issues is conspicuously absent from the contemporary CSR discussion. This study first explores the CSR issues by employing stakeholder theory and goes on to discuss its connection with the IHRM dimensions while drawing on a resource based view of the firm (REV). The research then investigates the dynamics of CSR/IHRM in international business, drawing on the approach of institutional theory. Employing two methods (case study and extensive interview), an empirical analysis is carried out in order to gain a comprehensive illumination and comparison of people's experiences of, and outlook on, the relationship between CSR and IHRM in the two countries - the UK and Korea. The research presents two key findings. First, CSR's linkage with IHRM can be explained out of necessity throughout the CSR evolving process (initiation - implementation - maturation - competition). From very few links in the CSR initiation stage, the necessity of involving employees has emerged as an important theme. Secondly, there appear to be a complex variety of dynamics of CSR and CSR/HRM profiles between countries which cannot be explained by a simple dichotomy of the institutional convergence-divergence idea. Therefore, although established institutional settings are an important consideration, the complex institutional contexts and the possibility of their modification have to be considered. The study is expected to contribute to, at first, the call for further expansion and deepening interpretation of CSR (inter alia, through the employee) and hence, enhance more constructive dialogue related to CSR among management scholars. And, second, the result of the different patterns of CSR/IHRM dynamics in the two regions will provide implications for business in employing a more strategic approach towards CSR and management of local people.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Bolton, Sharon
  • Li, Shenxue
Resource Type