Public Relations and MNCs' Corporate Social Responsibility: From A Developing Country's Perspective
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Amongst heated discussions of multinational companies' social responsibilities, the study examined a three-dimensional model (Arthaud-Day, 2005) of social responsibility management by multinational corporations operating in a developing country--China, and further built an enhanced understanding in public relations and CSR. Eighteen participants (half communicators, half employees) from eight multinationals were interviewed over the telephone. Results identified two types of strategic orientations--global and transnational and four universal CSR issues (the underprivileged, education, environment, and community). Results also showed a dominant perception of public relations as "publicity" or "media relations," and communication at best. But most communicators and employees suggested a strategic role for public relations in managing their companies' CSR strategies. Specifically, the public relations function was proposed to act as coordinator, leader in formulation, implementation and evaluation process, or a helping hand for the human resources function. Other cultural nuances and implications were also discussed.