Managing corporate citizenship (CC) is complex, managing a multinational corporation (MNC) is complex. So how about managing CC in a MNC? A new study derives a good model from leading practice, so that this extraordinary challenge can be tackled.

Based on two case studies of CC management practices in leading MNCs, the authors see four mechanisms at play that lead to effective CC management:

  1. Hierarchical mechanisms: Definition of clear goals and measurable indicators that lead to relevant outcomes.
  2. Relational mechanisms: Relationship building among employees to disseminate CC policies and strengthen CC activities.
  3. Cultural mechanisms: Making CC part of the internal culture.
  4. Collaborative mechanisms: External collaboration with stakeholders.

According to the authors, employing these four mechanisms helps to address tackling the four challenges of CC management in a MNC:

  1. Global Integration: Clear goals bring the international organization together around common objectives; relationship building through CC leads to global integration, and eventually to an internal CC culture.
  2. Competitive advantage: Measurable indicators lead to specific and relevant CC outcomes, create a culture of achievement in the realms of CC, and establish new links to external stakeholders that again create business value.
  3. Local responsiveness: Clarity about core goals at the same time allow for local adaptations to best achieve common goals (i.e. selection of most relevant goals locally). Thus, CC becomes a vehicle through which shared values within diversity can be celebrated.
  4. Worldwide innovation: Internal relationships and collaboration with external stakeholders bring about cross-innovation.

Overall, this is a nicely designed study, that ultimately provides a good model of effective CC management in a MNC, directly derived from leading practice.

Luciano Barin Cruz, & Dirk Michael Boehe (2010). How do leading retail MNCs leverage CSR globally? Insights from Brazil. Journal of Business Ethics, 91 (2),243-263.