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Research Activities: Workshop on „Different Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility“

Researchers of the IEE and external guests exchange their views on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a research topic.

16 researchers met on 27 April 2015 for an interdisciplinary workshop that discussed "Different Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)". Since the topic of CSR is or has been at least a part of the research projects of a number of researchers at the IEE, it was very appropriate timing to convene a workshop in order to facilitate mutual exchange on the topic. Additionally, CSR continues to have an increasing relevance to current projects within the IEE and this workshop allowed its participants to gain a better understanding of the different research angles of different disciplines within this field. As especially a large number of members of IEE research cluster 1 voiced an interest in learning more about the topic, the workshop was organized by Farah Asif, Johannes Norpoth and Anne Siebert as part of the activities of cluster 1.

Aside from presentations from IEE members, Farah Asif on "CSR-induced Activities and Economic Well-Being of Low-Income Rural Households in Pakistan" and Sidy Ouattara on "CSR within the Extractive Industry: Drivers and Current Issues in the CEMAC Region", the workshop also included presentations by IEE members in cooperation with external partners, such as a presentation by Martina Shakya (IEE) and Laura Marie Schons (RUB, Faculty of Business and Economics) on "Doing Good or Doing Harm? Measuring the Effects of CSR Activities on Secondary Stakeholders in Developing Countries" and a presentation by Johannes Norpoth (IEE) and Christian Scheper (Institute of Development and Peace (INEF), University of Duisburg/Essen) on "Political Authority in Transnational Governance Arrangements: Regulation Through Public and Private Labour, Social and Environmental Standards in the Asian Textile and Apparel Industry". It was also particularly enriching to have a presentation by Dr. Sanaul Mostafa from Bangladesh, who was visiting the IEE to introduce his current research projects. Dr. Sanaul Mostafa's presentation focused on "Opportunities and Challenges for CSR Activities in Social Innovation-driven Initiatives". The economist has 25 years of experience in development management through consultancy work for state institutions, NGOs, and businesses in developing countries and recently focusing his research work on social entrepreneurship in developing countries.

The presentations covered aspects of CSR from the perspectives of economics, business ethics, political science, and law, and ranged thematically from a focus on methodological contributions to practical concerns and potentials, as well as dogmatic and theoretical questions. The disciplinary diversity of presentations matched the diversity of disciplines convened in the audience. The workshop allowed for numerous questions to be posed and the questions, comments and debates following the presentations represented the interests of participants to learn more from each other's views and approaches. Several participants found the exchange of perspectives helpful in filling the gaps or finding the answers to questions remaining in one discipline.

Due to the success of this workshop, the IEE plans to continue this thematic exchange over the following months and years through open cluster meetings highlighting various specific aspects of corporate activities in developing countries.

NorpothJohannes Norpoth, LL.M.
Research Fellow
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Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-25148
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

Dr. Farah Asif

PhD IDS Doctorate
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Institute of Development Research and Development
Ruhr University Bochum
Room 2.04
Universitaetsstr. 105
D-44789 Bochum
E-Mail: ieeoffice@rub.de
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-22418