Ahmed, Al-Abdin, Roy, Taposh and Nicholson, John (2017) Researching corporate social responsibility in the Middle East: the current state and future directions. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. ISSN 1535-3958

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has the potential to yield economic and social value in the Middle East (ME), especially given the current high environmental flux in the region. Although much scholarly has been paid to CSR issues, a key question remains about how to operate responsibly in the ME, particularly since institutional environments and stakeholders’ needs vary across ME states. The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the current state of CSR in the ME. We identify thirty-eight articles that are most pertinent to CSR in the ME and examine the main theoretical frameworks, methodologies, trajectories for further conceptual development, gaps where new research pathways need to be created and also future research questions. From the systematic review, we reveal how attention on CSR in the ME is slowly gaining traction. A snapshot of the gaps identified include the collaboration between business and NGOs, the impact of stakeholders and institutions on CSR, the impact of political and economic crisis on CSR and the influence of individualistic characteristics shaping managers’ CSR behaviour. In addition to such gaps, we present an agenda for future research.

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