“Simple rules” as an approach to corporate selection of CSR strategies

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Valerie Priscilla Goby
Gulnara Z. Karimova

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Source of Publication

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

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Purpose: This paper aims to adopt the “simple rules” approach developed by Sull and Eisenhardt (2016) and apply it to explain how corporate social responsibility (CSR) manifests in myriad ways depending on the particular socio-economic and geopolitical context. Design/methodology/approach: It illustrates the implicit principle of “simple rules” through the case of a major petroleum company in the United Arab Emirates (Emirates National Oil Company [ENOC]) using content analysis to trace its interpretation and practice of CSR as transmitted via its social media platforms and stakeholder response. Findings: ENOC’s CSR is primarily associated with two government objectives. One relates to human resource initiatives, most especially to the development of local talent in response to the government’s priority of reducing the country’s excessive reliance on expatriate labor. The second is that of preserving local heritage which is reflected in the prominence of local religious values in its posts. The prioritization of these two key themes is a manifestation of how, from the vast range of activities that can be considered as constituting CSR, an individual company chooses those that serve local and immediate intentions. Social implications: A tight scoping of CSR within cherished national objectives appears to enhance the co-creation of shared value between company and stakeholders. Originality/value: This study’s contribution does not so much problematize the many classifications and theories developed to account for diverse conceptualizations and implementations of CSR; rather, it proposes a “simple rules” approach as a parallel and potentially efficient, economical means to explain diversity within CSR interpretation and execution according to the specific geopolitical and socio-economic context in which it is implemented. © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.




Emerald Group Holdings Ltd.




Corporate social responsibility (CSR), Emiratization, Gender balance, United Arab Emirates, “Simple rules, ” Social media

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Open Access