Saudi Arabia

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Giving to society is not new to Saudi businesses. We have a great history of generosity and goodwill from both business people and companies. We need, however, to move a step further with our corporate social work to make it more effective. Facing the development challenges requires us to institutionalise an integrated approach to development linked with human development, social progress and the preservation of our environmental and cultural assets

Asya Al Alshaikh, MD, Tamkeen International, Jeddah Economic Forum, February 2007

Between the old notion of corporate charity and the emergent expectations of greater business accountability to stakeholders, CSR is still a confusing term to many Saudi companies. While many companies in the country like to perceive themselves as engaged in CSR, a growing number of voices are sceptical about the traditional models of corporate engagement with the public good. A 2006 survey of the top 100 Saudi companies revealed mixed views among business leaders regarding the concept of CSR, particularly in terms of the expected role of business in the society (Emtairah et al. 2009). In this context, culture and faith — more than stakeholder considerations — still dominate the shaping of the CSR construct in Saudi Arabia, where the duty to give back to society through the Islamic pillar of Zakah is strongly prevalent (Nelson and Murphy 2009).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 14, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The World Guide to CSR: A Country-by-Country Analysis of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility
    The World Guide to CSR is the first book to provide comparable national profiles that describe the evolution and practice of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) for 58 countries and 5 global regions. Each regional and national profile includes key information about the relevant CSR history, country-specific issues, trends, research and leading organisations. The purpose of the book is to give CSR professionals (including managers, consultants, academics and NGOs focusing on the social, environmental and ethical responsibilities of business) a quick reference guide to CSR in different regional and national contexts. This unique resource will be an essential acquisition for all organisations who need to benchmark their CSR strategies throughout different regions and cultures and want the best possible intelligence on the key issues and concerns relating to corporate social responsibility in all of the markets in which they operate.
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