The Importance of Non-Government Organizations in the Corporate Social Movement in China

By Maria Lai-Ling Lam, Alice Lai-Heung Lam and Lewis Hon-Chung Lam.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The authors discuss how Chinese environmental non-government organizations (NGOs) can thrive as effective stakeholders through market power. The research is based on extensive literature review, four years’ field work in China, in-depth interviews of twenty-six Chinese business executives coming from seventeen different foreign multinational enterprises, five staff of three national Chinese environmental NGOs, and personal reflections. Chinese environmental NGOs are very localized and embedded in party-state relationships. They always struggle for financial support, credibility from the public and enterprises, and government approval. They are limited to be service providers in a contested space defined by a cautious legal system. Ironically, the Chinese government and foreign multinationals (MNEs), not the Chinese environmental NGOs, are the key actors in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement in China. The authors argue that the Chinese environmental NGOs must use leverage on their unique resources and strengthen their capacity through participating and learning in some available corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. The basic strategy for the Chinese environmental NGOs is to increase their networking with corporations, government-owned non-government organizations, and international non-government organizations in selected environmental projects in China. When foreign MNEs are committed to provide opportunities for the Chinese environmental NGOs to be potential partners, these corporations will perform much better in a global market economy. The success of corporate social responsibility movement initiated by the Chinese government will be attained when there are balanced relationships among the Chinese government, local Chinese environmental NGOs, and corporations. When the capacity of the Chinese environmental NGOs is strengthened, the charity and stewardship principles of the CSR movement will be implemented.

Keywords: Chinese Environmental Non-government Organizations, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Social Movement, Multinational Corporations, China, Environmental Issues, Movement

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 12, pp.101-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.161MB).

Dr. Maria Lai-Ling Lam

Associate Professor, Business Administration, Malone University, Canton, Ohio, USA

Maria Lai-Ling Lam is a full Professor of Business Administration, Malone University, Ohio, U.S. She holds the degree of bachelor of business administration, master of business administration, and master of arts in religion studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Ph.D. in business administration from the George Washington University. She has published several articles, book chapters, and one book. She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Intercultural Research and a member of various professional bodies. Her research interest is corporate social responsibility in China, cross-cultural negotiation, and business education.

Alice Lai-Heung Lam

Hong Kong, China

Alice Lai-heung Lam holds the degree of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management and Master of Arts in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution from the City University of Hong Kong. She is now pursuing her legal professional career. She has worked in Hong Kong Government for more than twenty years. She has conducted research about human rights movement in Hong Kong since 1998.

Lewis Hon-Chung Lam

Researcher, Hong Kong, China

Lewis Hon-Chung Lam is a researcher. He holds the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from the University of Hong Kong. He has conducted fieldwork about non-government organizations in Hong Kong and mainland China for more than six years.

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