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Rethinking Corporate Social Engagement

Lessons from Latin America

Lester Salamon



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Kumarian Press
15 June 2010
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy outlined a bold new policy of reform toward Latin America which gave commitments to work with Latin American governments to promote more progressive tax structures, institute meaningful land reform, democratize governments, strengthen civic organizations, and significantly reduce poverty. This 'Alliance for Progress' was disbanded within 12 years however, as political situations in both the US and Latin America shifted. Three decades later, in 1995, NGOs and private businesses began partnering up for a new alliance for progress. Unlike Kennedy's policy, private enterprise rather than government was now seen as a solution to many of the region's problems. Corporate social engagement (CSE) became and remains a buzzword. Salamon, one of the foremost experts on civil society, examines what forms this new movement is taking and how it's implemented, why businesses are choosing to participate, variations between countries in their approach to such partnerships, and whether CSE has made any positive impact. Brief and highly readable, the book offers a constructive critique of CSE and shows how civil society can exert positive and constructive influence on business practices.
By:   Lester Salamon
Imprint:   Kumarian Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 13mm
Weight:   249g
ISBN:   9781565493131
ISBN 10:   1565493133
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   15 June 2010
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Lester M. Salamon is Director of the Center for Civil Society Studies, the Institute for Policy Studies, The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including The State of Nonprofit America (Brookings Institution Press, 2002), The Tools of Government: A Guide to the New Governance (Oxford University Press, 2002), and Global Civil Society Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector [volume one] (Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 1999). This last book, the companion volume to Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector [Volume Two], won the Virginia Hodgkinson Prize, Independent Sector, 2001.

Reviews for Rethinking Corporate Social Engagement: Lessons from Latin America

The book presents a fresh and timely assessment of the exploding growth of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Latin America, documneting progress in five countries: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Little is known about the extent of CSR in Latin America; some observers consider it the least covered of the developing-country regions and/or a region for which widely cited studies underestimate the practice of CSR, relying on websites and company annual reports. Lester Salamon applies his academic rigor, global experience and thoughtful insight to the issue of corporate social engagement in Latin America, providing the reader with a greater understanding of the need and potential for cross-sector collaboration with civil society in this dynamic region. A fascinating and richly documented portrait of the distinctive features that have characterized the growth of corporate social responsibility in Latin America. This book adds significantly to our understanding of the cultural and social factors that shape how and why corporations chose to engage with social issues, and in doing so, makes an important contribution to the literature on the global spread of corporate social responsibility. This book covers one of the most essential, underdeveloped tools with which private businesses can enhance the quality of life in Latin America. It underscores the need to listen to, engage with and contribute to the development of civil society in order for corporate responsibility practices to be effective. This book provides a much needed wake-up call to many private businesses that are accustomed to a top-down, opportunistic approach. A timely and illuminating exploration of business engagement in Latin America s recent development pathway. Lester Salamon has masterfully organized the vast body of information he collected at the request of the Inter-American Foundation into a cohesive, lively, one-of-a-kind narrative detailing the practices progress and potential of Latin American corporations, including many IAF partners, in their exercise of social responsibility. Adds significantly to our understanding of the cultural and social factors that shape how and why corporations choose to engage with social issues. This is a short yet outstanding book... the book takes us beyond a simple assessmentof CSR in Latin America and introduces the idea of Corporate Social Engagement, which will certainly pull the debate on CSR towards new promising frontiers.

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