Research Talk by Dr. Ganga S Dhanesh

Dialectics in Corporate Discourse on CSR in India


Date and Time: Wed, 3 October, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Venue: CNM Meeting room, AS6, #03-33, 11 Computing Drive, Singapore 117416, NUS

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This paper aimed to generate greater understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as constructed in non-Euro-American contexts, by examining dialectics in corporate discourse on key themes and drivers of CSR in India. Qualitative in-depth conversations with business leaders and senior managers who define thought leadership in the space, selected from the Standard & Poor India ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) Index, were the main method of data generation. Results, based on 19 elite interviews with leaders and senior managers from 16 companies revealed that participant understandings of key themes and drivers of CSR are riddled with multiple layers of dialectical complexities simultaneously negotiating the apparently contradictory notions of nation building and inclusive growth, paternalism and egalitarianism, and duty and consequences. The paper also proposes that the ancient Indian concept of dharma might be a probable theoretical framework within which duty and consequences, the dialectical drivers of CSR in India could be further understood.

Speaker’s bio:

Dr. Ganga S Dhanesh holds a doctoral degree in communications, a masters degree in business administration and a bachelors degree in English language and literature. Prior to entering the academe, she has had industry experience in corporate communications and employee relations in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Her doctoral research proposal won a competitive student research grant from the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore Management University and a paper that reported part of her research findings won the 2012 Bob Heath Top Paper Award awarded by the Public Relations division of the International Communication Association. She has presented her research work at international public relations conferences and has published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals in the areas of public relations and corporate social responsibility.

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