Accepted paper:

Think Global Act Local - Transnational Corporate Social Responsibility Meets Local Needs in Ghana


Ann-Christin Hayk (Trier University)

Paper short abstract:

The case study compares two international oil companies´ CSR initiatives in peripheral Ghana to explore the success and sustainability of CSR projects that ground in either universal or locally adapted policies. Thus, the study relates to ideas of the policy mobilisation discourse.

Paper long abstract:

The International Oil Companies (IOCs) ENI and Kosmos currently invest in numerous projects to improve healthcare provision in the peripheral Ghanaian districts Ellembelle and Nzema East as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. In Ghana, though, no comprehensive national CSR policy is available to manage private sector social investments that support governmental efforts to overcome severe service provision shortages in the peripheries. Thus, the IOCs base their interventions on company-internal and universally applied policies (Anku-Tsede and Deffor, 2014; Boon and Ababio, 2009). Against this background, the questions arise how, to which extent, and how successful ENI and Kosmos adapted their universal CSR strategies to the local context in Ghana. Therefore, this study explores the differences between the IOCs´ initiatives´ level of alteration and sustainability. In doing so, it relates to a recent social-constructivist approach to policy mobilisation that emphasises the necessity of adapting policies to local contexts through mutation and assemblage to avoid policy failure (Brownhill, 2013; McCann and Ward, 2013; Peck, 2011; Stone, 2017). The case study discloses different outcome of the IOCs´ initiatives. Despite minor grievances, the constant perpetuation and positive local perception of ENI's healthcare projects suggest a fruitful adaptation of the IOC´s universal CSR strategy to local requirements. Contrarily several difficulties lessen Kosmos´ success in supporting healthcare structures and indicate little alteration of the IOC´s company-internal CSR policy. With regard to the policy mobilisation discourse, these observations evoke recommendations for possible governmental mediations to guarantee successful CSR interventions on local level.

panel B04
Natural resources and global inequalities: the African experience (Paper)