Researching Corporate Social Responsibility in the Middle East: The Current State and Future Directions

Ahmed Al-Abdin*, Taposh Roy, John D. Nicholson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has the potential to yield economic and social value in the Middle East (ME), especially given the current high environmental flux in the region. Although much scholarly attention has been paid to CSR issues, a key question remains about how to operate responsibly in the ME, particularly since institutional environments and stakeholders' needs vary across ME states. The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the current state of CSR in the ME. We identify 38 papers that are most pertinent to CSR in the ME and examine the main theoretical frameworks, methodologies, trajectories for further conceptual development, gaps where new research pathways need to be created, and also future research questions. From this systematic review, we reveal how attention to CSR in the ME is slowly gaining traction. A snapshot of the gaps identified include collaboration between business and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the impact of stakeholders and institutions on CSR, the impact of political and economic crisis on CSR, and the influence of individualistic characteristics shaping managers' CSR behaviour. In addition to such gaps, we present an agenda for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalCorporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • CSR
  • Middle East
  • institutions
  • stakeholder management
  • sustainability
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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