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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 102; doi:10.3390/su8010102

Corporate Social Responsibility Applied for Rural Development: An Empirical Analysis of Firms from the American Continent

Department of Agricultural Economics, Gent University, Gent 9000, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Manfred Max Bergman and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
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Abstract

Corporate Social Responsibility has been recognized by policymakers and development specialists as a feasible driver for rural development. The present paper explores both theoretically and empirically how firms involved in CSR provide development opportunities to rural communities. The research first evaluates the applied literature on the implementation of CSR by private firms and policymakers as means to foster sustainable rural development. The empirical research analyses the CSR activities of 100 firms from a variety of industries, sizes, and countries to determine the type of companies who are involved in rural development and the kind of activities they deployed. Results from the empirical research show that although rural development initiatives are not relevant for all types of companies, a significant number of firms from a variety of industries have engaged in CSR programs supporting rural communities. Firms appear to be interested in stimulating rural development and seem to benefit from it. This paper also includes an exploration of the main challenges and constraints that firms encounter when encouraging rural development initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; sustainability; rural development; responsible value chains; Americas; United Nations global compact corporate social responsibility; sustainability; rural development; responsible value chains; Americas; United Nations global compact
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Arato, M.; Speelman, S.; Van Huylenbroeck, G. Corporate Social Responsibility Applied for Rural Development: An Empirical Analysis of Firms from the American Continent. Sustainability 2016, 8, 102.

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