Cross-sector alliances in the global refugee crisis: An institutional theory approach

Aimei Yang, Wenlin Liu, Rong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The global refugee crisis has posed severe challenges to social stability and sustainable development around the world. While the business sector is expected to shoulder social responsibility in crisis relief efforts, our initial assessment shows that refugee-related corporate social responsibility (CSR) significantly diverged across the Global Fortune 500 corporations. To advance scholars and managers' understanding of this complex CSR issue, this study draws upon National Business System Theory to explore how country-level factors influence the multinational corporations' CSR communication about the refugee issue. Specifically, the study focuses on the strategic cross-sector alliances between corporations, NGOs, and IGOs. The analysis shows that in this controversial global crisis, the following factors of corporations' countries-of-origin can significantly affect the level of cross-sector CSR alliances: democracy levels, economic inequality levels, and unemployment rates. Findings of this study provide practical guidelines that can help managers to anticipate societal expectations when dealing with controversial social issues in an international setting. Our findings could also assist policymakers, NGOs, and IGOs to better design strategies to mobilize the corporate resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-660
Number of pages15
JournalBusiness Ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics


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