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Purpose: This study aims to assess the CSR practices, business-community relations, and the missing links in CSR- community development in Ethiopia.
Approach/Methodology/Design: Case study and thematic analysis of data on 45 structured interviews of key informants from federal and regional government, companies, and local community was collected, transcribed, and analyzed to identify the current CSR practices and consequences, and the missing links in CSR-community development interface..
Findings: The CSR is ad-hoc philanthropy activity based on neo-liberal and voluntary approach motivated by market performance, reputation and image building objectives. There is no community development orientation, no social and environmental impacts. There are tax dodging, deforestation, water and chemical pollutions, britches of labour and community rights, and related CSiRs. National indigenous culture based community development oriented mandatory CSR policy, coordinating agency, engaging community, measuring the implementation, rewarding good CSR performance and punishing CSiRs are recommended.
Practical Implications: The study has implications for academics, managers, policy makers, public administrators, community activists and leaders. It contributes to CSR approach in developing countries, CSR theories, thinking, and practice in African context, the business-community relations, the business management approaches, and scope of stakeholders in improving CSR to contribute to community development.
Originality/value: This study’s originality lies in bringing Ethnic diversity, federal- reginal government, political history, collective rights, power of community and nationalism in CSR to the front.
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