Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 793–805 | Cite as

Multinational Corporations and Local Communities: A Critical Analysis of Conflict

International Management


As conflict between multinational corporations and local communities escalates, scholars, executives, activists, and community leaders are calling for companies to become more accountable for the impact of their activities on external stakeholders. In order for business to do so, managers must first understand the causes of conflict with local communities, and communities must understand what courses of action are available to challenge activities they deem harmful to their interests. In this article, I present a framework for examining the factors that contribute to multinational and community conflict including stakeholder power inequality, stakeholder perception gaps and cultural context. Moreover, I describe some of the ways that communities can increase their leverage in conflict situations.


community relations corporate social responsibility globalization international ethics stakeholder conflict 


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I would like to thank Lynne Andersson, Michaela Driver, Robert Giacalone, Maasaki Kotabe and Gerald Zeitz for their helpful comments on previous drafts of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fox School of Business, Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaU.S.A.

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