Title

Attraction or distraction? Corporate social responsibility in Macao’s gambling industry

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Business Ethics

Publication Date

10-1-2017

Volume

145

Issue

3

First Page

637

Last Page

658

Publisher

Springer Netherlands

Keywords

Controversial industries, Corporate social responsibility, Gambling, Legitimacy, Legitimation, Responsible gambling

Abstract

This paper attempts to investigate how and why organisations in Macao’s gambling industry engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is based on an in-depth investigation of Macao’s gambling industry with 49 semi-structured interviews, conducted in 2011. We found that firms within the industry were emphasising pragmatic legitimacy based on both economic and non-economic contributions, in order to project positive images of the industry, while glossing over two domains of adverse externalities: problem gambling among visitors, and the pollution and despoliation of the environment. By engaging symbolically rather than substantively in CSR, the gambling firms were diverting attention away from issues of moral legitimacy, in order to be allowed to continue to pursue “business as usual” as a means of obtaining substantial financial returns in a social, cultural and socio-political context that was exerting relatively little public pressure to improve corporate social and environmental performance. We conjecture that the gambling firms were feeding on borrowed time.

DOI

10.1007/s10551-015-2890-z

Print ISSN

01674544

E-ISSN

15730697

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Leung, T. C. H., & Snell, R. S. (2017). Attraction or distraction? Corporate social responsibility in Macao’s gambling industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 145(3), 637-658. doi: 10.1007/s10551-015-2890-z

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