Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

MADI Diplomacy & International Relations




Omer Gokcekus


International relations; Sub-Saharan Africa


This study examines the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in sub-Saharan Africa of a set of 28 leading consumer product companies. The focus is on the economic benefits which the companies can gainfrom the CSR projects if they are conducted in a certain manner. A number of potential business benefits resulting from CSR are introduced, and the idea that CSR is comparable to Research & Development (R&D) efforts is examined. As a basis for the analysis, a framework provided by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer is utilized, introducing a set of criteria for CSR which is effective in the sense that it creates shared value for the company and the society. These criteria are complemented by contributions from a number of other authors, and then applied to the companies' reported CSR projects. An index that measures the effectivenessof the CSR projects is computed, leading to a ranking of these companies by their CSR performance. The index is used in a variety of comparisons between companies' CSR performance, economic performance, and R&D spending, and the results are interpreted in regards to this paper's hypotheses. To illustrate the validity of these results, four companies' CSR efforts are analyzed in-depth, elaborating on the reasons for the respective index ranking they received. The study concludes that CSR projects according to Porter and Kramer's framework are recommendable for companies because they are not a zero-sum game, but, on the contrary, can generate economic benefits for the companies while helping 'good causes.'