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«CSR IN BANKING SECTOR A LITERATURE REVIEW AND NEW RESEARCH DIRECTIONS Tran, Yen Thi Hoang VNU University of Economics and Business, Vietnam ...»

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Empirically, there are different CSR models in banks noticed from developed to developing countries such as America, British, Australia, China, Malaysia, etc... More particular, American banks do not focus on the interests of major stakeholders‟ groups but community interests. In otherwords, charity and philanthropy are the major instruments for CSR and also is the main feature of the American model of CSR. By comparison, in the UK banking sector, CSR practice has often been affected by relevant stakeholders such as government, competitors and consumers (A, N, Kostyuk, Professoret al., 2012). Some developed countries like American, Australian, and the UK also have a tendency to utilize international markets to conduct social responsibilities even under the context of the financial crisis. Finally, the author also concludes that American model of CSR is the most common model in the world. By contrast, CSR has been not seen as a key source of competitive advantage in some Asian nations like China, Indonesia, and they are now in development of their own CSR norms.

The above review of previous CSR model may open new directions for CSR model research in banks. That model should investigate the order of importance of CSR domains and study more deeply in each case study. Most importantly, the new model must adjust to the recent development in banking sectors and be in accordance with the country‟s features and historically conceptual framework in which bank operates.

Methodology From the previous studies, 3 main methodologies are used by authors to research CSR in the banking sector, including information synthesis and analysis, quantitative method and survey.

In order to study the CSR as socially constructed, the information synthesis and analysis often consists of three steps (Alexander Dahlsrud, 2006). The CSR definitions were gathered through a literature review on management, quality management, banking industries, and CSR activities (Shirley Yeung, 2011). Almost on prior studies, the authors often collect secondary information from many banks to draw the picture how banks conducted their responsibility (Gokce Akdemir Omur et al., 2012). The data is collected from secondary sources particularly

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from concerned banks annual Report, websites, newsletters and data from various journals (Namrata Singh et al. (2013).

In addition, many researchers used quantitative method to identify the relationship of CSR with other factors in the banking sector such as financial performance, bank reputation.

Theofanis Karagiorgos (2010) is a striking example. Besides, McWilliams & Siegel (2001) designed an outline for corporate social responsibility model that shows what the firm‟s level of CSR would depend on. However, the prior also raise an issue that measurement of CSR is still problematic, and previous literatures provides several methods for measuring corporate social activities, most of them have limitations (Turker, 2009).

Survey is the most common methodology applied. Data is often gathered via questionnaires from a wide range of banking/ finance practitioners and academics with face-toface interviews (Namrata Singh et al., 2013; Shirley Yeung, 2011; Abdul Kaium Masud (2011).

Besides, the questionnaires were distributed randomly in electronic form to people who were asked to complete and return the questionnaires (Persefoni Polychronidoua et al., 2014). Some other authors used case study method to make an in-depth investigation, but it has a limitation on the number of companies to be studied due to time and cost constraints.

The comprehensive method of researching CSR in banks is something to confront in order to achieve even more objective results. We suggest another way to conduct research in this issue is the combination of the three methods. Besides, future research should be done with respective to a larger sample of banks and their managers simultaneously in order to achieve greater reliability. In addition, a wider period of analysis could provide more secure results.


The paper can draw some implications for academics, practitioners and policy-makers. For the academic world, the study provides comprehensive and deep insight about CSR in banking sectors by reviewing many theoretical and empirical researches and article from many places in the world. The first contribution of the study to the academic literature is that summarize almost all relevant researches about CSR in banks with many specific case studies in the world.

Another contribution is to launch new research issues.

For managers and executives in banks, the results in this study suggest that the banks involving CSR activities may benefit from social responsible actions in terms of employee morale, customer loyalty, good image, bank‟s standing, etc. Besides, high CSR may therefore improve banks relationship with their investors, stakeholders and also support their access to sources of capital and their avoidance financial risk. Thus, bank leaders from developing to developed countries should adjust their attitude toward CSR and adopt CSR programs.

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For public policy makers, it is obvious that the government plays a crucial role in imposing law and incentives regarding banks to encourage them to engage in CSR. Thus, by reviewing CSR practices in many banks worldwide and CSR barrier, policy makers can avoid inadvertently introducing more obstacles preventing banks from conducting CSR programs.


Banking sector is now facing heavy burden of dealing with destructive impacts of the global financial crisis. In addition, the demands for heightened levels of CSR in banks are being pressed worldwide due to increasing severe competitiveness and potential benefits given by CSR.

This study does great contribution to developing a framework for a better CSR understanding about CSR research and CSR status in many countries all over the world in 5 main issues. Moreover, the study proves many facts about CSR. Social responsibility does not mean that a company must abandon its primary economic mission, and socially responsible firms can not be as profitable as other less responsible (L.Zu, 2009). Evidently, many worldwide banks have recently and increasingly adopted CSR as a tool to achieve benefits and become successful in balancing the benefits against the costs of undertaking this tool.

In addition, the key barriers for CSR that should be addressed in future studies include lack of awareness, lack of the regulatory framework, lack of motivational incentives and lack of combined initiatives from governments. Thus, this study is expected to contribute greatly to encourage CSR adaptability and success of CSR implementation in banks.


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