Acknowledging Local Knowledge in CSR Program

Acknowledging Local Knowledge in CSR Program: Lesson-learned in a multi-national corporation in Indonesia


At present, various pressures - socio-economic and environmental ones - become the ‘push-factor’ for enterprises to promote their CSR strategies. Through promoting their CSR strategies, these enterprises try to communicate with their stakeholders that they are responding to those pressures, bearing expectations that their commitment to CSR strategies will serve as their investment for the future which will also increase their profitability. This paper will focus on the socio-cultural approach of CSR, by taking up a case study of Unilever, a multi-national corporation in Indonesia. Along with the increasing awareness that CSR can result in direct or indirect economic value, Unilever had to face serious challenges when in the beginning of the 21st century they had to experience failure in the implementation of their corporate social responsibility strategy in an urban community in Indonesia. However, through acknowledging local knowledge in the community, the program turned into a successful one, which then led Unilever into winning the first prize in International Energy Globe Awards in 2005. This paper will highlight the attempt of Unilever in learning from local knowledge for their corporate social responsibility strategy.

Keywords: Multi-National Corporations, Community, Social Approach, Local Knowledge