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Global Corporate Citizenship and the Development Agenda
World History is marred with industrial/corporate invasion and exploitation of native communities and natural resources. This has often led to marginalisation, displacement and migration of local communities creating social and cultural upheaval and unrest as well as human rights and developmental concerns. Today, Corporate Citizenship recognises the need for ‘management of the totality of relationships between a company and its host communities, locally, nationally and globally’ (EC Commission 2002). Global Corporate Citizenship often synonymous with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a prominent discourse in corporate ethics and governance. Wayne Visser (2008) points out apparent differences within CSR practices in the developing world versus the developed world. In the former, CSR tends to be less formalized in terms of benchmarks commonly used (and hence studied) and making an economic contribution through CSR is seen as the most effective and important way for businesses to make an impact, while CSR in developed countries mostly focuses on businesses’ ethical and legal responsibilities. When the same organisation moves across these developmental classifications it tends to change its position. Further different cultures emphasize different aspects of CSR (Environics 2000). Trans-national and multinational companies traverse a multitude of social-political, ideological and cultural space by manipulating, negotiating and defending themselves against the larger ethical debate around capitalist sensibilities and social responsibilities. The Paper endeavours to look at how Building Intercultural competency is a multi-layered and multi-level process in the space of CSR and how Global Corporate Citizenship may be utilized towards positive development agendas.