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Motivations of undertaking CSR initiatives by independent hotels: a holistic approach

Kyid Yeoh, Ken; Abaeian, Vahideh; Vahideh, Abaeian; Yeoh, Ken; Khong, Kok Wei; McCabe, Scott


Ken Kyid Yeoh

Vahideh Abaeian

Abaeian Vahideh

Ken Yeoh

Kok Wei Khong

Scott McCabe


Purpose - The aim of this study is to explore how senior managers of independent hotels perceive the notion of CSR through a holistic analysis of motivations of undertaking both social and environmental initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach – This study conducts qualitative interviews with 22 Malaysian senior hotel managers together with ethnographic observations.

Findings - Emergent themes show that CSR is a dynamic concept involving complex struggles and trade-offs between fulfilling business objectives, paying heed to personal ethical values and considering cultural norms when making decisions regarding the adoption of a range of environmental and social initiatives.

Research limitations/implications - Our study contributes to legitimacy theory by highlighting that, in the absence of pressure from key stakeholders for responsible initiatives, managers still proactively engage in CSR initiatives. More surprising still is that they set expectations instead of simply aligning or responding to the key stakeholders’ pre-set demands. Meanwhile, the uniqueness, size and purposeful selection of the sample, limit the applicability of the findings to wider geographical and cultural locations.

Practical implications – While Malaysian hotel managers are willing to employ CSR practices to demonstrate their commitment to their employees as well as the local communities where they operate, it is equally important that they utilize other media (such as their websites or social media) for both promotional and legitimacy building purposes. Within the context of growing tourism for economic development, the Malaysian government can develop more effective strategies, rewards or incentives for encouraging businesses to undertake and improve CSR adoption for sustainability of this industry.

Originality/value - By extending the scope of CSR studies beyond firm performance issues, we attempt to show the wider set of motivations and contexts considered important in determining hotel engagement in CSR programs.


Kyid Yeoh, K., Abaeian, V., Vahideh, A., Yeoh, K., Khong, K. W., & McCabe, S. (2019). Motivations of undertaking CSR initiatives by independent hotels: a holistic approach. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31(6), 2468-2487.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 8, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 12, 2019
Publication Date Jun 10, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 22, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 13, 2020
Journal International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Print ISSN 0959-6119
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 6
Pages 2468-2487
Keywords Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, Hotel Management, Motivation, Qualitative, Case study.
Public URL
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