n Journal of Public Administration - Social responsibility and accountability : the case of multinational enterprises operating in South Africa




This article examines corporate social responsibility from the perspective of documented cases of governmental institutional failures in holding foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) accountable in the host states in which they operate. Such institutional failures are evident in a number of cases involving multinational enterprises operating in South Africa and other developing host countries. These cases demonstrate that with weak regulation, the foreign direct investment (FDI) of MNEs can in some cases do more harm than good, resulting in lapses in accountability; harming the environment and human health. Accordingly, it is argued that special attention should be given to MNEs as a result of their unique nature and characteristics, as well as for the dynamic global context within which they operate. The focal area of the paper is concentrated on examining some of the legal aspects and complications associated with the FDI of MNEs with the expectation of exploring the prospects for regulatory reform in South Africa.


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