The rural participation complexity rainbow: challenges of community involvement in corporate social responsibility programmes in Zimbabwe

Taruvinga Muzingili, Weston Chidyausiku


While the Government tenders a regulatory framework governing issues such as employment rights, environmental protection, equality and fair trading, CSR goes beyond compliance with legislative requirements and creates shared value through collaboration with all stakeholders. This study was aimed at investigation complexities involved with active involvement of local communities in CSR programmes. The paper utilised both theoretical and empirical approach in data collection. As for qualitative designs, focused group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants who were selected purposively. The study found out that participatory paradigm which has increasingly been associated with people and their aspirations to make decisions affecting their own lives is not uncomplicated to achieve. Central to community’s aspirations is their desire to plan and participate in the identification, planning and management of their needs without outside prescriptions. The study noted that respectful consultation, participation and collaboration with local communities bring a host of benefits to the enterprise as well as to the community. Establishing an appropriate strategy for stakeholder engagement raises several challenges for multinational firms. It was concluded that community members are important partners in national development and therefore, participation, ownership and sustainability of the projects has the multiplier effect of enhancing the overall development of the local community and contributing to the country’s national development and economic growth.
Key Words: community participation; corporate social responsibility; Zimbabwe

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