Community Engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility Projects: The Case of Mtibwa Sugar Estates in Tanzania

Shukrani K Mbirigenda


Abstract Community level stakeholders are important part of business that companies need to consider when making decisions. This paper argues that companies that do not engage communities in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes fail in delivering the objectives of their CSR projects. In advancing this argument the paper uses the stakeholder theory to interrogate and explain the results of how companies engage neighbouring communities in the conception, implementation and evaluation of their CSR projects. This qualitative study picked one company with CSR projects; and used in-depth interviews, FGDs and semi-structured questionnaires to collect data. The study found that although community engagement in CSR projects is important for the success and satisfaction of the project beneficiaries, the case study company did not engage its stakeholders. The study concluded that CSR in some companies was grossly underdeveloped and uncoordinated. The study therefore recommends that companies operating in the global South, need to have clear participatory stakeholders’ engagement mechanisms when engaging in CSR if their CSR initiatives are to help in the development of the neighbouring communities.


corporate social responsibility, stakeholder theory, community engagement, community projects

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