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Abstract

Over the past half-century, organization-centric approaches to corporate social responsibility (CSR) dominated management practice. Though scholars and practitioners have embraced integrative CSR models, there are insufficient data about rural community constructs of corporate social behavior. Drawing largely from primary research conducted in the Niger Delta region, this article explores the meanings communities ascribe to corporate social responsibility. Through open-ended interviews, this article examines the subtle underlying meanings of the narratives provided by the indigenes to identify clues potentially useful for developing effective CSR programs in the Niger Delta. The findings show that the Niger Delta people frame their views about CSR through the experience of poverty, loss of the traditional economy, erosion of traditional values, and degradation of the environment. Thus, CSR is associated with the restoration of control over land, alleviation of poverty, and community development.