This study explores the institutional forces behind the uptake of corporate social responsibility in the Tanzanian tourism industry. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 40 managers of tourism businesses. We identify six main motivations for businesses’ engaging in corporate social responsibility: maintaining social legitimacy; influence of the parent company; meeting community expectations; attracting tourists; caring for the environment; and the personal values of managers. Barriers to engagement with responsible practices include conflict with local communities over resource use and a tax and regulatory regime that hinders the growth of tourism businesses. Using institutional theory as our analytical framework, the paper indicates that understanding embedded local institutional conditions is critical not only in shaping the uptake of responsible tourism practices but also in enhancing businesses legitimacy and social license to operate.
- Corporate social responsibility
- institutional theory
- tourism companies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management