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Frontiers of Engineering Management >> 2022, Volume 9, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s42524-022-0191-7

Governance of social responsibility in international infrastructure megaprojects

1. Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
2. Sino-US Global Logistics Institute (Institute of Industrial & System Engineering), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China; Data-Driven Management Decision Making Lab, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
3. SILC Business School, Shanghai University, Shanghai 201899, China
4. College of Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Received: 2021-12-01 Revised: 2022-03-25 Accepted: 2022-01-06 Available online: 2022-06-15

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Megaprojects are a critical aspect of socio–economic development that can have huge effects on local communities, the environment, society, politics, or locals’ way of life (Zeng et al., 2015Denicol et al., 2020). Megaproject social responsibility (MSR) refers to “the policies and practices of stakeholders through the whole project lifecycle that reflect responsibilities for the well-being of the wide society” (Zeng et al., 2015). MSR governance refers to socially responsible actions of relevant stakeholders to alleviate and eliminate a megaproject’s negative effects on socio–economic and environmental outcomes during the megaproject’s entire lifecycle (Lin et al., 2017Ma et al., 2017), such as poverty reduction, human rights protection, social philanthropy, and environmental protection (Zeng et al., 2015). For large international contractors, differences between the decision-making scenarios of international megaprojects in host countries and those in their home countries are huge (Javernick-Will and Scott, 2010Cramton et al., 2021). Differences in political, cultural, economic, and regulatory contexts can lead to differences in the content of MSR, as well as in that of corporate social responsibility (Maignan and Ralston, 2002Matten and Moon, 2008). Consequently, MSR governance is challenging for international contractors. Good performance in MSR might contribute to the sustainability of megaprojects, whereas the absence of MSR governance in international megaprojects might generate huge losses for international contractors (Ma et al., 2017Petkova and van der Putten, 2020Leviker, 2021). Therefore, we argue that MSR governance can improve the quality of international megaprojects and reduce conflict among different parties in host countries (Campbell et al., 2012Zhou and Mi, 2017Ma et al., 2021).

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