International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Shifting Philanthropic Motives: Shell’s Corporate Social Initiatives in the Philippines
Raymund B. Habaradas

Companies undertake corporate social initiatives for a variety of reasons. Many do it for altruistic motives. Some see it as a way to enhance their corporate reputation or to legitimize their business interests. Others respond to pressures from various stakeholder groups, while others consider this as being true to their corporate values. For a few, corporate social initiatives are integral to their business models, and are, therefore, key to their viability. This paper provides empirical evidence that a company’s primary motive for undertaking philanthropy can shift over time, and this results into a corresponding change in its philanthropic approach. In the case of Shell in the Philippines, its philanthropic activities started with altruistic motives, but were later designed to legitimize its presence in communities in which it operates. Today, its major social initiatives are geared towards enhancing stakeholder relations, and address its increasing commitment to sustainable business practices.

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