Multinational enterprises (MNEs) can contribute to the building of civil society in the developing world and have an enlightened self-interest in doing so. The development of civil society solidifies and levels the playing field, thereby protecting longer-term investment from unpredictable social backlash and arbitrary state intervention. At the same time, the reaaions of host country governments to MNE-civil society collaboration may vary from benevolent to hostile, depending on the type of collaborative activities involved. This article provides a framework for MNE managers to anticipate when such activities are likely to be greeted with open arms as opposed to when MNE managers need to tread lightly.
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