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Participants in the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact or GC) have the option to join Global Compact Local Networks (GCLNs), which are formed voluntarily by participants to promote the GC and its principles at the local level and to deepen their learning experience in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by facilitating collaboration and collective action, grounded in local cultures and communities. The role these networks play in affecting member behaviour in terms of enhancing their CSR efforts and implementing the ten GC principles has not received much empirical attention in literature. Using survey data from Spain—one of the first countries to organize a GCLN—we find that local network members report more positive outcomes in terms of implementing the GC principles, improving their understanding of CSR, and improving their CSR and business networking in comparison to non-members. Our study suggests that local networks provide a critical mechanism for the GC that allows participants to engage in deeper implementation of the ten GC principles and enhance their social and environmental practices through best practice exchange and learning. We discuss the implications of these findings for scholars and practising managers.



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