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Creating Shared Value in Cambodia

Kenneth Paul Charman
CamEd Business School, Cambodia

International Research Symposium
2021, pp. 91 – 100




This chapter presents the initial findings of a survey of firms in Cambodia based on structured interview and questionnaire to explore the intentions of local firms in Cambodia to address social needs as part of their business model. Addressing social needs whilst simultancously making a profit is a practice that would be interpreted as creating shared value. The Cambodian firms were located and interviewed by students taking the course. This was the first time that this survey was carried out. The timing of the study was highly appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic as the sudden downturn in economic activity combined with the pressure on public services to cope with the pandemic, not to mention the concerns of the population facing the spreading threat of COVID-19, has focused attention on social needs as well as business performance. Whereas prior to COVID-19 business performance would more likely be primarily be assessed in terms of growth, market share and profit margins, during and post COVID-19 the contribution of a firm’s activities to the social good has arguably become more of the focus of attention. What the firm is actually doing and how this contributes to the needs of the community it serves is now a question more likely to be asked, rather than whether the firm has simply been able to find a profitable niche and source of growth. This survey is based on the components of creating shared value which provide a framework and is intended to provide an indication as to whether firms in Cambodia consider that they are contributing to social needs. The survey has included many small firms, a few large international firms and covers a range of sectors. Many of the firms are young, having been established in the last one-to-five years. Most operate either within Phnom Penh and/or in the regions of Cambodia. The results indicate that there is a strong sense of social awareness amongst firms even if they were not aware of the shared value concepts. The majority of the firms had specific intentions to address social needs as part of their business and this was consistent over a wide range of sectors. The survey can be used as supportive data in the development of a comprehensive framework to measure shared value based on firms’ intentions to address social needs. The fact that this survey was carried out during 2020, the period of the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to have influenced firme strategies per se.

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Cite this article in APA 7

Charman, K., P. (2021). Creating Shared Value in Cambodia. In Dash, T., R. & Charman, K., P. (Eds.), COVID-19: The economy and society. International Research Symposium (pp. 53 – 65). ALLIED PUBLISHERS PVT. LTD.

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