Volume 4, 2009
A Survey of International Corporate Responsibility
The Social Responsibility of the Public Enterprise
A Case Study of Sonatrach in Algeria
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the meaning and scope of social responsibility in a state-owned enterprise. Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) a meaningful concept for a state-owned enterprise, as opposed to a privately-owned corporation, given that it is created with social as well as economic aims? To try to answer to this question, the case of Sonatrach, an Algerian oil company, is examined. The lack of statistical data does not allow an assessment of CSR actions undertaken by this company since 2004. The analysis identifies two main obstacles to the effectiveness of CSR in state-owned enterprises: (a) the system of internal governance is
characterized by a lack of control; (b) the competitive and social environment is characterized by a partial application of the logic of the market, which does not allow the optimal allocation of means.