Purpose: Our focus is on the way in which sustainability and CSR discourses and practices
emerge in the collaboration of MNCs with the local hotels in developing country contexts. The
paper identifies the prevailing institutional orders and logics that bring about CSR and
sustainability discourse in tourism industry in Turkey. It also investigates how and to what extent
the CSR and sustainability practices align with the local institutional logics and necessities.
Design: Empirical evidence is generated through case studies covering Hilton Worldwide
Holdings Inc. (Hilton), its Turkish subsidiary and a local hotel chain to ensure data triangulation.
Primary data was collected through interviews with the executives of the selected case hotels,
which was supported by extensive secondary data.
Findings: Some components of CSR and sustainability logics developed in the headquarters
diffuse into local affiliate hotel, not all. Local affiliate hotels seek to acquire local legitimacy in
their host environment, despite a standard format imposed by their headquarters. Local
necessities and priorities translate themselves into such initiatives in a very limited way in the
affiliates of the Hilton where there is mostly a top down approach. Similar approach has also
been observed in the case of the local hotel which is part of a family business group. Family’s
values and family business headquarter shape the CSR and sustainability strategy and the logics
reflecting the local component.
Originality/value: Through this study, we are able to add further value to the critical writings
about the positive contribution of CSR and sustainability in the context of the MNCs and their
subsidiaries, which is not substantiated due to limited empirical evidence.
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