Formula 1 Grand Prix’s Champion is Both Istanbul and Hamilton

The Istanbul phase of Formula 1, the world’s biggest motorsports event has been completed. Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton has won the season’s 14th race in Formula 1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix.  The victory marks Hamilton’s fourth consecutive world championship and his 7th in total. With this win, Hamilton has also equaled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles. The awards were presented by Prof. Dr. Mustafa Sentop, the Speaker of Turkish Parliament.

Last year with more than 15 million visitors, Istanbul became the 8th most attractive destination in the world and after 9 years, the city hosted Formula 1 once again. Over 2 billion people from 200 different countries watched Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix that was co-sponsored by Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) and T.R. Ministry of Culture and Tourism. (the two founding partner sponsors)

Noting that he loves and travels to Turkey’s Southern and Aegean coasts frequently in a statement, Lewis Hamilton said that he is impressed by the history of Turkey and the fact that each city in the country has different textures. Hamilton also said that there is no better place than Turkey for championship. On his Twitter account, Hamilton shared his joy with a series of photos taken after he won the title and wrote “A day I’ll never forget”.


2 billion people watched the race on TV

The video featuring Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri F1 teams were filmed at various places in Istanbul including July 15 Martyr’s Bridge, Topkapi Palace and Sultanahmet Square. The video was first streamed on Formula 1’s social media accounts on Thursday, November the 12th.

Formula 1 Grand Prix promotional videos were streamed first on F1’s official social media and then on numerous TV and YouTube channels. While the video promoting the collaboration between Formula 1  and GoTurkey got more than 2 million views on Turkey’s official tourism website’s YouTube account, the F1 promotional video got more than 5 million views on Formula 1’s official social media accounts.

In addition to Formula 1, Turkey has previously hosted many global sports events, including the 2005 Champions League Final, the 2009 UEFA Cup Final, the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championship, the 2017 Euro League Final Four, the 2019 UEFA Super Cup and most recently the 2020 WRC Rally Championship in September.

mea business

How Should Firms Tackle CSR in the Middle East and North Africa

The dominance of petroleum-centric capitalism and its huge contribution to the climate emergency have raised questions about how companies in the Middle East and North Africa can shape sustainable development agendas. New research from Trinity Business School has uncovered how CSR practices are affected by unique environments in this misunderstood part of the world, and that firms need to understand these intricacies while strategizing their CSR practices.

The researchers reviewed over 154 CSR studies of the region, focusing on 20 countries, uncovering different institutional patterns in the region and their impact on CSR.

According to Doctor Tanusree Jain, Assistant Professor of Ethical Business:

“The Middle East and North Africa is a complex, fascinating, and diversified region – where countries have different experiences of political systems, financial markets, and ownership and management traditions. They are faced with an environment of political, economic and social flux on one hand, and popularized western standards of best practices on the other.”

Based on the different societies, the researchers discovered that the region can be divided into five distinct clusters; Fragmented with Fragile State, Family Led, Centralised Kinship, Hierarchically Coordinated, and Conflict-affected. These clusters provide a deep understanding of countries’ different colonization histories, state forms, traditions, and norms that can significantly shape how CSR practices are perceived and legitimized by society.

According to the research, Egypt and Sudan comprise the Fragmented with Fragile State cluster, where the role of the state is developmental. The Egyptian government for example intervenes in and controls some industries by enforcing the Islamic notion of community-centred responsibility through philanthropy, but low levels of general trust in this cluster causes scepticism about CSR — especially when practices are decoupled from religion. Yet the workforce hired by multinationals values CSR to gain international legitimacy competitive advantage. This is an interesting conundrum with firms struggling to choose philanthropy entrenched in religion on one hand and western forms of CSR on the other.

The Family Led cluster is comprised of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Here, state intervention takes both direct and indirect forms. In Morocco, the state primarily promotes CSR policies that improve the competitiveness of local businesses. Although recent political upheavals have weakened law enforcement, in Tunisia the state intervenes directly by acquiring ownership in private firms to shape CSR activities. Wealthy families in this cluster exert substantial influence. The prioritization of their financial interests can have a negative impact as CSR is seen as a cost rather than an investment or obligation. Multinationals therefore largely drive the CSR agenda in line with international benchmarks and reporting frameworks.

Comprised of Oman, Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Centralised Kinship cluster is dominated by Middle Eastern countries. With the dominance of oil based economy, there is increasing scrutiny from international organizations on firms’ sustainability outcomes. The family is at the centre of all social, economic, and political activity. The state — where powerful family elites hold power — intervenes in business affairs directly through ownership and control of firms and indirectly through legislation. Firms gain legitimacy and societal acceptance in highly religious societies, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, by complying with Islamic prescriptions on CSR.

The Hierarchically Coordinated cluster is comprised of Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. In Lebanon, the developmental role of the state is diluted due to weaknesses in law enforcement, thus creating gaps in firms’ CSR compliance. Within Jordan, research reveals direct state intervention in business through public ownership in companies as well as by laws that demand CSR disclosure. In Turkey, the state has a developmental yet predatory character. While it drives firms to adopt western CSR practices to align and compete in European markets, smaller firms embark on limited philanthropy.

The Conflict-affected cluster includes Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. These countries have experienced ongoing political and societal unrest causing massive disruption to companies. The state’s capacity to contribute to the welfare of its citizens is limited. In Palestine, firms’ contribution to social work is perceived as a national obligation. In Libya, religion is the primary driver for CSR. The interconnectedness of wealthy extended families with economic power increase CSR contributions toward the communities in which their businesses are embedded.

Given the global climate emergency, we need to understand how existing motivations for CSR and sustainability are shaped in this region if we want to encourage desirable firm behaviours in this context.

The research paper was published in the Journal of World Business.