This paper explores how corporations, through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, can help to effect positive developmental change. We use research on institutional change, deinstitutionalization, and institutional work to develop our central theoretical framework. This framework allows us to suggest more explicitly how CSR can potentially be mobilized as a purposive form of institutional work aimed at disrupting existing institutions in favor of positive change. We take the gender institution in the Arab Middle East as a case in point. Our suggestion is that the current context of the Arab Spring, which combined with increasingly obvious endogenous institutional contradictions, has created a fertile ground for shaping change processes within the gender institution. Finally, we provide concrete examples of CSR initiatives that regional corporate actors can engage in for positive developmental change supporting women.