Corporate community involvement (CCI) is often regarded as means of development in developing countries. However, CCI is often criticised for patronage and insensitivity both to context and local priorities. A key concern is the extent of ‹community participation’ in corporate social decision-making. Community participation in CCI offers an opportunity for these criticisms to be addressed. This paper presents findings of research examining community participation in CCI governance undertaken by Magadi Soda Company in Kenya. We draw on socio-political governance and interaction theories to examine the institutionalisation of participatory decision-making and its impact on changing governing roles and social action in CCI over time.