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CSR in SMEs – empirical evidence for the use of core CSR theory
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the recent decades, public awareness of our joint responsibility for sustainable development of our society have increased. This have also had a great impact upon traditional business research that today have integrated different forms of values where focus for long have been the economic results. Discourses such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) have evolved, and are continuously fast growing. The public plays a key role in this development, since stakeholder theory have gained a wide acceptance within the research field. Governments as well as investors and customers have different requirements upon businesses, and there is no indications about that this development will stagnate – rather the opposite. Business research struggles to keep up to the fast development and implementations of new joint sustainability goals and requirements for businesses to comply with. One such example are the tendency to oversight small businesses role in the sustainable development. Regulations as well as the large concept of CSR have been criticized to not consider the largest proportion of the business population – the small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). In order to effectively approach a sustainable development, it is important to also integrate small businesses, whose fundamental role in our economies are clear. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyze and test CSR theory (the CSR pyramid originally developed by Carroll, 1991) and to suggest an empirically rooted model for the understanding of CSR in SMEs. Such a model would be useful for future research as well as practitioners – small business managers and policymakers – in order to further advance sustainable development through the engagement of small businesses. The results also provide a status report on CSR engagement among small businesses, and to what extent small businesses experience external pressure towards CSR engagement and on how difficult to meet these requirements are perceived. The study applies a quantitative approach that aims to map small business activities beyond the purely economic. An electronic version of a survey has been sent out to 1 243 respondents in the municipalities of Åre and Krokom in mid Sweden. 256 answers have been received, giving a response rate of 21 %. The data collection will continue through e-mail distribution within four other municipalities in mid Sweden, and six municipalities in mid Norway. The execution of the data collection are conducted within the frames of the Interreg project RESENS – Regional development and social entrepreneurship in Norway-Sweden. The results provide an overview of small businesses’ actions for sustainable development, and practical evidence on how CSR theory can be used for understanding CSR in SMEs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate social responsiveness, Small- and medium-sized enterprises, business sustainability, sustainable development
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32570OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-32570DiVA, id: diva2:1168755
Conference
24th Nordic Academy of Management Conference, NFF 2017 - Nordic Opportunities, Bodø, August 23-25, 2017
Projects
RESENS - Regional Development and Social Entrepreneurship in Norway-SwedenAvailable from: 2017-12-21 Created: 2017-12-21 Last updated: 2017-12-22Bibliographically approved

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Säterberg, Emelie

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