Challenging the importance of size as determinant for CSR activities

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Challenging the importance of size as determinant for CSR activities

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Challenging the importance of size as determinant for CSR activities
Author(s) Blombäck, Anna ; Wigren, Caroline
Date 2009
English abstract
Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to contribute to the development and understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by discussing two interrelated characteristics of current literature: a tendency in discourses to portray CSR as equal to the societal activities displayed by and demanded from large, multinational firms; and an increasing focus on and description of “small firm CSR” in research. These two characteristics instigate a limited approach to the meaning of CSR and an unjust dichotomization of CSR based on firm size are posited. A distinction that risks stimulating an un-nuanced CSR discourse. Design/methodology/approach – From reviewing the field, it has been concluded that firm size should not be a feasible main criterion when trying to understand or predict CSR behavior. From examples of far-reaching CSR activities in the small business community and local initiatives by large firms, the distinctions suggested in the current discourse do not appear in practice are shown. Findings – Additional firm features and contextual characteristics to explain the CSR approach in companies are proposed. Local embeddedness, corporate governance, and individual motivation are examples of issues that appear to explain a firm's CSR activities and characteristics, regardless of firm size. Originality/value – The paper concludes by articulating a number of propositions. These are presented as a basis for research to further understand how CSR activities relate to various organizational and operational features.
DOI (link to publisher's fulltext)
Host/Issue Management of Environmental Quality;3
Volume 20
ISSN 1477-7835
Pages 255-270
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Business Administration
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
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