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Challenging the importance of size as determinant for CSR activities

Blombäck, Anna and Wigren, Caroline LU (2009) In Management of Environmental Quality 20(3). p.255-270
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... (More)
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. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Management of Environmental Quality
volume
20
issue
3
pages
255 - 270
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • scopus:69349099966
ISSN
1477-7835
DOI
10.1108/14777830910950658
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f8b2bf15-1c24-4d2f-9f22-b62f518c12bb (old id 2278227)
date added to LUP
2012-01-10 07:47:55
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:40:33
@article{f8b2bf15-1c24-4d2f-9f22-b62f518c12bb,
  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.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
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.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
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.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
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.},
  author       = {Blombäck, Anna and Wigren, Caroline},
  issn         = {1477-7835},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {255--270},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {Management of Environmental Quality},
  title        = {Challenging the importance of size as determinant for CSR activities},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14777830910950658},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2009},
}