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Social responsibility in SMEs: a source of business value


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  • Cristina Iturrioz
  • Cristina Aragón
  • Lorea Narbaiza
  • Asunción Ibañez
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    Purpose – The aim of this paper is to analyse some of the main elements that affect the social responsibility (SR) business value generation in the small and medium firms (SMEs) context. In the SMEs, basically three elements are related with the business value of a SR approach: the top management SR orientation, the SR focus on the business critical issues and the SR alignment with the business strategy. Design/methodology/approach – In order to achieve this objective, different valid and reliable SR measurement scales are developed and an ad hoc survey is answered by a sample of 245 SMEs out of a population of 1,317 SMEs, a representative sample with a 5.76 per cent error. Findings – This paper concludes that SR can be a source of value for the business and that the business value generated by an SR approach is associated with certain conditions: the firm must believe in SR behaviour further than a mere economic and legal perspective; the SR activities must be focused on the critical issues that heavily conditions business competitiveness and, finally, the SR must be embedded in the firm's business strategy. Originality/value – The empirical evidence obtained would not only support theoretical development about SR and SMEs, but it is also relevant to practice. The study of how SR must be developed in order to generate value for the firm helps SMEs to engage more effectively in SR and generates incentives for the stable, coherent and long-term development of this kind of activity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 423-434

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:5:y:2009:i:3:p:423-434

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK

    Related research

    Keywords: Competitive strategy; Corporate social responsibility; Small to medium-sized enterprises; Strategic alignment;


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    Cited by:
    1. Massimo Battaglia & Francesco Testa & Lara Bianchi & Fabio Iraldo & Marco Frey, 2014. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Competitiveness within SMEs of the Fashion Industry: Evidence from Italy and France," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(2), pages 872-893, February.


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