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SMEs and CSR Theory: Evidence and Implications from an Italian Perspective

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  • Francesco Perrini

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    Abstract

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has acquired an unquestionably high degree of relevance for a large number of different actors. Among others, academics and practitioners are developing a wide range of knowledge and best practices to further improve socially responsible competences. Within this context, one frequent question is according to what theory should general knowledge of CSR be developed, and in particular the relationship between CSR and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). This paper suggests that research on large firms should be based on stakeholder theory, while research on CSR among SMEs should be based on the concept of social capital. This paper first provides a theoretical and practical perspective on CSR today; the focus then shifts to the specific literature on CSR and SMEs; some data and information follow on SMEs in Europe and Italy; finally, some conclusions and questions for future research are suggested. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-006-9186-2
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 67 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 305-316

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:67:y:2006:i:3:p:305-316

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: corporate social responsibility; Italy; multi-stakeholder approach; small and medium enterprises; social capital;

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    Cited by:
    1. Rodica Milena Zaharia & Alin Stancu & Carmen Stoian & Mihaela Diaconu, 2010. "Commercial Activity’s Contribution to Sustainable Development by Social Responsability Actions: a Vision of SMEs," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(27), pages 155-167, February.
    2. Lorraine Uhlaner & Marta Berent-Braun & Ronald Jeurissen & Gerrit Wit, 2012. "Beyond Size: Predicting Engagement in Environmental Management Practices of Dutch SMEs," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(4), pages 411-429, September.
    3. Sophie Giordano-Spring & Fabienne Villesèque-Dubus & Jean-Marie Courrent, 2012. "Les déterminants du reporting sociétal interne et externe en PME : une étude empirique quantitative," Post-Print hal-00690971, HAL.
    4. Fara Azmat & Ramanie Samaratunge, 2009. "Responsible Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries: Understanding the Realities and Complexities," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 437-452, December.
    5. Angeloantonio Russo & Antonio Tencati, 2009. "Formal vs. Informal CSR Strategies: Evidence from Italian Micro, Small, Medium-sized, and Large Firms," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 339-353, April.
    6. Sarit Nisim & Orly Benjamin, 2008. "Power and Size of Firms as Reflected in Cleaning Subcontractors’ Practices of Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 673-683, December.
    7. Maria Jesus Munoz-Torres & Maria Angeles Fernandez-Izquierdo & Luisa Nieto-Soria & Juana Maria Rivera-Lirio & Elena Escrig-Olmedo & Raul Leon-Soriano, 2009. "SMEs and corporate social responsibility. The perspective from Spanish companies," International Journal of Sustainable Economy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(3), pages 270-288.
    8. Suman Sen & James Cowley, 2013. "The Relevance of Stakeholder Theory and Social Capital Theory in the Context of CSR in SMEs: An Australian Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 413-427, December.
    9. Richard Arend, 2013. "Ethics-focused dynamic capabilities: a small business perspective," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 1-24, June.
    10. Rosario Vázquez-Carrasco & M. López-Pérez, 2013. "Small & medium-sized enterprises and Corporate Social Responsibility: a systematic review of the literature," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(6), pages 3205-3218, October.
    11. Parhankangas, Annaleena & Ehrlich, Michael, 2014. "How entrepreneurs seduce business angels: An impression management approach," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 543-564.
    12. Sandrine Berger-Douce & Bérangère Deschamps, 2010. "La reprise d'entreprise, une opportunité pour la mise en œuvre de la RSE en PME ?," Post-Print halshs-00534800, HAL.
    13. Jette Knudsen, 2013. "The Growth of Private Regulation of Labor Standards in Global Supply Chains: Mission Impossible for Western Small- and Medium-Sized Firms?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 117(2), pages 387-398, October.
    14. De Chiara, Alessandra, 2012. "S-D Logic and CSR: the management of social capital for the value creation in SMEs," jbm - Journal of Business Market Management, Free University Berlin, Marketing Department, vol. 5(2), pages 137-153.
    15. Gupta, Suraksha & Kumar, V., 2013. "Sustainability as corporate culture of a brand for superior performance," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 311-320.
    16. Merja Lähdesmäki & Timo Suutari, 2012. "Keeping at Arm’s Length or Searching for Social Proximity? Corporate Social Responsibility as a Reciprocal Process Between Small Businesses and the Local Community," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 108(4), pages 481-493, July.
    17. Hans-Jörg Schlierer & Andrea Werner & Silvana Signori & Elisabeth Garriga & Heidi Weltzien Hoivik & Annick Rossem & Yves Fassin, 2012. "How Do European SME Owner–Managers Make Sense of ‘Stakeholder Management’?: Insights from a Cross-National Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 39-51, August.
    18. Tang, Zhi & Tang, Jintong, 2012. "Stakeholder–firm power difference, stakeholders' CSR orientation, and SMEs' environmental performance in China," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 436-455.

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