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Building a model of corporate social responsibility in the old industrial region(in the case of Upper Silesia): a sociological perspective

  • Marek S. Szczepanski
  • Robert Geisler
  • Anna Sliz
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    Purpose – Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the most crucial phenomena of global capitalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century. For this reason it is emphasized by many companies (especially transnational corporations and multinational companies) and in the European Union and its policy. The main purpose of this paper is to analyze how CSR exists in a transitional country and region – the Upper Silesian Industrial District and the Rybnik Coalmine Area in Southern Poland. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative and quantitative methodology was used to summarize the sociological research among entrepreneurs and businesses located throughout the region. Findings – This research showed that the CSR model is a new phenomenon, relatively unknown to entrepreneurs and managers, although there are some examples of CSR practices which currently exist in the strategies of certain companies. These companies are enterprises with significant foreign capital, which proves the theory that CSR is a new kind of idea and consciousness coming into Poland (and Upper Silesia) from abroad. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that belong to the Polish citizens are characterized by an unconscious mode of CSR. There are also examples of building a CSR model in the local perspective among SMEs through European projects. One project called “Inherit the Job” had a goal which was to have local companies recruit the long-term unemployed for internships and practice and at the end of the program to employ them. To conclude, building a CSR model at the local/regional level depends on one's mentality and way of thinking and it will be a huge challenge in the coming years of transition. Research limitations/implications – The limitation of the research is that companies are not very open to researchers and often would like to present themselves in a public relations manner and not reveal the true condition of the company. Practical implications – The practical implications of the research are to create new programs focusing on CSR awareness and distribute them among SMEs and other companies. Originality/value – The original value of the research is in showing how the model of CSR as a social phenomenon is implemented among entrepreneurs and companies in the Upper Silesian Industrial District.

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

    Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 62-69

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:5:y:2009:i:1:p:62-69
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