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Social dimension of sustainability in retail: case studies of small and medium Brazilian supermarkets


  • Fábio Marques
  • Paulo Sérgio Miranda Mendonça
  • Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour


Purpose - The concept of sustainability is often viewed by organizational leaders as being abstract and difficult to apply in organizational reality. It is thus necessary to conduct more focused research to develop specific dimensions of the sustainability concept. In this context, the objective of this work is to analyze the social dimension of sustainability among supermarkets in Brazil. Design/methodology/approach - Based on a literature review and the development of a framework of social business variables, the study examined which practices small and medium Brazilian supermarkets have adopted to promote the social dimension of sustainability. These companies were examined with the goal of relating the actions of each organization to their social performance. Findings - The study found that the Brazilian supermarkets in the sample group practise social responsibility focused on strict regulations and labor laws; these practices conformed with existing legislation but did not address the development of broader actions or social projects. The results show continuities and discontinuities in the adoption of social practices among organizations in order to meet the requirements of labor legislation. The authors found a lack of social projects and greater integration into the community in which each supermarket operates. Originality/value - The study contributes to research on social responsibility in retail, with a specifically Brazilian focus.

Suggested Citation

  • Fábio Marques & Paulo Sérgio Miranda Mendonça & Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour, 2010. "Social dimension of sustainability in retail: case studies of small and medium Brazilian supermarkets," Social Responsibility Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(2), pages 237-251, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:6:y:2010:i:2:p:237-251

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Cunningham, 1997. "Case study principles for different types of cases," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 401-423, November.
    2. Catherine M. Paul & Donald Siegel, 2006. "Corporate social responsibility and economic performance," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 207-211, December.
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