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CSR and stakeholders of small businesses in regional South Australia


  • Nina Evans
  • Janet Sawyer


Purpose - This paper aims to report on the key CSR strategies, activities and attitudes of small business owners in a South Australian regional area with regard to the key stakeholders, towards developing socially and environmentally responsible small businesses. Design/methodology/approach - The investigation was conducted collaboratively between the University of South Australia's Centre for Regional Engagement (CRE) and the Whyalla Economic Development Board (WEDB), using an interview-driven, qualitative design. Findings - It was found that the small business owners in Whyalla were supportive of their stakeholders, especially the local community, because it was the right thing to do and was generally beneficial to their business. Research limitations/implications - It is acknowledged that this type of research design limits the degree to which the results can be generalised, as the sample was limited and questions on environmental issues can be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Practical implications - The results enable the University to assist the University and the WEDB to play an active role in developing the social and environmental awareness of businesses towards sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible regional small businesses. Social implications - CSR is viewed through the lens of stakeholder theory, where stakeholders are all the people and entities that contribute to the businesses’ wealth-creating activities. Originality/value - The paper is based on an original study within small firms and their social and environmental responsibility relating to their stakeholders. Previous research on the CSR activities of small businesses within regional or rural environments is limited, especially in regional areas of a developed economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Nina Evans & Janet Sawyer, 2010. "CSR and stakeholders of small businesses in regional South Australia," Social Responsibility Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(3), pages 433-451, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:6:y:2010:i:3:p:433-451

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Julie Pirsch & Shruti Gupta & Stacy Grau, 2007. "A Framework for Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility Programs as a Continuum: An Exploratory Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 125-140, January.
    2. Agle, Bradley R. & Donaldson, Thomas & Freeman, R. Edward & Jensen, Michael C. & Mitchell, Ronald K. & Wood, Donna J., 2008. "Dialogue: Toward Superior Stakeholder Theory," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 153-190, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Parisa Salimzadeh & Jerry Courvisanos, 2015. "A Conceptual Framework for Assessing Sustainable Development in Regional SMEs," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 17(04), pages 1-17, December.


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