IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Tailoring CSR Strategy to Company Size?


  • Alexandra ZBUCHEA

    (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration)

  • Florina PÎNZARU

    (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration)


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the most debated topics in the academic and professional business literature, being analyzed in a myriad of perspectives, from philosophy, to marketing, management practice, managerial strategies or financial impact. The very term of CSR implies that involving with society in a structural way that is part of a business DNA is or should be understood as a characteristic of big size companies (e.g. ‘corporations’). Academic literature and financial reports show a direct relationship between a company size and its CSR budget, therefore some conclusions have been taken that CSR is effective mostly in cases of big budgets and, consequently, of big companies. Academic research also tends to favor large corporations. Most of the literature on CSR is dedicated to large companies. Nevertheless, in the past decade, increasingly more studies have investigated the social responsibility assumed by other types of companies (such as SMEs), by public institutions or by nonprofit organizations. Our present empirical analysis based on structured academic literature review (comprehensive selection of relevant international papers and content analysis) demonstrates that CSR should go beyond the classical understanding of the ‘corporation’ concept and that it should be tailored to SMEs as well. Innovation and top management support are the drivers of effective CSR adoption by SMEs, for positive results meeting specific business model requirements, as well as for society. Going beyond social responsibility as a philosophical duty, correctly tailored CSR strategies can be efficient for small and medium enterprises in meeting strategic business objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandra ZBUCHEA & Florina PÎNZARU, 2017. "Tailoring CSR Strategy to Company Size?," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 5(3), pages 415-437, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:nup:jrmdke:v:5:y:2017:i:3:415-437

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. ., 2001. "Corporate Governance in Islamic Banking," Chapters, in: Islamic Banking, chapter 7, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2010. "Individual and Corporate Social Responsibility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 1-19, January.
    3. Giovanni Cespa & Giacinta Cestone, 2002. "Stakeholder Activism, Managerial Entrenchment, and the Congruence of Interests between Shareholders and Stakeholders," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 528.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    4. Sprinkle, Geoffrey B. & Maines, Laureen A., 2010. "The benefits and costs of corporate social responsibility," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 445-453, September.
    5. Edward Nelling & Elizabeth Webb, 2009. "Corporate social responsibility and financial performance: the “virtuous circle” revisited," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 197-209, February.
    6. Jong-Seo Choi & Young-Min Kwak & Chongwoo Choe, 2010. "Corporate social responsibility and corporate financial performance: Evidence from Korea," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 35(3), pages 291-311, December.
    7. Scholtens, Bert, 2008. "A note on the interaction between corporate social responsibility and financial performance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 46-55, December.
    8. Güler Aras, 2010. "Managing corporate performance: Investigating the relationship between corporate social responsibility and financial performance in emerging markets," International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 59(3), pages 229-254, March.
    9. Caroline Flammer, 2015. "Does Corporate Social Responsibility Lead to Superior Financial Performance? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(11), pages 2549-2568, November.
    10. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly & Christopher Wickert & Laura Spence & Andreas Scherer, 2013. "Organizing Corporate Social Responsibility in Small and Large Firms: Size Matters," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(4), pages 693-705, July.
    11. Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Corporate Governance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 1-35, January.
    12. Henri Servaes & Ane Tamayo, 2013. "The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Firm Value: The Role of Customer Awareness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(5), pages 1045-1061, May.
    13. Lundgren, Tommy, 2007. "On the Economics of Corporate Responsibility," Sustainable Investment and Corporate Governance Working Papers 2007/3, Sustainable Investment Research Platform.
    14. Ian Worthington & Monder Ram & Harvinder Boyal & Mayank Shah, 2008. "Researching the Drivers of Socially Responsible Purchasing: A Cross-National Study of Supplier Diversity Initiatives," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 79(3), pages 319-331, May.
    15. Richard B. Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2007. "Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 383-399, December.
    16. Vicente Lima Crisóstomo & Fátima de Souza Freire & Felipe Cortes de Vasconcellos, 2011. "Corporate social responsibility, firm value and financial performance in Brazil," Social Responsibility Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 7(2), pages 295-309, June.
    17. Stephen Brammer & Andrew Millington, 2008. "Does it pay to be different? An analysis of the relationship between corporate social and financial performance," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(12), pages 1325-1343, December.
    18. Krishna Udayasankar, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Size," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(2), pages 167-175, December.
    19. Mahfuja Malik, 2015. "Value-Enhancing Capabilities of CSR: A Brief Review of Contemporary Literature," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 419-438, March.
    20. Richard Arend, 2013. "Ethics-focused dynamic capabilities: a small business perspective," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 1-24, June.
    21. 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.
    22. Nuttaneeya Torugsa & Wayne O’Donohue & Rob Hecker, 2012. "Capabilities, Proactive CSR and Financial Performance in SMEs: Empirical Evidence from an Australian Manufacturing Industry Sector," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(4), pages 483-500, September.
    23. Brigitte Hoogendoorn & Daniela Guerra & Peter Zwan, 2015. "What drives environmental practices of SMEs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 759-781, April.
    24. Pedro Soto-Acosta & Diana-Maria Cismaru & Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu & Raluca Silvia Ciochină, 2016. "Sustainable Entrepreneurship in SMEs: A Business Performance Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 8(4), pages 1-12, April.
    25. Jacob Brower & Vijay Mahajan, 2013. "Driven to Be Good: A Stakeholder Theory Perspective on the Drivers of Corporate Social Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 117(2), pages 313-331, October.
    26. Saeidi, Sayedeh Parastoo & Sofian, Saudah & Saeidi, Parvaneh & Saeidi, Sayyedeh Parisa & Saaeidi, Seyyed Alireza, 2015. "How does corporate social responsibility contribute to firm financial performance? The mediating role of competitive advantage, reputation, and customer satisfaction," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 341-350.
    27. Inoue, Yuhei & Lee, Seoki, 2011. "Effects of different dimensions of corporate social responsibility on corporate financial performance in tourism-related industries," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 790-804.
    28. Stéphanie Looser & Walter Wehrmeyer, 2015. "Stakeholder mapping of CSR in Switzerland," Social Responsibility Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(4), pages 780-830, October.
    29. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:342:d:67736 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Becker-Olsen, Karen L. & Cudmore, B. Andrew & Hill, Ronald Paul, 2006. "The impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on consumer behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 46-53, January.
    31. Jan Schmitz & Jan Schrader, 2015. "Corporate Social Responsibility: A Microeconomic Review Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 27-45, February.
    32. Zhi Tang & Clyde Eiríkur Hull & Sandra Rothenberg, 2012. "How Corporate Social Responsibility Engagement Strategy Moderates the CSR–Financial Performance Relationship," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(7), pages 1274-1303, November.
    33. Matthew Brine & Rebecca Brown & Greg Hackett, 2007. "Corporate social responsibility and financial performance in the Australian context," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 2, pages 47-58, June.
    34. Francesco Perrini & Angeloantonio Russo & Antonio Tencati, 2007. "CSR Strategies of SMEs and Large Firms. Evidence from Italy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 285-300, September.
    35. Johnson, Homer H., 2003. "Does it pay to be good? Social responsibility and financial performance," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 34-40.
    36. Jordi Surroca & Josep A. Tribó & Sandra Waddock, 2010. "Corporate responsibility and financial performance: the role of intangible resources," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 463-490, May.
    37. Lin, Chin-Huang & Yang, Ho-Li & Liou, Dian-Yan, 2009. "The impact of corporate social responsibility on financial performance: Evidence from business in Taiwan," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 56-63.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Pavla Svermova & Miroslav Cernik, 2020. "Corporate Social Responsibility of Companies Producing PFOA Containing Waxes for Cross-Country Skiing," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-17, June.
    2. Stankevičiūtė Živilė & Wereda Wioletta, 2020. "Universalism values and organisational citizenship behaviour referring to employee perception of corporate social responsibility," Management & Marketing, Sciendo, vol. 15(2), pages 302-325, June.
    3. Tomina Saveanu & Daniel Badulescu & Sorana Saveanu & Maria-Madela Abrudan & Alina Badulescu, 2021. "The Role of Owner-Managers in Shaping CSR Activity of Romanian SMEs," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(20), pages 1-19, October.
    4. Joseph Bakos & Michele Siu & Adalberto Orengo & Narges Kasiri, 2020. "An analysis of environmental sustainability in small & medium‐sized enterprises: Patterns and trends," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 1285-1296, March.
    5. Florina PINZARU & Alexandra ZBUCHEA, 2020. "Adapting Knowledge Management Strategies In The Context Of The Covid-19 Pandemic. A Preliminary Overview," Proceedings of the INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(1), pages 307-318, November.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hans B. Christensen & Luzi Hail & Christian Leuz, 2021. "Mandatory CSR and sustainability reporting: economic analysis and literature review," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 1176-1248, September.
    2. María del Mar Miras‐Rodríguez & Amalia Carrasco‐Gallego & Bernabé Escobar‐Pérez, 2015. "Are Socially Responsible Behaviors Paid Off Equally? A Cross‐cultural Analysis," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 22(4), pages 237-256, July.
    3. Zia ur Rehman & Asad Khan & Asim Rahman, 2020. "Corporate social responsibility's influence on firm risk and firm performance: the mediating role of firm reputation," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(6), pages 2991-3005, November.
    4. Woon Leong Lin & Chin Lee & Siong Hook Law, 2021. "Asymmetric effects of corporate sustainability strategy on value creation among global automotive firms: A dynamic panel quantile regression approach," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 931-954, February.
    5. Tomasz L. Nawrocki & Danuta Szwajca, 2021. "A Multidimensional Comparative Analysis of Involvement in CSR Activities of Energy Companies in the Context of Sustainable Development Challenges: Evidence from Poland," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(15), pages 1-19, July.
    6. Jajja, Muhammad Shakeel Sadiq & Asif, Muhammad & Montabon, Frank & Chatha, Kamran Ali, 2020. "The indirect effect of social responsibility standards on organizational performance in apparel supply chains: A developing country perspective," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    7. Achi, Awele & Adeola, Ogechi & Achi, Francis Chukwuedo, 2022. "CSR and green process innovation as antecedents of micro, small, and medium enterprise performance: Moderating role of perceived environmental volatility," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 771-781.
    8. Iordanis Kalaitzoglou & Hui Pan & Jacek Niklewski, 2021. "Corporate social responsibility: How much is enough? A higher dimension perspective of the relationship between financial and social performance," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 306(1), pages 209-245, November.
    9. Yadav, Sandeep & Srivastava, Jagriti, 2021. "CSR, audit quality and firm performance during COVID-19: an organizational legitimacy perspective," MPRA Paper 108967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Woon Leong Lin & Jo Ann Ho & Murali Sambasivan, 2018. "Impact of Corporate Political Activity on the Relationship Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(1), pages 1-22, December.
    11. Franck Brulhart & Sandrine Gherra & Bertrand V. Quelin, 2019. "Do Stakeholder Orientation and Environmental Proactivity Impact Firm Profitability?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 25-46, August.
    12. Renáta Myšková & Petr Hájek, 2018. "Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Text of Annual Reports—The Case of the IT Services Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(11), pages 1-18, November.
    13. Ben Lahouel, Béchir & Ben Zaied, Younes & Managi, Shunsuke & Taleb, Lotfi, 2022. "Re-thinking about U: The relevance of regime-switching model in the relationship between environmental corporate social responsibility and financial performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 498-519.
    14. Francisco J. López-Arceiz & Ana J. Bellostas & Pilar Rivera, 2018. "Twenty Years of Research on the Relationship Between Economic and Social Performance: A Meta-analysis Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 453-484, November.
    15. Walid Cheffi & Ahmed Abdel-Maksoud & Muhammad Omer Farooq, 2021. "CSR initiatives, organizational performance and the mediating role of integrating CSR into management control systems: Testing an inclusive model within SMEs in an emerging economy," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 333-367, September.
    16. Fernando Gimeno-Arias & José Manuel Santos-Jaén & Mercedes Palacios-Manzano & Héctor Horacio Garza-Sánchez, 2021. "Using PLS-SEM to Analyze the Effect of CSR on Corporate Performance: The Mediating Role of Human Resources Management and Customer Satisfaction. An Empirical Study in the Spanish Food and Beverage Man," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(22), pages 1-21, November.
    17. Jacob Brower & Peter A. Dacin, 2020. "An Institutional Theory Approach to the Evolution of the Corporate Social Performance – Corporate Financial Performance Relationship," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 805-836, June.
    18. Buchanan, Bonnie G. & Cao, Cathy Xuying & Wang, Shuhui, 2021. "Corporate social responsibility and inside debt: The long game," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    19. Tahira Naseem & Faisal Shahzad & Ghazanfar Ali Asim & Ijaz Ur Rehman & Faisal Nawaz, 2020. "Corporate social responsibility engagement and firm performance in Asia Pacific: The role of enterprise risk management," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(2), pages 501-513, March.
    20. Claudia Patricia Maldonado-Erazo & José Álvarez-García & María de la Cruz del Río-Rama & Ronny Correa-Quezada, 2020. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Performance in SMEs: Scientific Coverage," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(6), pages 1-26, March.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nup:jrmdke:v:5:y:2017:i:3:415-437. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Cristian-Mihai VIDU (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.