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Do Well by Doing Good: Engagement of Smålands SME’s in CSR
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) prevail in their business communities and constitute the base of many nations’ economies. As a reason it is vital that SMEs show their active engagement and relatedness of their CSR activities making them at the core of their business strategies, as well as maintain their role as responsible citizens in their communities.CSR activities and practices being mainly developed by large corporations impede the way they can be applied on their smaller counterparts; ultimately leading to different results. SMEs require different solutions and run in different settings, which afford them unique opportunities to become sustainable enterprises. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the level of CSR engagement in Småland, Sweden. The study was divided into two parts, social (community wise) and environmental. We aimed to understand the reasons behind engagement and non-engagement in this matter. Also, it was important to find a pattern for future development of CSR among SMEs. We relied on previous research conducted for SMEs around Europe, and compared mainly the results from Sweden to our research findings.

This study was largely done by using the quantitative survey method, where a questionnaire was designed to collect the results. Descriptive and exploratory statistics is at the core of interpreting the results. Some of the findings were confirmed by previous research while the rest were either unprecendeted or surprising, both in a positive and negative way. The CSR involvement was highly related to the size of the companies, in total more than half of the companies were involved to some extent. The main reasons for involvement in local communities were ethical as well as to satisfy own employees. The reasons for non-engagement were due to lack of resources, time and money, but also the fact that many companies simply never thought about engagement. When it comes to the environmental part, the results showed that companies act very responsibly. They are also aware and compliant to legislations and have environmental policies. Again, ethical reasons were the main driving force behind environmental concerns for the companies, but also the enhancement of the image was a chief reason. In general, companies do not seem to find economical benefits behind the engagement in CSR and less than half of the companies that engage in social responsibilities today are planning on continuing in the near future. Social involvement is voluntary and companies choose to do it mainly because of ethical reasons. On an overall basis, the engagement of SMEs in social activities is quite weak to moderate, while in environmental engagement the results are to some extent more optimistic. However, we cannot allege that a handful of Smålands SMEs see the full business benefits of engagement and as a result they cannot be said to be working towards ‘doing well by doing good’. Policy makers, municipalities and larger firms need to support the SMEs in their further engagement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , p. 73
Keywords [en]
Corporate Social Responsibility, SMEs, Corporate Community Involvement, Sustainable Enterprise, Business Ethic's, Business and Society
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-713OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-713DiVA, id: diva2:4442
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
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Examiners
Available from: 2007-03-02 Created: 2007-03-02

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