Main Article Content
CSR, Manufacturing, Small and Medium Enterprises, SME, Social Responsibility, Strategy
Purpose of the study: This study in Malaysia explores the adoption of strategic social responsibility (SR) practices among manufacturing-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Methodology: A qualitative approach employing the in-depth interview method was taken-up for this study. Eight respondents from manufacturing SMEs in Penang were randomly selected from the list published by the National SME Agency, which is also reckoned as SMECorp and participated in the study. The selection of senior level managers as respondents was also based on their understanding of strategic SR initiatives and decision-making capacity within their organizations. In order to further ensure that all respondents were equal in their views, the study avoided any attempt to interfere with or incorporate existing business-related practices of SMEs, which could influence the findings of this study.
Main Findings: In order to enable manufacturing SMEs to pursue sustainable and profitable SR practices, the findings first propose a six-phase SR implementation methodology. Secondly, it includes a risk assessment matrix and thirdly, it is followed by a risk transition matrix. The risk assessment and transition matrices serve as determining factors for this sector to pursue such initiatives.
Applications of this study: This enables the adoption of SR initiatives which converts to business competitiveness while positioning the SME strategically from social or environmental or both perspectives. Strategic SR helps to position business, thus proving beneficial for this sector that lacks a method to address SR in a benefitting way. This is vital because strategically aligned SR is able to influence business positioning, thus proving beneficial by contributing to the revenue, image, and brand positioning for this sector.
Novelty/Originality of this study: Being a preliminary study, the findings identify the steps that are to be taken by manufacturing entities of smaller magnitude for SR-related business positioning.
Adler, P.S., & Kwon, S.W. (2002). Social capital: Prospects for a new concept. The Academy of Management Review, 27(1), 17-40.
Amaeshi, K.M., Osuji, O.K., and Nnodim, P. (2008). Corporate social responsibility in supply chains of global brands: A boundaryless responsibility? Clarifications, exceptions and implications. Journal of Business Ethics, 81(1), 223-234.
Ausra, R. (2011). Socially responsible learning in SME: Insights from eight EU countries. Economics & Management, 16, 597-604.
Avram, D.O., & Kühne, S. (2008). Implementing responsible business behavior from a strategic management perspective: Developing a framework for Austrian SMEs. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(2), 463-475.
Battaglia, M., Bianchi, L., Frey, M., & Iraldo, F. (2010). An innovative model to promote CSR among SMEs operating in industrial clusters: Evidence from an EU project. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 17(3), 133-141.
Carroll, A. B. (1979). A three-dimensional conceptual model of corporate performance. Academy of Management Review, 4(4), 497-505.
Carroll, A.B. (1991). The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: Towards the moral management of organizational stakeholders. Business Horizons, 34(4), 39-48.
Castka, P., Balzarova, M.A., Bamber, C.J., & Sharp, J.M. (2004). How can SMEs effectively implement the CSR agenda? A UK case study perspective. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 11(3), 140-149.
Crals, E., & Vereeck, L. (2004). Sustainable entrepreneurship in SMEs: Theory and practice. Proceedings in 3rd Global Conference on Environmental Justice and Global Citizenship. Copenhagen, Denmark. inter-disciplinary.net/ptb/ejgc/ejgc3/cralsvereeck%20paper.pdf. Accessed 14 June 2011.
Crowther, D., & Capaldi, N. (Eds.). (2008). The Ashgate research companion to corporate social responsibility. London: Ashgate Publishing.
Demartini, P., Kraus, S., & Schulz, A. (2011). Sustainable management of SMEs: A new approach to improve business and society. International Journal of Strategic Management, 11(1), 44-58.
Dunphy, D., Griffiths, A., & Benn, S. (2003). Organisational change for corporate sustainability. London: Routledge.
European Commission (2001). Green paper: Promoting a European framework for corporate social responsibility. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2001/com2001_0366en01.pdf. Accessed 15 January, 2011.
Fang, S.R., Huang, C.Y., & Huang, S.W.L. (2010). Corporate social responsibility strategies, dynamic capability and organizational performance: Cases of top Taiwan-selected benchmark enterprises. African Journal of Business Management, 4(1), 120-132.
Fassin, Y. (2008). SMEs and the fallacy of formalising CSR. Business Ethics: A European Review, 17(4), 364-378.
Fitjar, R.D. (2011). Little big firms? Corporate social responsibility in small businesses that do not compete against big ones. Business Ethics: A European Review, 20(1), 30-44.
Fontaine, C., Haarman, A., & Schmid, S. (December 2006). The stakeholder theory: Stakeholder theory of the MNC. http://diseniosesparragos.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/pdfs/diazPace/Stakeholders%20theory.pdf. Accessed 15 October 2012.
Freeman, R.E. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pitman.
Freeman, R.E., Wicks, A.C., & Parmar, B. (2004). Stakeholder theory and “the corporate objective revisited”. Organization science, 15(3), 364-369.
Ganescu, M.C. (2012). Corporate social responsibility, a strategy to create and consolidate sustainable businesses. Theoretical and Applied Economics, 19(11), 91-106.
Gelbmann, U. (2010). Establishing strategic CSR in SMEs: An Austrian CSR quality seal to substantiate the strategic CSR performance. Sustainable Development, 18(2), 90-98.
Gholami, S. (2011). Value creation model through corporate social responsibility. International Journal of Business and Management, 6(9), 148-154.
Grayson, D., & Hodges, A. (2004a). Corporate social opportunity- 7 steps to make corporate social responsibility work for your business. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publications.
Grayson, D., & Hodges, A. (2004b). Executive Summary: Corporate Social Opportunity- 7 Steps to Make Corporate Social Responsibility Work for Your Business. www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/dinamiccontent/.../CSOExec0705.pdf. Accessed 5 March 2011.
Guion, L.A., Diehl, D.C., & McDonald, D. (2006). Conducting an In-depth Interview. Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Accessed 15 June 2011 from
Healy, G. (2008). Strategic management (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Thomson.
Heath, J. & Norman, W. (2004). Stakeholder theory, corporate governance and public management: what can the history of state-run enterprises teach us in the post-Enron era? Journal of Business Ethics, 53(3), 247-265.
Hohnen, P. (Author), & Potts, J. (Ed.). (2007). Corporate social responsibility: An Implementation guide for business. Manitoba: International Institute for Sustainable Development. http://www.iisd.org/pdf/2007/csr_guide.pdf. Accessed 12 June 2011.
Høivik, H. v. W., & Shankar, D. (2011). How can SMEs in a cluster respond to global demands for corporate responsibility? Journal of Business Ethics, 101(2), 175-195.
Høivik, H. v. W., & Melé, D. (2009). Can an SME become a global corporate citizen? Evidence from a case study. Journal of Business Ethics, 88(3), 551-563.
Husted, B.W., & Salazar, d. J. (2006). Taking Friedman seriously: Maximizing profits and social performance. Journal of Management Studies, 43(1), 75-91.
Jarutirasarn, P., & Aiyeku, J.F. (2010). Management attitude towards incorporating corporate social responsibility and the impact on firm’s performance: Analysis of Thai SMEs. International Journal of Business Strategy, 10(2), 90-98.
Jeffery, N. (2009). Stakeholder engagement: A road map to meaningful engagement. Doughty Centre, Cranfield School of Management. www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/dinamic.../CR_Stakeholder.pdf, Accessed 14 December, 2012.
Jenkins, H. (2004). A critique of conventional CSR theory: An SME perspective. Journal of General Management, 29(4), 37-57.
Jenkins, H. (2006). Small business champions for corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 67(3), 241-256.
Jenkins, H. (2009). A ‘business opportunity’model of corporate social responsibility for small‐and medium‐sized enterprises. Business Ethics: A European Review, 18(1), 21-36.
Kirytopoulos, K., Leopoulos, V., & Malandrakis, C. (2001). Risk management: A powerful tool for improving efficiency of project-oriented SMEs. Proceedings of the 4th SME International Conference., (pp. 331-339), Denmark.
Krauss, A., Rūtelionė, A., & Piligrimienė, Ž. (2010). SME in search for feasible concepts for systematic social responsibility in times of crisis. Economics & Management, 15, 635-641.
Lepoutre, J., & Heene, A. (2006). Investigating the impact of firm size on small business social responsibility: A critical review. Journal of Business Ethics, 67(3), 257-273.
Liu, H., & Fong, M. (2010). The corporate social responsibility orientation of Chinese small and medium Enterprises. Journal of Business Systems, Governance & Ethics, 5(3), 33-50.
Longfield, K. (2004). In-depth interviews, social marketing research tool kit. www.aidsmark.org/.../14_Research-Toolkit-Ch6-In-Depth-Interviews. Accessed 15 January 2012.
Lu, J.Y., & Castka, P. (2009). Corporate social responsibility in Malaysia- Experts' views and perspectives. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 16(3), 146-154.
Mack, N., Woodsong, C., Macqueen, K.M., Guest, G., & Namey, N. (2005). Qualitative research methods: A data collector’s field guide. North Carolina: Family Health International. http://www.fhi360.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/Qualitative%20Research%20Methods%20-%20A%20Data%20Collector%27s%20Field%20Guide.pdf. Accessed 15 January 2012.
Mandl, I. (2005). CSR and competitiveness – European SMEs good practice specific action in the framework of Mainstreaming Corporate Social Responsibility Among SMEs. Grant Programme 2005 of the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry. www.kmuforschung.ac.at/de/Projekte/CSR/Mandl.pdf. Accessed 18 February 2012.
Perrini, F. (2006). SMEs and CSR Theory: Evidence and Implications from an Italian perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 67, 305–316.
Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). Strategy and society: the link between corporate social responsibility and competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review, 84(12), 78-92.
Ring, I. (1997). Evolutionary strategies in environmental policy. Ecological Economics, 23(3), 237-249.
Saldana, J.M. (2009). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. London: SAGE Publications.
Sequeira, D., & Warner, M. (2007). Stakeholder engagement: a good practice handbook for companies doing business in emerging markets. Washington: International Finance Corporation.
Sharma, S., Sharma, J., & Devi, A. (2009). Corporate social responsibility: The key role of human resources management. Human Resource Management: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities, 2(1), 205-213.
Siwar ,C. & Harizan, S.H.M. (2008). A Study on corporate social responsibility practices amongst business organisations in Malaysia. Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. http://www.wbiconpro.com/242-Siwar,C%20&%20Harizan,S.pdf. Accessed 15 January 2011.
Sloan, P. (2009). Redefining stakeholder engagement: From control to collaboration. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 36, 35-40.
Spence, L., & Rutherford, R. (2003). Small business and empirical perspectives in business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 47(1), 1-5.
Spence, L.J., Schmidpeter, R., & Habisch, A.A. (2003). Assessing social capital: Small and medium sized enterprises in Germany and the U.K. Journal of Business Ethics, 47, 17–29.
Steiner, G.A., & Steiner, J.F. (2003). Business, Government, and Society (10th ed.). New York.
Vives, A. (2006). Social and environmental responsibility in small and medium enterprises in Latin America. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 21, 39-50.
Wong, L.C., & Jamilah, A. (2010). Incorporating stakeholder approach in corporate social responsibility (CSR): a case study at multinational corporations (MNCs) in Penang. Social Responsibility Journal, 6(4), 593-610.
Yu, J., & Bell, J.N.B. (2007). Building a sustainable business in China's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 9(01), 19-43.
Young, G. (2012). Strategic CSR and small to medium businesses in Australia. http://zum.io/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Strategic-CSR-and-SMBs-in-Australia.pdf. Accessed 18 February 2012.