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Small business social responsibility

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(Edited by Michael Hopkins.) In this chapter we turn to the often disregarded 99% of private sector organizations that account for 60% to 70% of European jobs, commonly known as small business or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We frame the relationship of CSR to smaller businesses in terms of the emerging concept of small business social responsibility (SBSR). The literature on which we draw is diverse, and thus we also cover work on business ethics, corporate governance and corporate responsibility. It should also be pointed out that SMEs are an extraordinarily diverse group, and of necessity we present a generalized picture here as an introduction to the topic, although we are aware that there are variations, not least according to sector, region and size of SME. It is also the case that the distinction between large and small firms is not complete - some smaller firms have typically large-firm characteristics and vice versa. In addition, there is of course the middle territory of medium-sized firms, which may be growing or declining, and which we do not discuss in any detail here. For the purposes of this chapter, we focus on the distinctions between the groups as we understand them from previous research rather than reiterating the similarities.
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Keywords: CSR; SBSR; SMEs; Small business; corporate citizenship; corporate social responsibility; management; small business social responsibility; stakeholders; sustainability; sustainable development; textbook; triple bottom line

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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