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Free Content Small Business Social Responsibility: More than Size

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Social responsibility in small business has garnered increased attention in recent years but still holds areas of ambiguity including the characteristics and predictors of small businesses engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR). This exploratory, quantitative study attempts to address this research gap by analysing how select organization characteristics relate to the CSR practices of 2,653 small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) across the United States. Organization characteristics pertaining to the demographics, leadership and employees of surveyed SMEs were analysed for their association to both internally and externally focused CSR. Contrary to much of the existing literature, this study found that business size is not the most significant organization characteristic determining level of CSR activity. Instead, organization characteristics regarding employees (turnover, staffing levels, qualifications and gender) and leadership (communication and executive tenure) showed a stronger relationship to CSR activity. This paper concludes by suggesting future CSR research on SMEs incorporate these relevant organization characteristics in their discussion.
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Keywords: Corporate citizenship; Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME); Small business social responsibility (SBSR); Sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • The Journal of Corporate Citizenship focuses explicitly on integrating theory about corporate citizenship with management practice. This means that the journal provides a forum in which the tensions and practical realities of making corporate citizenship real are addressed in a reader-friendly, yet conceptually and empirically rigorous format. The Journal of Corporate Citizenship aims to publish the best ideas integrating the theory and practice of corporate citizenship in a format that is readable, accessible, engaging, interesting and useful for readers in business, consultancy, government, NGOs and academia. This peer-reviewed journal encourages practical, theoretically sound, and (when relevant) empirically rigorous manuscripts that address real-world implications of corporate citizenship in global and local contexts.
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