Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 134, Issue 1, pp 117–133 | Cite as

Influence of National Institutions on the Corporate Social Responsibility Practices of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises in the Food-processing Industry: Differences Between France and Morocco

  • Jamal El Baz
  • Issam Laguir
  • Magalie Marais
  • Raffaele StaglianòEmail author


This paper analyzes how national institutions impact corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food-processing industries of France and Morocco. In this study, CSR practices are defined around two main dimensions: corporate performance (financial vs. global) and the CSR approach (defensive vs. active). Qualitative data were collected during semi-structured interviews with SME managers in charge of CSR issues. We then performed a content analysis. Our study shows that there is a distinct difference between the CSR practices adopted by SMEs in France and Morocco. Indeed, the findings suggest that under the rule-based governance system of France, most SMEs view CSR as an economic tool and it is adopted as an opportunity-seeking perspective anchored in the search for global performance. The findings also show that under the relationship-based governance system of Morocco, SMEs mainly see CSR from a constraint-reducing perspective. However, some Moroccan SMEs have begun to see the economic opportunities of CSR, especially in accessing foreign markets.


National institutions SMEs CSR Food-processing industry France Morocco 



Association française de normalization


Chief executive officer


Corporate social opportunities


Corporate social responsibility


Multinational companies


Small- and medium-sized enterprises



We are grateful to Frank Lasch for very constructive comments. We would also like to thank the section editor of the Journal of Business Ethics, Adam Lindgreen, and the anonymous reviewer for their recommendations. Moreover, we express our thanks to participants at the 2012 ICSB Conference Wellington, New Zealand for several helpful comments. Participation at the 2012 ICSB Conference was supported financially by Labex Entreprendre.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamal El Baz
    • 1
  • Issam Laguir
    • 2
  • Magalie Marais
    • 2
  • Raffaele Staglianò
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Ecole Supérieure de Technologie (EST) d’AgadirAgadirMorocco
  2. 2.Montpellier Business School (member of Montpellier Research in Management)MontpellierFrance

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