Corporate Social Responsibility in SMEs: A Shift from Philanthropy to Institutional Works?
- 1.7k Downloads
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) amongst Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is often characterised in the literature as unstructured, informal and ad hoc discretionary philanthropic activities. Drawing insights from recent theoretical/analytical frameworks (i.e. Crane et al., in Corporate social responsibility: Readings and cases in a global context, 2013; and Valente and Crane, in Calif Manag Rev 52(3):52–78, 2010), and on empirical data collected from both Nigeria and Tanzania, we found that CSR practices in SMEs are much more nuanced than previously presented. In addition, SMEs undertake their CSR practices to varying degrees in multiple spaces—i.e. the workplace, marketplace, community and the ecological environment. These CSR practices go beyond philanthropy and in some instances involve institutional works aimed at addressing some of the institutional gaps in the environments where these SMEs operate. The paper makes a contribution by drawing attention to the multiple spaces of CSR practices amongst SMEs, and the institutional works they do, which are often taken for granted in the extant literature. We provide a unique perspective—by arguing that what is frequently conceptualised as philanthropic CSR in Africa is (or may include) ‘institutional works’.
KeywordsCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Nigeria Tanzania Sub-Saharan Africa SMEs Institutional works
We wish to thank Chinedu Okoro, Cosmas Okeke, and Godson Ikiebey at the Lagos Business School, Nigeria for their data collection assistance.
- Aguilera, R. V., & Jackson, G. (2003). The cross-national diversity of corporate governance: Dimensions and determinants. Academy of Management Review, 28(3), 447–465.Google Scholar
- Amaeshi, K. (2013a, July 13). Africapitalism: A philosophy for sustainable business in Africa? Guardian, UK. Accessed March 05, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/africapitalism-philosophy-sustainable-business-africa.
- Amaeshi, K. (2013b, October 02). Africapitalism: Unleashing the power of emotions for Africa’s Development? African Arguments of the Royal African Society (UK). Accessed March 05, 2015, from http://africanarguments.org/2013/10/02/africapitalism-unleashing-the-power-of-emotions-for-africas-development-by-kenneth-amaeshi/.
- Amaeshi, K., & Idemudia, U. (in press). Africapitalism: a management idea for business in Africa? African Journal of Management (forthcoming). Google Scholar
- Aruwa, S. A. S. (2004). Financing options for small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Accounting Research, 1(2). SSRN. http://ssrn.com/abstract=1401583.
- Blowfield, M., & Murray, A. (2011). Corporate responsibility (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Business Monitor International. (2013). Tanzania business forecast report QR 2013. Accessed July 22, 2013, from ProQuest database.Google Scholar
- CIA World Fact Book. (2012). CIA World Fact Book. Accessed August 30, 2012, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ni.html.
- Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2011). Business research methods (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Crane, A., Matten, D., & Spence, L. J. (2013). Corporate social responsibility: Readings and cases in a global context (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Egels-Zandén, N. (2015). The role of SMEs in global production networks: A Swedish SME’s payment of living wages at its Indian supplier. Business & Society. doi: 10.1177/0007650315575107
- Elumelu, T. O. (2015). The rise of Africapitalism. The World in 2015 (The Economist). Accessed March 05, 2015, from http://www.economist.com/news/21631956-entrepreneurs-will-transform-africa-says-tony-elumelu-chairman-heirs-holdings-and.
- Ewings, P., Powell, R., Barton, A., & Pritchard, C. (2008). Qualitative research methods. Plymouth: Peninsula Research and Development Support Unit.Google Scholar
- Fatoki, O., & Chiliya, W. (2012). An investigation into the attitudes toward business ethics and corporate social responsibility by local and immigrant SME owners in South Africa. Journal of Social Science, 32(1), 13–21.Google Scholar
- Giddens, A. (1984). The Constitution of society: Outline of the theory of structuration. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Gilbert, R., & Jenkins, B. (2014). Partnering for Impact: Supporting systemic change to deliver the sustainable development goals in Africa. CSR Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School Report. Accessed, March 3, 2015, from http://1ptgon13jil01by4e31zk4gy11ta.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2014/09/BAA-REPORT-2014-Digital-Compressed.pdf.
- Hamann, R., Smith, J., Tashman, P., & Marshall, R. S. (2015). Why do SMEs go green? An analysis of wine firms in South Africa. Business & Society. doi: 10.1177/0007650315575106
- Idemudia, U. (2010). Corporate social responsibility and the Rentier Nigerian State: Rethinking the role of government and the possibility of Corporate social development in the Niger Delta. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 30(1–2), 131–152.Google Scholar
- International Labour Organization. (2010). Decent work country profile Tanzania. Accessed May 15, 2014, from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/-dgreports/-integration/documents/publication/wcms_124584.pdf.
- Jamali, D., Lund-Thomsen, P., & Jeppesen, S. (2015). SMEs and CSR in developing countries. Business & Society. doi: 10.1177/0007650315571258
- Jenkins, H. (2004). A critique of conventional CSR theory: An SME perspective. Journal of General Management, 29(4), 37–57.Google Scholar
- Kanter, R. M. (2011). How great companies think differently. Harvard Business Review (November), 66–78.Google Scholar
- Klins, U., Van Niekerk, J. H., & Smit, A. (2010). Africa. In W. Visser & N. Tolhurst (Eds.), The world guide to corporate social responsibility: A country-by-country analysis of corporate sustainability and responsibility (pp. 2–14). London: Greenleaf Publishers.Google Scholar
- Marketline. (2013). Country profile series: In-depth PEST insights. Accessed July 22, 2013, from Marketline Advantage database.Google Scholar
- Painter-Morland, M., & Dobie, K. (2009). Ethics and sustainability within SME’s in Sub- Saharan Africa: Enabling, constraining and contaminating relationships. African Journal of Business Ethics, 14(2), 7–19.Google Scholar
- Peoples Daily. (2013). SMEs remain under-represented in Nigeria, global economy. Accessed April 6, 2013, from http://peoplesdailyng.com/smes-remain-under-represented-in-nigeria-global-economy/.
- Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review, 89(1/2), 62–77.Google Scholar
- Raynard, P., & Forstater, M. (2002). Corporate social responsibility: Implications for small and medium enterprises in developing countries, United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Vienna: UNIDO and the World Summit on Sustainable Development.Google Scholar
- Rossouw, D. (2002). Business ethics in Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students (5th ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Turyakira, P., Venter, E., & Smith, E. (2014). The impact of corporate social responsibility factors on the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 17(2), 157–172.Google Scholar
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization [UNIDO]. (2012). Tanzania SME development policy 2003: “Ten years after”. Accessed July 22, 2013, from http://www.tzdpg.or.tz/dpg-internal/sector-thematic-working-groups/cluster-1/private-sector-trade/documents-library/msme-development/small-businesses.html.
- Visser, W. (2008). Corporate social responsibility in developing economies. In A. Crane, A. McWilliams, D. Matten, J. Moon, & D. Siegel (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of corporate social responsibility (pp. 473–499). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Wood, D. J. (1991). Corporate social performance revisited. Academy of Management Review, 16(4), 691–718.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2013). Doing business 2013: Smarter regulations for small and medium-size enterprises. Washington, DC: World Bank Group. Accessed July 22, 2013, from http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/tanzania/.
- Yusuf, T. O., & Dansu, F. S. (2013). SMEs, business risks and sustainability in Nigeria. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 2(9), 76–94.Google Scholar