Corporate Social Resposibility in Småland : A qualitative study on the CSR development of small and medium sized enterprises of CSR Småland

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi

Abstract: Background: Over the years, businesses have come under the microscope as consumers and other stakeholders such as employees, environmentalist and journalists investigate any wrongdoings. Investors are also aware of the damages caused by organizations that are only concerned with profit maximization, and now they are diverging their investment to more sustainable companies. To overcome internal and external pressure, companies are accepting the responsibilities they have towards the society, environment, and shareholders. However, the journey of becoming responsible and environmentally sustainable is long and it often requires organizational change. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now known to most public and private firms. Over the decades, scholars have come up with various definitions for CSR which are often complex and diverse. Therefore, there is a need to understand how companies implement CSR rather than if they should implement it (Smith, 2003). The conceptualization of CSR, understanding what motivates towards CSR and how it is implemented within the organizations has attracted the attention of scholars (Maon, Lindgreen, & Swaen, 2010) Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess organisations journey to become sustainable companies using a developmental stage model, in this case the Consolidative model and to find empirical support the usefulness of this model as an assessment tool. Method: To achieve the purpose of this study, a qualitative method along with an abductive approach is used. Eight semi-structured interviews are used for collecting primary data while peer-reviewed articles and books are used to build the theoretical framework. Conclusion: Empirical findings support that the consolidative mode is useful in assessing the sustainability journey of organizations. No organization is found to be in the first three stages that are the dismissing, self-protecting, and compliance seeking stages. Pressure from stakeholders, personal values, beliefs and the desire to be competitive are what motivates organizations to work with CSR despite their small size.

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