What is social responsibility? : An analysis of social responsibility in hotel SMEs in Tällberg, Dalarna

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Turismvetenskap

Abstract: There is a lack of attention and understanding of how smaller hotel businesses understand and engage with social responsibility. The lack of understanding has led to a situation where the knowledge of how hotel corporations operate regarding Corporate social responsibility unproblematically is applied across scales onto Small and medium sized hotels behaviour regarding social responsibility. This thesis examines this lack of understanding by analysing discourses related to social responsibility that can be found in online reviews written by former guests of SME hotels in Tällberg, Sweden. The results of the discourse analysis show that SME hotels mainly perform social responsibility through the performance of hospitality and by acting as cultural brokers allowing socialisation to happen. They suggest that the notion most SMEs have of hospitality links into social responsibility without them realising it. However, the unreflective conflation of knowledge across scales regarding social responsibility and the term Corporate social responsibility risk disrupting this performance, as it makes SME hotel owners and managers act counterproductively to this. Thus, this thesis suggests that the very use of the term CSR when talking about SMEs in the hotel sector is problematic. Furthermore, the findings also suggest that the creation and performance of social responsibility in hotel SMEs are mainly dialogic, unlike previously assumed, as it is created in the interaction between two persons.

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