The effects of company´s age, size and type of industry on the level of CSR : The development of a new scale for measurement of the level of CSR

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi


Sustainable development is one of the most frequently used expressions in the economic context. Its importance is emphasized not only at the national level but also at the corporate level. The purpose of this study is to find the influence of company´s age, size and type of industry on the level of sustainable development among Swedish companies. In order to accurately evaluate the level of sustainable development a comprehensive measurement scale is needed. We have recognized the research gap of lack of sustainability measurement methods. Thus, the second goal we have decided to achieve is to develop an extensive measurement scale for sustainability performance evaluation. The main contribution of the study lies in filling the research gap by providing a new measurement method that can be adopted in order to evaluate the sustainability performance and to find the effects of company age, size and type of industry on the level of CSR. The relationships in the study are hypothesized and summarized in the conceptual model and consequently tested.

This study distinguishes five underlying perspectives of sustainability and several categories of company ages, size and types of industry. These aspects are in the focal point of the questionnaire sent to our sample of Swedish companies. The data collected from the survey were analyzed in SPSS statistics program using a variety of analytical methods. At first, each set of questions was analyzed separately. Thereafter, the findings regarding each determinant of CSR were thoroughly discussed. Based on the results from analytical tests a revised conceptual model is proposed. The new features added to the model should enhance its quality and explanatory value.

The collected data reveal that the responding Swedish companies engage in the sustainability perspectives in a considerable extent. According to the results of the study there is no or minor effect of company age and type of industry on the level of CSR. Company size, however, is found to be a significant determinant of CSR causing an U-shaped effect. This U-shaped effect of company size implies that the level of CSR activities decreases as a company grows from small to middle-sized but increases from middle-sized to large company.

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