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SME Role Models on a Global Market: How International Entrepreneurs Can Thrive on Social Responsibility

37 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2011  

Frank Jan de Graaf

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences; University of Amsterdam - Department of Business Studies (BS)

Arnd Mehrtens

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 18, 2011

Abstract

In this paper we focus on the institutional component of CSR in entrepreneurship by analyzing the role of governance systems in SMEs. We argue that a category of medium-sized companies referred to as 'Hidden Champions' can be regarded as role models of CSR, combining an exceptional economic performance with an excellent contribution to local communities and strong ties with all stakeholders, including employees. Based on this we develop some propositions on CSR in SMEs. For example, our review suggests that local self-assurance and a strong product focus enable a company to develop a strong CSR track record combined with a strong position on international markets. This could imply that globalization does not have to lead to a race to the bottom. On the contrary, to be successful in the long run, CSR-awareness for international entrepreneurs seems to be critical.

Keywords: SMEs, Corporate Social Responsibility, International Entrepreneurship, Hidden Champions, Corporate Governance

Suggested Citation

de Graaf, Frank Jan and Mehrtens, Arnd, SME Role Models on a Global Market: How International Entrepreneurs Can Thrive on Social Responsibility (January 18, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1742841 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1742841

Frank Jan De Graaf (Contact Author)

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Wenckebachweg 144-148
Amsterdam, 1000BA
Netherlands

University of Amsterdam - Department of Business Studies (BS) ( email )

University of Amsterdam Business School
Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands

Arnd Mehrtens

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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