Organizing Corporate Social Responsibility in Small and Large Firms: Size Matters
University of Zurich, Chair of Foundations of Business Administration and Theories of the Firm, Working Paper No. 204
29 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2011 Last revised: 3 Jan 2012
Date Written: December 2011
Based on the findings of a qualitative empirical study of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Swiss MNCs and SMEs, we suggest that smaller firms are not necessarily less advanced in organizing CSR than large firms. Results according to theoretically derived, bespoke assessment frameworks illustrate the actual implementation status of CSR in organizational practices. Contrary to commonly raised perceptions in the CSR literature, we suggest that small firms possess several organizational characteristics that could promote the integration of CSR-related practices in core business functions, while large multinational corporations possess several traits that enhance communication and reporting about CSR. We propose a theoretical explanation of these differences in CSR implementation in MNCs and SMEs based on the relationship between firm size and relative organizational costs.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Multinational Corporations (MNC), Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME), Organizational Cost
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