Implementing and Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: Implications of Firm Size and Organizational Cost

University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 339

46 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2013

See all articles by Christopher Wickert

Christopher Wickert

VU University Amsterdam

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration

Laura J. Spence

University of London - Royal Holloway College

Date Written: October 18, 2013

Abstract

In this paper we address two research gaps in the extant Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) literature. The first gap results from a lack of understanding of different patterns of CSR engagement with respect to CSR communication and implementation. The second gap concerns limited knowledge about the influence of firm size on CSR engagement. We develop new theory by looking at variations in implementation and communication costs depending on firm size. This allows us to explain the large firm implementation gap (large firms are relatively strong in communicating CSR but weaker at implementing it into their structures and practices) and vice versa the small firm communication gap (weak communication and strong implementation). Our model expands a new theory of CSR engagement based on as yet underemphasized firm-level antecedents of CSR, and opens up several new avenues for future and in particular comparative research.

Keywords: Communication; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Firm Size; Implementation; Organizational Costs

Suggested Citation

Wickert, Christopher and Scherer, Andreas Georg and Spence, Laura J., Implementing and Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: Implications of Firm Size and Organizational Cost (October 18, 2013). University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 339. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2342214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2342214

Christopher Wickert (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 84
Zurich, 8006
Switzerland
+41 44-63 45302 (Phone)
+41 44-63 45301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uzh.ch/professorships/as.html

Laura J. Spence

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

Egham
Surrey, TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

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