An Emerging Template of CSR in Switzerland

Corporate Ownership & Control / Volume 12, Issue 3, Spring 2015,

20 Pages Posted: 28 May 2015

See all articles by Stéphanie Looser

Stéphanie Looser

University of Surrey - Centre for Environmental Strategy

Walter Wehrmeyer

University of Surrey - Centre for Environmental Strategy

Date Written: May 28, 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of Swiss Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with the aim to aggregate an underlying SME business model as value driver of Swiss CSR. To analyse these patterns this study conducted 30 interviews. A two-step Delphi process challenged the results and enabled the aggregation and visualisation of – L’EPOQuE – as emerging template of CSR. Overall, there is a strong emphasis on ownership, or to be precise, ownership-within-tradition. Family/middle class capitalism and the political/historical background of Switzerland are deciding as well, whereas size and capacities astonishingly seem to matter less. This generated some testable hypothesis, e.g., on how the Swiss SME model will be received in particular settings to which it is “exported”. Further, Swiss SMEs turned out to be genuine “social enterprises” so that the relevance of “social business planning” needs to be questioned, certainly as a novel idea in Switzerland. Overall, this study challenges the primacy of formal management systems to support CSR in companies, especially SMEs, and addresses critical moments at which the nexus between small businesses, Swiss society, and the state might be adjusted.

Keywords: CSR, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, business model, Switzerland, Social Entrepreneur

JEL Classification: Z10, M14, M13,

Suggested Citation

Looser, Stéphanie and Wehrmeyer, Walter, An Emerging Template of CSR in Switzerland (May 28, 2015). Corporate Ownership & Control / Volume 12, Issue 3, Spring 2015,. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2611488

Stéphanie Looser (Contact Author)

University of Surrey - Centre for Environmental Strategy ( email )

University of Surrey
Guildford, GU2 7XH
United Kingdom

Walter Wehrmeyer

University of Surrey - Centre for Environmental Strategy ( email )

University of Surrey
Guildford, GU2 7XH
United Kingdom

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