Taking stock of CSR & SMEs in development

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Taking stock of CSR & SMEs in development

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Title: Taking stock of CSR & SMEs in development
Author: Jeppesen, Soeren
Abstract: The international literature on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has focused on large rms, in the North, mostly applying normative, universal and positivist approaches. However, over the last 10-15 years increasing attention has been directed towards micro, small and medium-sized rms, SMEs. While the focus on CSR in SMEs mainly has been con ned to a Northern context, limited, though growing, focus has been on CSR in SMEs in a Southern or developing country context. The paper assesses the contributions on CSR and SMEs in Development. It does so by presenting three dominant and con icting perceptions of SMEs in the CSR literature (SMEs as problems vs. SMEs as innovators; SMEs as miniature versions of large rms vs. SMEs in their own right; SMEs responding to voluntary approaches vs. SMEs responding to state regulation). The paper then takes stock of what we know about CSR, SMEs and Development (concerning environmental issues; labour, safety & health; global supply chains; and nally CSR and SMEs in Clusters) and what we don’t know. The paper nally argues in favour of a critical research based on a) focus on Southern perspectives, b) SMEs in their own right, and c) application of context-sensitive approaches. It advocates the key issues of a critical CSR in SMEs in Development research agenda should be focused at the interface between SME, CSR and Development issues. It presents four main parts or areas of such an agenda and three suggestions concerning policy initiatives, before it brie y concludes on the changes that the eld has undergone over the 10-15 years observed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7947
Date: 2009-11-16

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