Providing Southern Perspectives on CSR

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Providing Southern Perspectives on CSR

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Title: Providing Southern Perspectives on CSR
Investigating formal and informal CSR practices and the views of managers and workers in SME garment companies in South Africa
Author: Jeppesen, Søren; Kothuis, Bas
Abstract: The article seeks to contribute to the SMEs and CSR literature in developing countries by providing; a) a ‘Southern’ SME perspective, which includes the voices of managers and workers, b) a perspective of CSR, which opens up to informal CSR practices that SMEs undertake, and c) an analysis of the key institutional issues affecting the CSR practices of SMEs. It presents perceptions of CSR practices among 21 SMEs in the garment industry in South Africa, based on 40 interviews with managers and 19 interviews with workers through the use of qualitative and quantitative interview frameworks. It highlights a high degree of similarities between managers and workers, though knowledge of (cognitive level) the concept ‘CSR’ differ considerably. Informal practices are widespread and of key importance to the SMEs, expressed by managers and workers alike. History, industry and manager-workers relations are found to be important factors in explaining the CSR perceptions and level of practices. It is suggested that future research investigate the role of informal practices further and explore the role of institutional theory.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/9083
Date: 2014-12-29
Notes: paper presented at The 14th International Conference of African Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (ICAESB): Globalization and Sustainability of SMEs in Emerging Economies. Whitesands Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 29th-30th May, 2014.

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