Small Business Social Responsibility

Global Perspectives on Small Business Social Responsibility

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Recommended books


Spence, L. J. and Painter-Morland, M. (eds) (2010)  Ethics in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: A Global Commentary, International Society For Business, Economics and Ethics Book Series, Volume 2, Springer, Dordrecht, NL.

Spence, L. J., Frynas, J. G., Muthuri, J. and Navare, J. (eds) (forthcoming 2017) Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility: Global Perspectives, Edward Elgar. Call for papers.


Recommended articles


Ahmad, N. H. and Ramayah, T. (2012) “Does the Notion of ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’ Prevail  Among Entrepreneurial Ventures in a Developing Nation?”, Journal of Business Ethics 106(4), 479-490.

Azmat, F and Samaratunge, R. (2009) “Responsible entrepreneurship in developing countries: Understanding the realities and complexities”, Journal of Business Ethics 90(3), 437-52.

Baumann-Pauly, D., Wickert, C., Spence, L. and Scherer, A. G. (2013) “Organizing Corporate Social Responsibility in Small and Large Firms: Size Matters”, Journal of Business Ethics 115(4), 693-705.

Banerjee S.B. (2008) “Corporate social responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly”, Critical Sociology 34(1), 51-79.

Blowfield, M. and Frynas, J.G. (2005) “Editorial: Setting New Agendas – Critical Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility in the Developing World”, International Affairs 81(3), 499-513.

Davies, I. A. and Crane, A. (2010) “CSR in SMEs: Investigating employee engagement in fair trade companies”, Business Ethics: A European Review 19(2), 126-139.

Demuijnck, G. and Ngnodjom, H. (2013) “Responsibility and Informal CSR in Formal Cameroonian SMEs”, Journal of Business Ethics 112(4), 653-665.

Enderle, G. (2004) “Global Competition and Corporate Responsibilities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises”, Business Ethics: A European Review 13(1), 50–63.

Fassin, Y. (2008) “SMEs and the fallacy of formalising CSR”, Business Ethics: A European Review 17(4), 364-378.

Fenwick, T. (2010) “Learning to practice social responsibility in small business: challenges and conflicts”, Journal of Global Responsibility 1(1), 149-169.

Gupta, S. and Kalra, N. (2012) “Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on SMEs in India”, Asia-Pacific Journal of Management Research and Innovation 8(2), 133-143.

Hamann, R., Agbazue, T., Kapelus, P. and Hein, A. (2005) “Universalizing corporate social responsibility? South African challenges to the International Organization for Standardization’s new social responsibility standard”, Business and Society Review 110(1), 1-19.

Hazlina, A. N. and Shen, P.-S. (2010) “Gender Variations in Ethical and Socially Responsible Considerations among SME Entrepreneurs in Malaysia”, International Journal of Business & Society 11(1), 77-88.

Holt, D. H. (1997) “A Comparative Study of Values Among Chinese and US Entrepreneurs: Pragmatic Convergence Between Contrasting Cultures”, Journal of Business Venturing 12(6), 483-505.

Hsu, J.-L. and Cheng, M.-C. (2012) “What Prompts Small and Medium Enterprises to Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility? A Study from Taiwan”, Corporate Social Responsibility & Environmental Management 19(5), 288-305.

Jamali, D., Zanhour, M. and Keshinian, T: (2009) “Peculiar Strengths and Relational Attributes of SMEs in the Context of CSR”, Journal of Business Ethics 87(3), 355-377.

Jamali, D. and Tarazi, A. (2012) “CSR: A Cost or an Opportunity for SMEs in the Middle East?” CSR in the Middle East: Fresh Perspectives 72.

Jenkins, H. (2009). “A  Business Opportunity‘ Model of Corporate Social Responsibility for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises”, Business Ethics: A European Review 18(1), 21–36.

Lähdesmäki, M. and Suutari, T. (2012) “Keeping at Arm’s Length or Searching for Social Proximity? Corporate Social Responsibility as a Reciprocal Process Between Small Businesses and the Local Community”, Journal of Business Ethics 108(4), 481-493.

Lepoutre, J. and Heene, A. (2006) “Investigating the Impact of Firm Size on Small Business Social Responsibility: A Critical Review”, Journal of Business Ethics 67(3), 257-273.

Luetkenhorst, W. (2004) “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Development Agenda— A Case for Actively Involving Small and Medium Enterprises”, Intereconomics 39(3), 157–166.

Moore, G. and Spence, L. J. (2006) “Responsibility and Small Business: Editorial”, Journal of Business Ethics 67(3), 219-226.

Morsing, M. and Perrini, F. (2009) “CSR in SMEs: do SMEs matter for the CSR agenda?” Business Ethics: A European Review 18(1), 1-6.

Murillo, D. and Lozano, J. (2006) “CSR and SMEs: An approach to CSR in their own words”, Journal of Business Ethics 67(3), 227-240.

Muthuri, J., Moon, J. and Idemudia, U. (2012) “Corporate Innovation and Sustainable Community Development in Developing Countries”, Business and Society 51(3), 355-381.

Nair, N. K. and Sodhi, J. S. (2012) “CSR Practices by SMEs in India: Lessons from Five Case Studies”, Indian Journal of Industrial Relations 47(4), 583-597.

Preuss, L and Perschke, J. (2010) “Slipstreaming the larger boats: Social responsibility in medium sized businesses”, Journal of Business Ethics 92(4), 531-551.

Rahim, M. M. and Wisuttisak, P. (2013). “Corporate Social Responsibility–Oriented Compliances and SMEs Access to Global Market: Evidence from Bangladesh”, Journal of Asia-Pacific Business 14(1), 58-83.

Sarbutts, N. (2003) “Can SMEs do CSR? A practitioner‘s View of the Ways Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises are Able to Manage Reputation Through Corporate Social Responsibility”, Journal of Communication Management 7(4), 340-347.

Spence, L. J. (2007) “CSR and Small Business in European policy Context: The Five ‘C‘s of CSR and Small Research Agenda 2007”, Business and Society Review 112(4), 533–552.

Spence, L. J. (2014) “Small Business Social Responsibility: Redrawing Core CSR Theory”, Business & Society. DOI:10.1177/0007650314523256.

Spence, L. J. and Rutherfoord, R. (2001) “ Social Responsibility, Profit Maximization and the Small Firm Owner Manager”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 8(2), 126–139.

Spence, L. J., and Schmidpeter, R. (2003) “SMEs, Social Capital and the Common Good”, Journal of Business Ethics 45(1-2), 93-108.

Vives, A. (2006), “Social and Environmental Responsibility in Small and Medium Enterprises in Latin America”, Journal of Corporate Citizenship 21, 39–50.


Recommended websites


The European Commission online resources on CSR among SMEs:

International Organizations for Standardization (ISO) guidelines for SMEs:

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidance for first time reporters:

International Labour Organization (ILO) helpdesk:–en/index.htm

SME-specific Transparency International guide for countering bribery:

Promoting Social Responsibility in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises training toolkit:

A social responsibility guide for one-person enterprises:

Future SME quick diagnostic tool: