Corporate Social Responsibility: Perception and practice in small and medium- sized enterprises in Kilsyth, Scotland

Ana-Paula Fonseca (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a long time, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been built as a process and a strategic approach for businesses to be socially responsible. CSR is ‘a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis’(Commission of the European Communities, Promoting a European Framework for Corporate Social Responsibilies, 2001, p. 6). Decision-making within CSR is concerned with actions that create value for society whilst minimising impact on the environment, as well as fostering relationships between organisations and overlapping stakeholders concerned with morality, legal, environmental, ethical, and economic considerations (Needle.2015). According to Elkington(1997) measures of business success should consider people, planet and profits. However, societal expectations require organisations to be more socially responsible, not only in terms of ‘green’ and ‘health and safety’ agendas, but also with regard to their business activities (Sloan, et al., 2013). This responsibility is reflected in expectations from their relationships with a variety of stakeholders who can have a real influence on their operations. While CSR has been practised by large organisations, and a variety of research, orientations, regulations and codes have been developed to do this, SMEs encounter challenges and barriers in attempting to implement CSR. This article discusses the experiences and perceptions of six small enterprises in Kilsyth, Scotland, in relation to CSR. It will consider their business values, how they perceive CSR, how they take decisions in social responsibility; and also the entrepreneurial challenges and barriers that arise for them in attempting to practise CSR. The analyses of findings came from data collected from October 2013 to January 2014, and the research motivation was based on the inquiry questions ‘Why do enterprises need to be socially responsible?’ and ‘How far are SMEs currently able to practise CSR?’ (Carroll, A three dimensional conceptual model of corporate performance., 1979; Russo & Perrini, 'Investigating Satkholder Theory and social capital: CSR in large firms and SMEs, 2010; Bowen, 1953).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
Number of pages11
JournalOrganisations and People
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • entrepreneur
  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SMEs)
  • stakeholder


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