The Guardian featured SME Topic Editor Laura Spence in a blog post about SMEs’ supposed resistance to CSR. Spence points out that the language of “corporate social responsibility” alienates many small businesses, many of them associating the word “corporate” with large enterprises. She also observes that CSR is often associated with reporting – something very few SMEs can do because of limited time and resources.
Despite their resistance to CSR terminology, however, many SMEs implicitly embrace CSR’s principles. In particular, Spence describes the “informal ethical practices that are not dependent on size or financial muscle” such as integrity, caring for employees and community engagement that are especially prevalent in SMEs. In fact, many of the CSR principles large enterprises embrace through formal policies and procedures are simply part of everyday life for SMEs. The only difference is the small companies don’t call those principles “CSR”: they probably call them “the way we do business.”
Read the full Guardian blog post: Practising social responsibility without the CSR label