Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Small Related Abstracts

3 Varieties of Capitalism and Small Business CSR: A Comparative Overview

Authors: Stéphanie Looser, Walter Wehrmeyer


Given the limited research on Small and Mediumsized Enterprises’ (SMEs) contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and even scarcer research on Swiss SMEs, this paper helps to fill these gaps by enabling the identification of supranational SME parameters and to make a contribution to the evolving field of these topics. Thus, the paper investigates the current state of SME practices in Switzerland and across 15 other countries. Combining the degree to which SMEs demonstrate an explicit (or business case) approach or see CSR as an implicit moral activity with the assessment of their attributes for “variety of capitalism” defines the framework of this comparative analysis. According to previous studies, liberal market economies, e.g. in the United States (US) or United Kingdom (UK), are aligned with extrinsic CSR, while coordinated market systems (in Central European or Asian countries) evolve implicit CSR agendas. To outline Swiss small business CSR patterns in particular, 40 SME owner-managers were interviewed. The transcribed interviews were coded utilising MAXQDA for qualitative content analysis. A secondary data analysis of results from different countries (i.e., Australia, Austria, Chile, Cameroon, Catalonia (notably a part of Spain that seeks autonomy), China, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong (a special administrative region of China), Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, UK, US) lays groundwork for this comparative study on small business CSR. Applying the same coding categories (in MAXQDA) for the interview analysis as well as for the secondary data research while following grounded theory rules to refine and keep track of ideas generated testable hypotheses and comparative power on implicit (and the lower likelihood of explicit) CSR in SMEs retrospectively. The paper identifies Swiss small business CSR as deep, profound, “soul”, and an implicit part of the day-to-day business. Similar to most Central European, Mediterranean, Nordic, and Asian countries, explicit CSR is still very rare in Swiss SMEs. Astonishingly, also UK and US SMEs follow this pattern in spite of their strong and distinct liberal market economies. Though other findings show that nationality matters this research concludes that SME culture and its informal CSR agenda are strongly formative and superseding even forces of market economies, nationally cultural patterns, and language. In a world of “big business”, explicit “business case” CSR, and the mantra that “CSR must pay”, this study points to a distinctly implicit small business CSR model built on trust, physical closeness, and virtues that is largely detached from the bottom line. This pattern holds for different cultural contexts and it is concluded that SME culture is stronger than nationality leading to a supra-national, monolithic SME CSR approach. Hence, classifications of countries by their market system or capitalism, as found in the comparative capitalism literature, do not match the CSR practices in SMEs as they do not mirror the peculiarities of their business. This raises questions on the universality and generalisability of management concepts.

Keywords: CSR, Small, comparative study, cultures of capitalism, medium-sized enterprises

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2 An Investigation into the Strategies Adopted by Women Entrepreneurs to Ensure Small Business Success in Nkonkobe Municipality, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Authors: Agholor Deborah Ewere, Emmanuel Ade, Seriki Idowu


The role women entrepreneur plays to combat unemployment should not be underestimated, especially in countries with growing unemployment rates such as South Africa. Women entrepreneurs contribute significantly to economic development in South Africa, but their contribution has not been adequately studied and developed. Hence, the study identified business strategies adopted by women entrepreneurs to sustain growth and development of entrepreneurship. Survey research design approach was adopted and convenience sampling method was used for sample selection. The structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from the respondents. The findings revealed some of the operational challenges women entrepreneur faced to include lack of finance, marketing skills and planning and also showed that the strategies adopted by women entrepreneurs have a positive effect on the success of small businesses. It was recommended among others that the women entrepreneurs should take some time to study the nature of challenges other women have faced in business and possibly provide solutions to such issues before starting their own business. It was however concluded that unless the operational challenges named above are resolved, the role of women entrepreneurs in the developing nations will continue to experience deprived economic growth, development and display substandard competitiveness.

Keywords: Business, Women, Entrepreneurs, Strategies, Small, success

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1 Corporate Demography: An Unexplored Trend along the Latin American Context

Authors: Jesus Argueta


This study aims to explore the Business Demography Phenomena along the Central American context, through the examination of its theoretical background, and the revision of Central American corporations success stories, that will eventually guide this research towards the business Demography Key Performance Indicators, across the Central American Business Ambiance. Considering that this analysis will support the development of a Small and Medium Business Observatory over the Honduran commercial landscapes, as platform for the reinforcement of this global topic.

Keywords: Small, business demography, economic dynamism, medium and large enterprises, corporate demography

Procedia PDF Downloads 402