Proactive CSR: An Empirical Analysis of the Role of its Economic, Social and Environmental Dimensions on the Association between Capabilities and Performance
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Proactive corporate social responsibility (CSR) involves business practices adopted voluntarily by firms that go beyond regulatory requirements in order to actively support sustainable economic, social and environmental development, and thereby contribute broadly and positively to society. This empirical study examines the role of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of proactive CSR on the association between three specific capabilities- shared vision, stakeholder management and strategic proactivity-and financial performance in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Using quantitative data collected from a sample of 171 Australian SMEs in the machinery and equipment manufacturing sector and employing structural equation modelling, we find that the adoption of practices in each CSR dimension by SMEs is influenced slightly differently by each capability, and affects financial performance differentially. The study also demonstrates the importance of the interaction between the three dimensions of proactive CSR in positively moderating the deployment of each individual CSR dimension to generate financial performance. Paying primary attention to the economic dimension of proactive CSR and selectively focusing on social and environmental elements of proactive CSR that drive and support the economic dimension are of key importance to sustainable long-term financial success for SMEs.
Journal of Business Ethics
Copyright 2012 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Business Ethics, June 2013, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 383-402. Journal of Business Ethics is available online at: http://link.springer.com// with the open URL of your article.
Small Business Management