Corporate Responsibility: Different for Large and Small Firms?

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Corporate Responsibility: Different for Large and Small Firms?
EJ Amankwaa, Member
There is an ongoing debate:

"Should small companies be equally held responsible as conglomerates, in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Why or why not?"

⇒ What would be your position?

CSR for Small Companies: How Small is Small?
Bernhard Keim, Premium Member
IMHO also in small firms some kind of responsibility is welcomed. But it's different. Small companies (up to 100 employees) are normally driven by an owner who knows everyone and is known by everybody. The relationship between him and his employees is far more familiar, less formal and more natural. People can expect to be treated fairly.
The CSR of big companies works differently. It's formalised, bureaucratic and hardly affordable for small companies.

Corporate Responsibility: Different for Large and Small Firms
Graham Williams, Member
Clearly, the larger the organisation, the larger it's geographic reach and ability to upscale and size of available spend and impact are likely to be (all other things being equal).
Irrespective of size, all companies and organisations (including NGOs, Parastatals, SOEs, Public and Private sectors) have an equal responsibility to act as good citizens and care for the economy, society and environment. This means developing the right values, purposes, mindsets; employing right tools such as integrated thinking relative to all capitals.
A primary driver of this standpoint is the nature and magnitude of the problems we are facing together.

CSR: Society First at Different Levels
Teun Wolters, Member
CSR is highly contextual. Both large and small companies have their stronger and weaker points, equally in the area of CSR.
We're moving from shared value to society first (given the disappointing results of CSR and sustainability strategies so far).
That will work out differently for each type of firm. SMEs could be strong in community-based sustainability programs. MNEs can lead in their international supplies chains, achieving sound and circularly produced products, which will also involve many SMEs.

CSR is Not about Company Size but is Personal
Greg Johnson, Member
It is easy to use the scapegoat of size in managing the standard CSR edict. However, the impact on the individual; the community; the economy; society and the environment becomes very personal quickly, which negates the broad brush corporate statement or scapegoat. It becomes individualized and individuals personalize the transaction of service between a company and themselves, their community and more.
So, size does not determine the relative value of CSR. CSR is personal and should be evaluated accordingly.

CSR is Essential Notwithstanding Company Size
isaiah maisiba, Member
CSR is a way of appreciating the society where we do business. The society provides us with raw materials, workers/labour, natural resources like water, and infrustructure. The business should in turn pay back a small token for the depletion of the resources, depreciation of assets like roads and pollution that pose health issues to the community. CSR should also commensurate to the support we draw from the community. Society provides a market for our goods/services and indeed we draw our existence from the society.
The governments provides the infrastructure, hence we are to pay taxes, even if we sometimes also enjoy subsidies.
As payback/CSR, the firm needs to provide goods and services at subsidized rates at the company gate, employ the local citizenry even in menial jobs, support education, health, gender parity, sports, housing, refill extraction depressions, share portion of the revenues via scholarships, give discounts and respond to humanitarian calls. Building social capital by meeting societal needs means sustainable trading.

Corporations Only Reflect the People
Tim Dibble, Member
There is no such thing as a corporation as an entity to have responsibility. Corporations are only assemblages of people and the corporation's social responsibility only reflects that of the people.
Like children, small businesses are learning the ropes, focused solely on walking such that many other things are ignored, not included or waived until they master the walking parts.
As they get larger (older), the largest enforcement entity (Government as Parentis in loco) forces them to grow up, to take on adult (large corporation) roles i.e. taking care of its people, its social and environmental requirements.
Some precocious children learn quickly and take on new challenges much earlier than others, some need to learn at school or by hard knocks.

CSR for Quality of Experience
srinivas, Member
Irrespective of the size of an organisation, if CSR is part of its delivery mechanism then the people working in will have an enriched quality of experience.
I suppose maybe the degree of contribution from a small to a big organisation is different.

CSR has to be Part of the Organization's Values, Strategy and Practices
Hangi Bashir, Member
Small is not defined in this discussion, so I am at a risk of imagining how small.
That notwithstanding, companies undertake CSR not because of their size, but rather because of the values they cherish.
Companies have an impact on the communities in which they operate, although the impact varies depending on the size of the company and nature of its business.
It goes without saying that regardless of the size, companies should undertake CSR, of course in such a way that it fits within the company's abilities.
The desire to be a good corporate citizen should be backed by the ability to undertake activities that lead to being so, without compromising the company's operations. CSR should be integrated in the company's strategic planning so that it becomes part of the business.

CSR Can Be Strategic
Helen Strong, Member
Totally agree that CSR depends on people. It is about having values and respect for human beings, wild life and the environment. Companies of all sizes have a responsibility to protect the planet by using sustainable production methods. Also bound by values to look after humanity.

BUT there is nothing which says CSR cannot contribute to strategic objectives. It makes sense for companies to find causes which are aligned to the values of their target markets... And then to implement programmes that will 'do good' whilst attracting a better market share.
Employees will be happy because charity begins within their back-yard -- beneficiaries of CSR are happier because someone cares. And the company can look forward to better results.

There is no Difference Between Sizes of Company in CSR
Hwang, Member
The main idea behind CSR is equal for any company: They have to try to improve their company and society too.

CSR is Paramount for Big and Small Firms
Elizabeth Mwangi, Member
No matter the size of the firm, CSR is important to the firm's capability. Any organization should take CSR as an opportunity to ensure that the surrounding and community around it benefits from it in one way or another, even if only a little. Any organization should let the community feel its presence and appreciate it. 12-6-2018


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