ESTT members contributed to the British Academy of Management (BAM) Annual Conference ‘in the cloud’ with the paper “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ Adoption of CSR Standards and Guidelines: An Exploration of specific Drivers in Austrian Firms” The abstract is as follows:
In this study, we investigate to which extent small and medium-sized enterpriseses (SMEs) are aware of and implement institutionalized CSR guidelines and standards, and how this interacts with firm-specific corporate social responsibilty (CSR) practices. To answer our research question, we conducted an online-based survey among 5,229 Austrian-based SMEs. In total, 343 valid questionnaires were obtained, yielding a response rate of 6.5%. We found that firms which score high in the CSR practices “Alliancing”, “Disclosure”, “Ecology” and “Adaption” tend to be more aware of and to implement established institutionalized guidelines and standards for CSR, such as the UN Global Compact, ISO 26000 and EMAS. Also, the results show that roughly two thirds of the surveyed companies are not aware of the existence of established guidelines and standards. In our paper, we discuss in more detail whether institutional standards and guidelines need to be (re-) designed in ways that are more appropriate for the SME sector.