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The effect of supply chain drivers on SMEs motivation to engage with CSR activities: a psychological perspective

The effect of supply chain drivers on SMEs motivation to engage with CSR activities: a psychological perspective
The effect of supply chain drivers on SMEs motivation to engage with CSR activities: a psychological perspective
Those parties involved in promoting the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda to SMEs are interested in the potential of supply chain drivers as an incentive to participate. Most SMEs have been affected by the inclusion of CSR criteria into procurement strategies (DTI et al., 2002), however qualitative research appeared to indicate this supply chain pressure might be counter-productive "a number of smaller businesses in the group discussions expressed concern about this pressure, seeing it as reducing the fun and fulfilling aspect of engagement and encouraging more bureaucracy at a cost of greater impact. There was real concern that this would put off other businesses." (DTI et al., 2002, p.16.).

Our research aimed to explore the attitudes of SME owner/managers towards supply chain pressure to engage in CSR, in particular the extent to which such external pressures may undermine internal drivers towards engagement with CSR which may be based on owner/managers' values. Based on insights gained from interviews with 25 owner/managers, an online questionnaire was constructed and distributed to SMEs throughout the South of England. In all, 103 responses were received from across a wide range of sectors.

The results indicate that although most respondents stated that they would be happy to comply with environmental (82%) and social criteria (55%) set by purchasers in large organisations, the concerns raised in the above DTI report have some foundation. A quarter of respondents in our survey indicated that they would be put off tendering by extra criteria and a minority (12%) thought that inclusion of such criteria would be counter-productive. Results confirmed that there is a danger of a "ceiling effect" as when asked whether imposed standards would set a lower level of responsible behaviour than they would set for themselves, 33% said they would, with only 25% disagreeing. Comments indicated a dislike of bureaucracy and a preference for voluntary engagement in CSR activities.
Baden, D.
daad83b9-c537-4d3c-bab6-548b841f23b5
Harwood, I.A.
8f945742-3e33-445e-9665-0f613f35fc5b
Woodward, D.
2033180f-0bcd-45e7-91dd-92b673e2ae72
Baden, D.
daad83b9-c537-4d3c-bab6-548b841f23b5
Harwood, I.A.
8f945742-3e33-445e-9665-0f613f35fc5b
Woodward, D.
2033180f-0bcd-45e7-91dd-92b673e2ae72

Baden, D., Harwood, I.A. and Woodward, D. (2008) The effect of supply chain drivers on SMEs motivation to engage with CSR activities: a psychological perspective. AIB-UK & Ireland Chapter Conference (AIB-UKI), United Kingdom. 28 - 29 Mar 2008.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Those parties involved in promoting the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda to SMEs are interested in the potential of supply chain drivers as an incentive to participate. Most SMEs have been affected by the inclusion of CSR criteria into procurement strategies (DTI et al., 2002), however qualitative research appeared to indicate this supply chain pressure might be counter-productive "a number of smaller businesses in the group discussions expressed concern about this pressure, seeing it as reducing the fun and fulfilling aspect of engagement and encouraging more bureaucracy at a cost of greater impact. There was real concern that this would put off other businesses." (DTI et al., 2002, p.16.).

Our research aimed to explore the attitudes of SME owner/managers towards supply chain pressure to engage in CSR, in particular the extent to which such external pressures may undermine internal drivers towards engagement with CSR which may be based on owner/managers' values. Based on insights gained from interviews with 25 owner/managers, an online questionnaire was constructed and distributed to SMEs throughout the South of England. In all, 103 responses were received from across a wide range of sectors.

The results indicate that although most respondents stated that they would be happy to comply with environmental (82%) and social criteria (55%) set by purchasers in large organisations, the concerns raised in the above DTI report have some foundation. A quarter of respondents in our survey indicated that they would be put off tendering by extra criteria and a minority (12%) thought that inclusion of such criteria would be counter-productive. Results confirmed that there is a danger of a "ceiling effect" as when asked whether imposed standards would set a lower level of responsible behaviour than they would set for themselves, 33% said they would, with only 25% disagreeing. Comments indicated a dislike of bureaucracy and a preference for voluntary engagement in CSR activities.

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More information

Published date: March 2008
Venue - Dates: AIB-UK & Ireland Chapter Conference (AIB-UKI), United Kingdom, 2008-03-28 - 2008-03-29

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 51677
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/51677
PURE UUID: 9a56e1c8-79ea-47c0-afb6-be6f4d1b8638
ORCID for D. Baden: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2736-4483
ORCID for I.A. Harwood: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8647-2169

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Aug 2008
Last modified: 30 Jul 2019 00:38

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