Political CSR in an SME Perspective: African Perspectives in a European Framework

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    We engage a discussion of political CSR in SMEs in an African context. Based on critical observations on Western MNC action in emerging economies, political economists have argued that business profit far more than society from CSR. In this paper we argue that the imperative for growth in developing economies provide an option to consider the scope and potential of SME engagement for local social development. Interestingly, while African business is not usually compared to nor found to share much similarity with European business practices, our empirical studies of CSR in African SMEs reveal a number of shared characteristics with their European counterparts. Supported by prior studies on European SMEs and our empirical findings from Africa, we conceptualize how CSR in SMEs in both regions first and foremost tends to be strongly focused on the ”proximity factors” of employees and local society. We discuss how the SME propensity to prioritize proximity factors (feelings of importance of nearness) in CSR decision-making in SMEs has different implications in an African than a European context. Future research paths are proposed to explore political CSR in SMEs in a developing economy context
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe 2nd Biennial African Academy of Management Conference. AFAM 2013 - University of Botswana , Gabarone, Botswana
    Duration: 8 Jan 201411 Jan 2014
    Conference number: 2


    ConferenceThe 2nd Biennial African Academy of Management Conference. AFAM 2013
    LocationUniversity of Botswana
    Internet address

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