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Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Management

Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Management

A Diversity Perspective

Edited by Mine Karataş-Ozkan, Katerina Nicolopoulou and Mustafa F Özbilgin

This innovative book analyses the intersection between the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resource Management (HRM), with a focus on diversity management. The book presents the scope of institutional engagements with CSR and diversity policies in a range of organisations and organisational networks.

Chapter 10: You look for diversity management, you find CSR: practices aligning business goals and minorities’ needs in Flemish SMEs

Hannah Vermaut and Patricia Zanoni

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, human resource management, organisation studies


Although small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99 per cent of all enterprises in the EU and account for 66 per cent of total employment in the EU private sector (European Commission, 2003), surprisingly little is known about how they manage an increasingly diverse personnel (for exceptions, see Woodhams and Lupton, 2006; Kirton and Read, 2007; Kitching, 2006). The diversity management literature has to date largely focused on formal, designated human resource (HR) practices implemented in large organizations: diversity task forces, the screening of HR procedures to remove bias, diversity training, and networking and mentoring (Cox and Blake, 1991; Kandola and Fullerton, 1998; Kossek and Lobel, 1996). Yet these practices are arguably less suited for SMEs. Due to their relatively limited HR expertise and financial means, these latter are likely to manage their personnel informally and, more generally, less likely to adopt practices whose effects on business results are only indirect (Cardon and Stevens, 2004; Marlow, 1997). In this chapter, we examine management practices used by SMEs to employ an ethnically diverse personnel. Drawing on a multiple case study, we investigate the practices of five Flemish SMEs employing a substantial share of ethnic minorities – between 29 per cent and 64 per cent of their personnel belong to ethnic minorities.

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