Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility
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Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility

Global Perspectives

Edited by Laura J. Spence, Jedrzej G. Frynas, Judy N. Muthuri and Jyoti Navare

The vast majority of businesses globally are small. If business is to be socially responsible, we need to go beyond the westernised concept of 'Corporate Social Responsibility', to develop 'Small Business Social Responsibility'. This agenda-setting Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility includes leading research from around the world, including developed and developing country contexts. It provides a foundation for the further development of small business social responsibility as a scholarly subject and crucially important practice and policy field.
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Chapter 14: The tree of knowledge: sustainable management practices for a collaborative ecosystem amongst small to medium enterprises

Heather Stewart and Rod Gapp

Abstract

This chapter provides an understanding of the imbedding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), through continual learning achieved by organizational development processes. Through an interpretivist case study, we investigated the collaborative relationships of 10 Australian organizations. Benefits of these relationships are reflected in improved returns, increased efficiencies, and enhanced stakeholder relationships. From these benefits, improved problem solving, change intervention, and implementation were evidenced, and supported a causal relationship between positive collaboration and mutual learning. The metaphor of a tree, the ‘collaborative ecosystem model’ is used to explain these relationships and the developmental stages explored; from seed to sprouting of the tree is depicted in terms of theory, corresponding action, and behaviours.

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