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 18: Case study: human capital and environmental engagement of SMEs in Pakistan – a comparative analysis of the leather industry

Aqueel I. Wahga, Richard K. Blundel and Anja Schaefer


As part of a broader effort to reduce environmental degradation, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the world are increasingly being required by different stakeholders to adopt more environmentally responsible business practices. While there is some research on what motivates SMEs to adopt environmental practices, our understanding of what enables SMEs to engage with environmental issues remains much more limited. Even less is known about motivations and enablers of SME environmental engagement in developing economies. The chapter addresses this gap by exploring the influence of human capital on environmental engagement of SMEs in Pakistan’s leatherworking industry. We found that human capital influences environmental practices in such SMEs in the form of both formal education and informal environmental learning. Environmental interventions by industry associations and other agents, such as chemical suppliers, as well as SMEs’ participation in environmental networks also had an impact on their environmental engagement. Well-designed and executed interventions by third parties have the potential to promote large scale improvements in environmental performance of this industry sector. Furthermore, awareness programmes should aim not simply to educate entrepreneurs and employees, but also to inspire them to pursue environmental opportunities.

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