Corporate social responsibility of small businesses: a developing country perspective
Azmat, Fara and Coghill, K. 2005, Corporate social responsibility of small businesses: a developing country perspective, in Integrated governance : linking up government, business and civil society : proceedings, Monash University, Caulfield East, Vic., pp. 1-8.
Conference on Integrated Governance : Linking up Government, Business and Civil Society
Place of publication
Caulfield East, Vic.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as an important concept for developing countries in recent years. This paper investigates the issues of CSR relating to small businesses that have emerged as a result of market-based reforms in developing countries, where the compliance of voluntary standards, code of conduct and regulations are limited. The paper argues that prevalence of corruption, lack of rule based governance, resource constraints for effective capacity building on the part of the state and lack of awareness have created a weak and unethical corporate culture leading to low levels of CSR in developing countries. Using Bangladesh agriculture sector as an exemplar, this paper investigates how small businesses trading in agricultural inputs with no brand capital and low public visibility are behaving in a socially irresponsible way, in an environment of inadequate regulatory sanctions and compliance by selling contaminated inputs to farmers who are mostly poor and not even aware of their rights. The low levels of CSR is undermining and also threatening the sustainability of the positive impact of the market-based reforms undertaken in this sector. The paper proposes that integrated governance linking state, private sector and civil society can promote good governance and better CSR relating to small businesses .
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