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Perceptions of corporate social responsibility amongst immigrant entrepreneurs

journal contribution
posted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Fara AzmatFara Azmat, Ambika Zutshi
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the understanding of the term corporate social responsibility (CSR) by Sri Lankan immigrant entrepreneurs in Australia. It also seeks to investigate the importance the entrepreneurs place on CSR, their understanding of stakeholders, the types of CSR activities undertaken by them, and the issue of social capital.

Design/methodology/approach –
Data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews with Sri Lankan entrepreneurs based in Victoria, Australia.

Findings – The interviewees were aware of the term CSR but, nevertheless, had different interpretations of its meaning. However, CSR was considered important and all the interviewees were, in some way, involved in CSR activities and also had a good understanding of the importance of their stakeholders. Findings also highlighted the significance attached to social capital by the entrepreneurs such as informal relationships and trustworthiness which build the intangible attributes of CSR. The present findings can be attributed to immigrant entrepreneurs behaving partly to adapt to the host country, by changing their beliefs, values, traditions and partly by being influenced by their home country culture as found in the extended part of this current study.

Research limitations/implications –
This paper addresses gaps in the fields of both CSR and immigrant entrepreneurship literature. However, the small sample size is a limitation and further research is required in order to generalize the findings.

Originality/value –
It is important to have an understanding of the interpretation of social responsibility amongst immigrant entrepreneurs. Despite the steadily growing number of Sri Lankan immigrant entrepreneurs and their potential impact on the Victorian and Australian socio-economic context, this area remains under-researched. This paper addresses this gap in the literature and makes an attempt to provide insight into this area that can be used as a catalyst for future research.



Social responsibility journal






63 - 76


Emerald Group Publishing


Bingley, England








Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited