Examination and Exploration of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Two Immigrant-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Greater Vancouver, Canada

Chen, J
(2019) Examination and Exploration of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Two Immigrant-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Greater Vancouver, Canada. Doctor of Business Administration thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Although CSR has attracted attention from large enterprises, there have not been a lot of research studies focusing on the CSR efforts by small and medium enterprises, let alone those owned by immigrants. In this action research, the author examines and explores CSR efforts by two immigrant-owned small and medium enterprises in Greater Vancouver, Canada. This action research aims to study: (1) SME’s perspectives on CSR, (2) the factors influencing SME’s CSR perspectives, and (3) how SMEs implement CSR. The study reveals that owners and employees of SME’s are aware of CSR, but have varied perspectives due to ambiguous CSR definitions and different backgrounds and experiences. Some unique factors identified which influence SME’s CSR perceptions include a high similarity among SME owners and employees, and the SME owners’ family education in early childhood, life experiences, and personal beliefs. The author follows closely what Coghlan and Brannick (2010) has defined regarding the requirements of action research as guideline for evaluating details of this Action Research. Also, to analyze a huge volume of data collected from dialogues among participants, in this thesis, the thematic analysis had been applied as the method for interpreting data. Using thematic analysis to categorize seemingly unrelated data into different themes the researcher was able to utilize all qualitative data collected from action research and to gain knowledge under each theme (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The two SMEs are in two different industries, tutoring and renovation, which affected the SMEs’ CSR implementation approaches. They served their customers in different ways, namely, educating grade-school students to achieve better academic performance for Company A and helping property owners to renovate and improve their living places for Company B. On the other hand, there were common aspects of their CSR implementations, such as customers, environment, and society. Although seeking higher profits seems to be a good rationale for inducing firms to execute CSR for better customer satisfaction and loyalty, the author found that the SMEs participating in this core action research did not consider profit as a main concern when they made business decisions. The two SMEs have been running since the late 90’s without formal CSR rules. During the action research projects, suitable CSR rules for each firm were created by the author and the participants from the companies collaboratively. In addition, results generated from this core action research are actionable knowledge which can be applied by other SME owners and researchers. Furthermore, the author argues that profits should not be the only objective for businesses since aspects such as corporate reputation and brand equity are also critically important. Firms need to balance all goals from a long-term perspective instead of focusing on short-run profits alone. Therefore, a profit optimization approach, considering all relevant goals, is more appropriate than simply pursuing profit maximization.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Business Administration)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2019 13:51
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:39
DOI: 10.17638/03046758
  • Diamantis, Dimitrios
  • Akbar, Hammad
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3046758