Small Business Social Responsibility: Expanding Core CSR Theory

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This article seeks to expand business and society research in a number of ways. Its primary purpose is to redraw two core corporate social responsibility (CSR) theories (stakeholder theory and Carroll’s CSR pyramid), enhancing their relevance for small business. This redrawing is done by the application of the ethic of care, informed by the value of feminist perspectives and the extant empirical research on small business social responsibility. It is proposed that the expanded versions of core theory have wider relevance, value, and implications beyond the small firm context. The theorization of small business social responsibility enables engagement with the mainstream of CSR research as well as making a contribution to small business studies in scholarly, policy, and practice terms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23–55
Number of pages33
JournalBusiness and Society
Issue number1
Early online date25 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Ethic of Care
  • stakeholder theory
  • feminist ethics
  • Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Pyramid of CSR

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