Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 26, 2015

Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Annual Meeting

Rajat Panwar, Erlend Nybakk, Jonatan Pinkse, Eric Hansen
Pages 99-111

Competitive Strategies and Small Firms’ Social Responsibilities

The literature has long addressed the question if corporate social responsibility (CSR) can help a firm differentiate from competition and reduce its costs of doing business, ultimately leading to a sustainable competitive advantage. These two possible CSR outcomes, differentiation and cost leadership, also represent the two paths that firms could take in their strategic pursuits. Despite this apparent synergy between a firm’s strategic path and CSR, previous studies have not explored whether firm strategic choices have a bearing upon their level of CSR engagement. The present paper examines that question in the context of small US manufacturing firms.