Scholarly article on topic 'Corporate Social Responsibility: A Survey among SMEs in Bergamo'

Corporate Social Responsibility: A Survey among SMEs in Bergamo Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Campopiano Giovanna, De Massis Alfredo, Cassia Lucio

Abstract This study provides some insights on the topic of CSR in small- and medium-sized family vs. non-family firms. Though preliminary, the results emerged from an explorative survey on 19 SMEs show that they are generally unaware of the concept of CSR, do not report their initiatives, but are still engaged in social actions towards their closest stakeholders. Family business owners are especially found to be in charge of social activities towards employees and the local community, e.g. sport clubs, church, and local associations. We discuss this behavior in light of the social capital theory, according to which relationships and the interrelation with environment and communities are relevant for the sustainability of these businesses.

Academic research paper on topic "Corporate Social Responsibility: A Survey among SMEs in Bergamo"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 62 (2012) 325 - 341

WCBEM 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility: A Survey among SMEs in


Campopiano Giovannaa b*, De Massis Alfredoa,b, Cassia Lucioa b

aUniversity of Bergamo, Department of Economics and Management of Technology, Viale G. Marconi 5, Dalmine (BG) 24044, Italy bCYFE - Center for Young and Family Enterprise, Via Salvechhio 19, Bergamo 24129, Italy


This study provides some insights on the topic of CSR in small- and medium-sized family vs. non-family firms. Though preliminary, the results emerged from an explorative survey on 19 SMEs show that they are generally unaware of the concept of CSR, do not report their initiatives, but are still engaged in social actions towards their closest stakeholders. Family business owners are especially found to be in charge of social activities towards employees and the local community, e.g. sport clubs, church, and local associations. We discuss this behavior in light of the social capital theory, according to which relationships and the interrelation with environment and communities are relevant for the sustainability of these businesses.

© 2012Publishedby Elsevier Ltd.Selectionand/orpeerreviewunder responsibilityofProf. Dr.Huseyin Arasli

Keywords:Corporate social responsibility; Small and medium enterprises; Family business; Survey

1. Introduction

The concept of corporate social responsibility means that organizations have moral, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities in addition to their responsibilities to earn a fair return for investors and comply with the law. In other words, CSR requires organizations to adopt a broader view of its responsibilities that involves not only stockholders, but also many other constituencies, including employees, suppliers, customers, the local community, local and national governments and other special interest groups.

Relatively little is known about small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and family businesses that are engaged in social action. Small businesses, however, account for the vast majority of businesses, and families must certainly influence the values that promote community involvement in both family and business (Fitzgerald et al., 2010).

The focus is on SMEs for several reasons. First, small- and medium-sized enterprises count for 99% of all businesses and employ 66% of total workforce in the EU (Observatory of European SMEs, 2003). Second, small firms have a number of specific characteristics, which have an impact on what a small business social responsibility (SBSR) constitutes (Lepoutre & Heene, 2006). In addition, many small businesses deal with clients and employees in the local community; since a good reputation is important to SMEs' competitiveness, they would behave in a socially responsible manner and engage in activities that are aligned with their stakeholders' needs (Besser, 1999; EMSF, 2004; European Commission, 2003b). Finally, empirical research on CSR in small businesses is limited

* Giovanna Campopiano. Tel.: +39-035-205-2047 E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Arasli doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.053

(Thompson & Smith, 1991), and controversial. According to Lepoutre and Heene (2006), in the literature there is, on the one hand, the idea that small businesses are socially responsible by nature; on the other, the presence of barriers, due to smaller firm size, is thought to constrain SMEs' ability to engage in social action. Furthermore, research is limited on how smaller firms adopt the kind of CSR that researchers usually investigate in large companies (Blomback & Wigren, 2009).

Since family firms are especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, the aim of this study is to understand more clearly the nature of corporate social responsibility behaviors in small- and medium-sized family businesses and respond to the rising call (Uhlaner et al., 2004) for more research on how these behaviors compare with those in a matched sample of non-family businesses. As the following section will highlight, there is a very limited number of studies aimed to investigate whether and how small- and medium-sized family businesses are engaged in CSR. This study therefore addresses the following research questions: (i) Are SMEs aware of and committed towards CSR issues?; and (ii) Which are the differences between family and non-family firms in their orientation towards CSR?

2. Literature review

A long debate on the meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) took place in the last decades. A literature review developed by Dalhsrud (2008) shows that 37 different original definitions of CRS literature were developed from 1980s to 2003. Their analysis allows to identify recurrent dimensions; in particular, the most frequently mentioned topics can be classified in five broad dimensions: stakeholder dimension, social dimension, economic dimension, voluntariness dimension and environmental dimension.Wallich and McGowan (1970) present instead a new paradigm with the aim to find a way to reconcile economic and social interests of a company; the authors, facing the question of whether corporations should engage in CSR or not, try to outline a rationale that explains how CSR commitment is not against stockholders' interests.

A good CSR management may create a competitive advantage for the firm, so that CSR is often no longer seen only as a moral responsibility of corporate owners and managers, but as a strategic resource that can be used to improve the performance of the corporation and the value created; at the same time, the meaning and business scope of CSR has progressively broadened, covering almost all types of business activities.

Researchers, who have started to study CSR in smaller-sized enterprises, find empirical results different from those ones valid for large firms, and assert that further investigation is required to improve the understanding and the knowledge of CSR. We therefore provide in the following sections a brief review of the literature on the topic of CSR in small- and medium- sized enterprises, and CSR in family business.

2.1. Corporate social responsibility and small- and medium-sized enterprises

What CSR means for small- and medium-sized enterprises has been little studied. The huge presence of SMEs and their interactions with local communities mean that the social influence of SMEs cannot be ignored. In order to understand the social behavior of SMEs, however, researchers need a new set of theoretical and conceptual tools that can deal with the unique competitive challenges and institutional constraints that SMEs face (Lee, 2008).

SMEs have distinctive characteristics that affect their commitment and approach towards CSR: first, SMEs present heterogeneous size and working structure, from micro enterprises to medium-sized firms; second, there is a strong interrelation with environment and communities; and, third, entrepreneurs pay lot of attention to interpersonal relationships (Murillo & Lozano, 2006). Moreover, they have less formal structures, slacker control systems, less reports on transactions and fewer procedural burdens; what is really important for them is trust, reputation, and long-term view (Fassin, 2008).

SMEs' social and community activities are also informal and fragmentary (Maitland, 2002). In addition, the development of CSR practices in SMEs appear to be linked to the firm leadership (Murillo & Lozano, 2006). Owner-managers are usually sensitive to those activities that have an impact on their direct stakeholders, such as employees, customers and suppliers; SMEs indeed emphasize responsible business practices, because they feel it is the right thing to do and responsible behavior is seen as good management (Fassin, 2008). Extant literature

highlights that SMEs seldom adopt the term "CSR", they are usually unaware of the theme of CSR, and in addition they do not report anything about it. According to SMEs' owner-managers, it is not so important to talk about their social activities, since the actors whom they are directed are aware; moreover, the absence of social reporting does not imply that SMEs do not behave in a responsible way.

SMEs are not little large firms (Russo & Perrini, 2010). What scholars suggested is to change the perspective to understand the CSR approach in SMEs. Previous studies conclude that, while the stakeholder theory is the most apt theoretical lens to investigate CSR in large firms, social capital is the most suitable theoretical framework in SMEs (Murillo & Lozano, 2006; Spence et al., 2003), since CSR is the outcome of the process through which SMEs gather relationships and build their social capital (Russo & Perrini, 2010). Due to SMEs' dependency on the network of interpersonal relationships (Spence et al., 2003), their local involvement (Blomback & Wigren, 2009), their goal of creating value for stakeholders (Ortiz Avram & Kiihne, 2008), and since a sustainable strategy should be based on drivers like networking, trust and legitimacy (Russo & Perrini, 2010), the investment in social capital is key and relevant to SMEs. The creation of social capital is furthermore a source of competitive advantages for them (Ortiz Avram & Kiihne, 2008).

The typically limited human and financial resources that are available to SMEs are, on the contrary, usually acknowledged to be a barrier to their socially responsible behavior (Ortiz Avram & Kiihne, 2008).

2.2. Corporate social responsibility and family business

Scholars have studied the issue of corporate social responsibility in the field of family business only recently. Papers published in the main journals focus on the behavior of family firms toward corporate social responsibility. Deniz and Suarez (2005) in their study find different types of family firms among the Spanish ones, deducting that family firms' behavior is not homogeneous with regard to CSR. However, the authors point to the need of further research on families' characteristics, values and culture especially, as antecedents of the social behavior of the firm. A second contribution is the one by Niehm and colleagues (2008), who explore antecedents and consequences of social responsibility, in order to find out if the firms' CSR orientation contributes to family business performance. In their study they include only demographics as antecedent variables of CSR commitment. A third contribution by Uhlaner et al. (2004) focuses on the perception of the relationships of family firms with their stakeholders and whether these relationships are more likely to occur due to the family aspect of the business: they distinguish between economic stakeholders and social stakeholders, and find that employees, clients and suppliers are the most frequently cited among the economic stakeholders, while sport clubs, church and family members among the social ones.

A different approach is instead adopted when the firm behavior toward social responsibility is studied paying particular attention to the distinction between family and non-family enterprises. Adams et al. (1996) investigate the ethical behavior of family vs. non-family firms, but their results underline no significant differences between the two subsamples. They conclude that researching whether family owned firms are more, less or equally ethical as their non-family counterparts is the wrong question; instead, according to them, research has to focus on the dynamics within the considered firms which may affect their ethical behavior. Finally, an analysis of the S&P 500 sample shows that family and non-family firms do significantly behave in a similar way according to the positive initiatives actively addressed towards workers, society, and environment; nevertheless, family firms are found to be more careful than non-family firms at avoiding social concerns, that is every damage eventually caused to the constituents in society. Indeed, any possible damage to the firm reputation can have a significant negative effect on the family's wealth (Dyer & Whetten, 2006).

Altogether, this literature review shows that the family business field may benefit from the results of a study focused on the analysis of the way firms deal with CSR, as there are strong theoretical and empirical reasons to argue that family involvement in the business may directly and indirectly affect the CSR activities they accomplish.

3. Methodology

Information necessary to answer the research questions was gathered according to the methodology described hereafter. First, we conducted a survey based on a structured data collection tool (please, see the survey questionnaire reported in Appendix for further details),in order to gather information on the following issues: (i) the involvement of family members in the ownership and management of the firm, and their degree of participation in the activities and decisions, as derived from an elaboration of previous studies (Astrachan et al., 2002; Klein et al., 2005); (ii) the awareness of the concept of CSR, the presence of a person or staff dedicated to the management of CSR activities, and the initiatives accomplished to be sustainable and socially responsible within the community in which the firm operates. Second, we chose for this study a sample of SMEs, i.e. firms with less than 250 employees and with less than 50 million Euros of total revenues(European Commission, 2003 a), located in the Bergamo area. We sent via e-mail the link to compile the questionnaire online, through the Google Docs survey instrument, and after two sessions of e-mailing and a recalling we collected complete information from 19 companies. The companies breakdown, according to their size is as follows: 5 (26,3%) are micro enterprises, 9 (47,4%) are small enterprises with the number of employees between 10 and 50, and 5(26,3%) are medium-sized enterprises. In addition we provide in Table 1 further descriptive information, gathered from secondary sources, related to the size and industry of the sampled firms.

Insert Table 1 about here

Third, we investigated through the collected questionnaires whether ownership and management structure (family status) affects the extent and importance of CSR among the studied SMEs. Finally, we checked for the reliability of our questions with the Cronbach's alpha, a measure of the internal consistency of test scores (Cronbach, 1951), that is quite low (a = 0.63) with reference to the questions related to the involvement of the family, while it may be considered good (a = 0.85) as regards the questions concerning the CSR issues.

4. Findings

The sample of this study is composed of 12 (63%) family firms and 7 non-family firms, as emerged from the first part of the questionnaire. 8 out of these 12 family firms are totally owned by the family, while on average the equity shares in the hands of the owning family equals 85%. It is also interesting that in 7 cases the owning family is in its first generation, in 4 cases it is the second generation to own the family, while only one company has members at the helm from both the first and second generation. Different is the situation as regards the management of these family firms: in 4 cases managers are exclusively from the first generation, in 6 cases managers are only from the second generation, while in 2 cases managers are from both the first and the second generation. Finally, among these family firms, it is also worth noting that in 9 out of 12 cases the respondent is a family member, and in particular in 5 cases a TMT member, in 1 case a specialized employee in charge also of the CSR activities, and in the last 3 cases a generic employee.

As regards the section of the questionnaire related to the commitment of the sampled firms to CSR, most of the companies do not know the formal definition of CSR, thus demonstrating that the topic is not common among SMEs; moreover, it emerges that there are not differences between family and non-family firms in the awareness of the concept of CSR. It may be important to consider that there is not even a firm in our sample that has afunctionor staff dedicated to manage CSR activities. There is only a case, a small family business, that turns to an external consultant, specialized in safety, health and hygiene at work. In general, it is likely that the CEO or the owners are in charge of the CSR activities accomplished by their firms, since it is they that have mainly answered to our survey.

A number of insights may be deducted from the rest of the questionnaire. Issues related to the adoption of good practices towards employees are considered as really important to the respondents of our survey. 58% of the

sampled firms adopt flexible hours, and this percentage raises to 68% when we consider only family firms. Even periodic meetings to show results and strategies are very frequent in order to communicate with continuity with employees; finally, training courses, beyond legal requirements, are proposed in half of the sampled firm, and the propensity to offer these courses is even higher in the sole sample of family firms.

Suppliers, customers, and the surrounding community are the external recipients of the social activities of the firms. In particular, in the questionnaire, we ask whether the firms adopt some socially responsible evaluation criteria to select their suppliers in order to verify the fairness of the suppliers' processes. It emerges that firms require quality certifications from their suppliers in about 30% of the cases, and this percentage becomes 42% when we take into consideration only family firms. As regards their customers, it does not emerge any interesting socially responsible practice, since most of the sampled firms sell directly to retail customers; what is worth noting is the adoption of instruments to collect information regarding customer satisfaction by 42% of the sampled firms. Donations to religious or parish activities, amateur sport and social initiatives with a direct impact on the territory are the most frequent practices accomplished towards the community, as reported by 68% of the sampled firms.

Finally, similarly to the case of the awareness of the concept of CSR, the knowledge of the formal instruments to communicate CSR activities is scarce. It emerges that SMEs in our sample do not usually report their CSR practices, though they accomplish them. We find in fact a high commitment, especially as regards energy consumption reduction, water waste reduction, and packaging reduction; furthermore, a higher proportion of family firms is found to accomplish these socially responsible practices.

5. Discussion

We review these results in light of the literature contributions previously provided. This pilot study highlights that SMEs usually do not adopt the language of CSR and find as unfamiliar concepts that we are used to consider for large-sized enterprises. This is consistent with those studies on SMEs showing that the awareness of CSR is lacking (Jenkins, 2006; Murillo & Lozano, 2006). This is also related to the dearth of knowledge and adoption of reports disclosing the CSR commitment of these firms: our results, though preliminary, are consistent with the findings of past studies asserting that SMEs do not communicate their CSR activities (Murillo & Lozano, 2006), since they are not interested (Tanzler et al., 2010) or they lack the resources needed (Ortiz Avram & Kunhe, 2008) to formalize the practices they accomplish. It is however evident that, even if not reported, firms in our sample are committed towards CSR, so that we can agree with scholars who underline that the absence of social reporting does not necessarily imply that SMEs are not engaged in social action (Fassin, 2008).

We find a high proportion of sampled firms prone to invest in their employees. This is even exacerbated if looking at family firms: employees may be in most cases considered as an extension of the family (Uhlaner et al., 2004), worthy of trust, and more participatory (Deniz & Suarez, 2005). Due to their long-term orientation (Le Breton-Miller & Miller, 2006), family firms have some advantages in developing social capital between the family and employees, since they typically can nurture long-standing relationships across generations, and employees may be more likely to develop personal attachments to a family that owns and operates a business, rather than to an impersonal firm (Dyer, 2006).

As regards the external stakeholders, the sampled SMEs show a propensity to invest in socially responsibility actions, thus demonstrating a high interrelation with the surrounding environment and communities(Murillo & Lozano, 2006) and a high sensitivity to activities related to their immediate stakeholders (Fassin, 2008; Lepoutre & Heene, 2006; Spence, 2000). This emerges especially for family firms, whose owners consider good relationships with proximate stakeholders as strategic for their business (Uhlaner et al., 2004). In addition, most family firms live, work and operate within a community (Niehm et al., 2008) and are thus more prone to develop commitment and provide support to the community through enduring relationships, so that they can accumulate social capital, considered as "a set of community resources" (Fitzgerald et al., 2010). Furthermore, our results show that high attention is paid to philanthropic activities towards, for example, church and amateur sport clubs, and are thus consistent with those ones found by Uhlaner et al. (2004), explaining that the family nature of the business effectively affects those stakeholders most closely tied to the daily activities of the business and/or the family.

Finally, the study reveals that most questionnaires were filled in by the CEOs or owners of the firm. According to Murillo and Lozano (2006), the development of CSR in SMEs is usually linked to the firm leadership. There are several reasons to understand this. Of course, especially in family firms, owners are the most concerned about the image and reputation of their business (Dyer & Whetten, 2006); they are usually willing to preserve family social capital through time, since it is not only a goodwill among family members, but also between the owning family and the community (Danes et al., 2008; Fitzgerald et al., 2010). Family values and attitudes are antecedents of corporate engagement in social action within the community, and the owners are those who care to transfer and develop the family business culture in order to foster CSR activities(Fitzgerald et al., 2010).

6. Conclusions, Implications, and Limitations

The preliminary results obtained from the pilot study raise some interesting points. The research study allowed us to collect information on both the family involvement of the sampled firms and the engagement in corporate social responsibility. Small- and medium-sized family firms appear to be really tied to the surrounding community and pay special attention to their proximate stakeholders. We find that most firms in our sample invest in creating good working conditions for their employees, so that the business may in some cases be considered an "extended family" (Uhlaner et al., 2004). These firms, due to their small size, appear to be really embedded in their social context, and thus committed to support the community through philanthropic practices. Unlike large companies, firms in our sample often do not know the concept of CSR, do not adopt formal tools to accomplish CSR activities, and are not used to officially report dire the activities undertaken in CSR. They do not usually have a person or staff dedicated to these activities; on the contrary, the firm owners are typically responsible for such initiatives. They consider interrelation with networks and community as highly important, and thus really care about internal and external relationships. CSR may be a means to gather and maintain these contacts, as they constitute a relevant part of their social capital (Russo & Perrini, 2010). In addition, family firms are characterized by long-term orientation, that may positively affect and explain their higher care towards their stakeholders (Block & Wagner, 2010), with respect to their non-family counterparts, since enduring relationships and interrelations are fundamental to be sustainable over time.

However, further research is needed on the recent and complex topic at the intersection of the corporate social responsibility and family business disciplines. Since family firms are ubiquitous throughout the world, it would be interesting to gain more fine-grained understanding of the drivers of their socially responsible behavior. As they take care about the building of family social capital and to maintain it through time, an avenue for future research may deal with the process of transferring values and culture through generations. In addition, it may be worth investigating whether and how transgenerational businesses are interested in and able to accomplish CSR activities with continuity. Moreover, since the accumulation of social capital is relevant to all SMEs, it is interesting to understand to what extent family businesses' characteristics affect their commitment to CSR.

We think that this exploratory study may nevertheless provide implications for theory and practice. Researchers may benefit from the focus of this study on SMEs to better understand the characteristics of their behavior in the field of CSR, so far less investigated with respect to large companies (Jenkins, 2006).

From our survey, it emerges that SMEs do not adopt formal tools to accomplish CSR activities, do not report what they realize, are engaged in social action as long as the firm owners care, and build strong relationships with the surrounding community. Policy makers have to take into account this behavior and design different tools from the more formalized and established ones used by large companies, considering especially that avoiding to report CSR does not necessarily mean avoiding to accomplish social practices.

This study suffers from a number of limitations. First, the firms that take part in this preliminary study are very limited in number and we cannot thus consider our results as conclusive. An extensive study with a higher number of respondents may provide more insights to better discuss the CSR behavior of small- and medium-sized family firms. Second, our questionnaire is very rich in details, but it may be considered too long by those firms that have not enough resources to carry out this time-consuming activity; probably a shorter form may be easily filled in by more firms. Third, the questionnaire includes many different kinds of questions, from open-ended questions, to dichotomous choice questions, and to Likert scales. A more homogeneous questionnaire with respect to the kind of questions, for example by adopting only Likert scales, may enhance the reliability of the survey and allow a

quantitative analysis based on the collected results. Finally, we have not controlled for the industry in which the firm operates, while industry may affect the extent to which firms engage in CSR.

7. Tables

Table 1. Descriptive information of the sampled firms

Firm Employees Revenues (2010) Industry SIC code

Artadi Grassi Roberto & C snc 5 € 695 488 Household furniture 2510

Agrati AEE 22 €4 668 520 Special industry machinery 3559

Eurolaser spa 38 € 3 145 265 Metalworking machinery and equipment 3540

F.I.V. Fabbrica Italiana Velocipedi Edoardi Bianchi 66 €37 414 761 Motorcycles, bicycles and parts 3751

Grifal spa 56 €9 130 959 Paperboard containers and boxes 2652

Imballaggi S. Felice srl 39 € 11 025 281 Paperboard containers and boxes 2652

Italmodel di Guarneri Antonio & C snc 4 € 577 238 Miscellaneous fabricated metal products 3499

Lattoneria Frassi di Frassi Fabio 17 €4 010 640 Construction 1743

LTF spa 102 € 16 148 293 Industrial instruments for measurement, display, and control 3823

Milani Meccanica di Precisione di Danilo Milani & C snc 4 €355 727 Miscellaneous fabricated metal products 3499

Moro Aratri srl 20 €4 007 422 Farm machinery and equipment 3523

Nastrotex-Cufra spa 50 € 6 145 440 Textile mill products 2299

Nicro spa 27 €6 195 429 Miscellaneous fabricated metal products 3499

Salumificio Pizzetti Aldo srl 26 € 9 624 742 Meat packing plants 2011

Saver srl 4 € 760 204 Miscellaneous primary metal products 3398

Sedile ACB srl 16 € 1 592 105 Lumber and wood products (no furniture) 2499

Soliveri srl 52 € 4 667 775 Miscellaneous primary metal products 3398

Vipiemme solar srl 23 € 33 078 649 Electrical industrial apparatus 3625

Vittoria spa 30 € 16 686 070 Fabricated rubber products 3069


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Family: defined as a group of persons that includes both offspring of a couple and adopted sons and daughters.

Ownership: defined as the ownership of equity shares of the company

The founder generation has to be considered as the first generation

Active family members are those who substantially contribute to the company activities. They may cover official positions in the firm, for

example shareholders, directors, or employees.


1. Indicate equity shares owned by family and non-family shareholders:

a) Family __%

b) Non-family

2. How many family members take actively part in the company's activities? ___members

a) How many family members are managers? ___managers

b) How many family members have responsibility positions? __directors

c) How many family members are employees? __employees

3. How many family members do not participate actively in firm's activities, but

have an interest in it? ---members

4. Which is your role/function in the firm? -----

5. Which is the generation actually at the helm? __generation

6. Which generation(s) manages the firm? generation

7. Which is your parental status within the firm? (with respect to the ownership)

DEGREE OF FAMILY PARTICIPATION Put an 'X' according to your degree of agreement/disagreement:

1. Would you agree whether a family member Agree Disagree

would be the future CEO of the firm? Y N

2. Family members feel "loyal" towards their Strongly disagree Strongly agree firm 1................2................3................4................5

3. Family and business may boast similar Strongly disagree Strongly agree values 1................2................3................4................5

4. Family members publicly support the firm's Strongly disagree Strongly agree activities 1................2................3................4................5

5. Family members are proud to be part of the Strongly disagree Strongly agree business 1................2................3................4................5

6. Family members agree on goals, future Strongly disagree Strongly agree plans, and corporate policies 1................2................3................4................5

7. Family members are really interested in the Strongly disagree Strongly agree fate of the business 1................2................3................4................5

Family members are willing to contribute Strongly disagree Strongly agree with extraordinary efforts for the firm 1................2................3................4................5


1. Corporate Social Responsibility: defined as the integration on a voluntariness basis of the social and environmental issues in the firms' operations and in their relationships with stakeholders (European

Commission, 2001).

Agree Disagree

a) Did you know the definition of CSR? Y N

Agree Disagree

b) Does a dedicated person or staff is in charge of CSR initiatives? Y N

c) If it does not exist, how the firm takes care about CSR? Specify:____

Agree Disagree

d) Is a family member in charge of CSR activities? Y N


Mark with an 'X' where the firm operates:

1. Relationships with employees:

a) Flexible working hours

b) Possibility of expectation at work

c) Nursery

d) Canteen

e) Soft loans

f) Additional healthcare

g) Trips and events

h) Integral time motherhood

i) Other (please specify)

2. Communication with employees:

a) Box of ideas

b) Intranet

c) Satisfaction survey

d) Business newspaper

e) Periodic meetings to show results _

f) Periodic meetings to show strategies _

3. Involvement of employees:

a) Volunteer with time schedule chosen by workers _

b) Volunteer with time schedule chosen by the firm _________

c) Fundraising as a percentage of salary _

4. Training:

a) Hours of training per-capita _hours

b) % of involved employees _%

5. Formalization of strategies to ensure equal opportunities:

a) Formalized _

b) Not formalized _

6. Support to women's work:

a) Flexible working hours _

b) Nursery _

c) Job sharing _

d) Suspension of career _

7. Integration services for non-EU personnel:

a) Italian course _

b) Specific training courses _

c) Help in finding a house _

d) Other _

8. Hire detainees, internees and disabled

a) Disabled _

b) Detainees or internees _

c) Knowledge of tax credit for hiring of detainees or internees _


1. Is it required to suppliers social correctness in the production process? Agree Disagree

2. Mark with an 'X' where your firm verify the following requirements for their suppliers:

a) Self-certification _

b) Quality certification (ISO/VISION) _

c) Product/service quality certification _

d) Certification of proper waste disposal _

e) Code of ethics _

f) Certification SA8000 _

g) Other _

3. Issues of direct verification of suppliers:

a) Exclusion of child labor

b) Exclusion of forced labor

c) Safeguard health and safety at work

d) Safeguarding freedom of association

e) Absence of discrimination

f) No corporal punishment, mental and verbal abuse

g) Regular working time

h) Salary in accordance with legal or industry minimum wage

4. Purchase of social goods and services:

a) Introduction of the disadvantaged in the labor market

b) Socially responsible production

c) Fair trade

d) Other


1. Request for declaration / proof of correctness of the social processes of Agree Disagree


2. Social investments in commercial:

a) Advertisement messages containing the social value ___

b) Cause related marketing ___

c) Other ___

3. Type of declaration / proof of social correctness of the customers:

a) Self-certification ____

a) Quality certification (ISO/VISION) ____

c) Product/service quality certification ____

d) Certification of proper waste disposal ____

e) Code of ethics ____

f) Certification SA8000 ____

g) Other ____

4. Surveys of customer satisfaction:

a) Regular surveys ____

b) Occasional surveys ____

5. Sustainable product lines:

a) Environmental value __

b) Dedicated to the disadvantaged __


1. Have been made donations in recent years?

2. Donations and conditions of delivery:

a) Net income

b) Funds of the corporate foundation

c) Dividends

d) Other

3. Criteria of donations (mark with an 'X' fields where the company operates):

Not directed at Specific areas /

specific industries initiatives

Agree Disagree

a) Una tantum

b) Ongoing _ _

4. Areas of the donations:

Regularly Sometimes

a) Education _ _

b) Scientific research _ _

c) University _ _

d) Health care _ _

e) Social interventions in the territory _ _

f) Interventions of international cooperation _ _

g) Entertainment, restorations and exhibitions _ _

h) Amateur sport _ _

i) Religious activities _ _

5. Motivations:

a) Education

b) Scientific research

c) University

d) Health care

e) Social interventions in the territory

f) Interventions of international cooperation

g) Entertainment, restorations and exhibitions

h) Amateur sport

i) Religious activities

6. Forms of stable collaboration between the organization and the university:

a) None

b) Grants

c) Research funding

d) Internships

e) Sponsorship of courses and events

f) Other

Philanthropy Beware of the Other

image return motivations (specify)

7. Criteria for determining the amount:

a) Fixed amount ___

b) Related to the quality of projects ___

c) Net income __%

8. Supply of goods and services free of charge for social activity:

a) Plant and equipment _

b) Own products for free _

c) Own discounted products _

d) Staff time to accomplish special projects _________

9. People responsible for decisions:

a) Boards of Trustees _

b) Shareholders _

c) Board of Directors _

d) CEO _

e) Family members _

f) Staff responsible for relations with the community _


1. Mark with an 'X' whether you know, adopt and the year of adoption of one or more of the following certificates in the field of CSR instruments(each instrument is defined below):

Knowledge Adoption Year of adoption

a) Environmental report ____________

b) EMAS ____________

c) Social report ____________

d) Accountability 1000 ____________

e) SA 8000 ____________

f) Italian project CSR-SC ____________

g) Product labels ____________

h) Benchmarking (*) ____________

(*) Identify the types of benchmarking you adopt:

1. Internal

2. Industrial

3. Competitive

4. Best in class

2. Whether previous instruments were not adopted, indicate other practices:

a) Environmental management programs

b) Reducing energy consumption

c) Development of alternative energy

d) Reduction in water consumption

e) Reducing consumption of raw materials

f) Recyclable packaging of various products

g) Reducing emissions beyond the legal obligations

h) Waste treatment and disposal beyond legal obligations

i) Reducing noise beyond legal requirements j) Reduction of transports

k) Other


1. Mark with an 'X' the degree of relevance of the following CSR practices:

a) Promotion of collaborative relationships with workers

b) Major attraction of skilled resources

c) Improved relationships with funders

d) Loyalty of customers / end user

e) Suggestions by the client companies

f) Improving relations with the community

g) Pressures from associations and P.A.

h) Improved economic performance

i) Improved reputation with NGOs

j) Decreased risk of scandals and crises

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1................2................3................4................5

Barriers to the introduction of CSR:

a) Lack of awareness of the management / ownership Strongly disagree Strongly agree


b) Complexity Strongly disagree Strongly agree


c) Impact on costs Strongly disagree Strongly agree


d) Lack of time Strongly disagree Strongly agree


e) Difficulty in predicting benefits Strongly disagree Strongly agree


f) Lack of interest by employees Strongly disagree Strongly agree


3. Are there specific projects that the company considers important in the field of CSR?

a) Specify name and type of project _

b) When was it introduced? Year of introduction: _

c) Which were the objectives of the company with

the introduction of this intervention? _

d) What are the actual benefits achieved by the

introduction? _

e) Which are the problems encountered? _