Small and Medium Enterprises and Corporate Social Responsibility Practice: A Swedish Perspective

Ki Hoon Lee, David M. Herold, Ae Li Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the characteristics of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice in Swedish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A case study approach is used to investigate the CSR perception, motivation, and activities of two Swedish SMEs. This paper indicates that two Swedish SMEs studied adopt a profit-seeking rather than a profit-sacrificing CSR approach. Furthermore, the paper argues that the perception, the motivation, and part of the CSR activities are well incorporated in the decision to engage in CSR. However, the Swedish SMEs in our case studies are often limited in communicating their CSR activities due to a lack of resources and management skills. This communication gap between intended and actual communication drives the overall CSR impact on business performance from marginal to non-existent. As a result, looking at the overall business impact, a meant-to-be profit-seeking strategy is actually turned into a profit-sacrificing activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
JournalCorporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CSR communication
  • CSR motivation
  • CSR perception
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • SMEs
  • Sustainable development
  • Sweden


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