micro-Business Community Responsibility in Australia: Approaches, Motivations and Barriers

  • S. Campin, J. Barraket and B. Luke (2013). Journal of Business Ethics, 489-513
  • Abstract: Micro and small businesses contribute the majority of business activity in the most developed economies. They are typically embedded in local communities and therefore well placed to influence community wellbeing. While there has been considerable theoretical and empirical analysis of corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility (CSR), the nature of micro-business community responsibility (mBCR) remains relatively under-explored. This article presents findings from an exploratory study of mBCR that examined the approaches, motivations and barriers of this phenomenon. Analysis of data from 36 semi-structured interviews with micro-business owner-operators in the Australian city of Brisbane revealed three mBCR approaches, suggesting an observable mBCR typology. Each mBCR type was at least partly driven by enlightened self-interest (ESI). In addition to a pure ESI approach, findings revealed ESI combined with philanthropic approaches and ESI combined with social entrepreneurial approaches. The combination of doing business and doing good found amongst participants in this study suggests that many micro-business owner-operators are supporters of their local communities and, therefore, driven by more than profit. This study provides a fine-grained understanding of micro-business involvement in community wellbeing through a lens of responsible business behaviour. 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
  • Theme: Community, Perceptions and attitudes
  • Keywords: Micro-business, Micro-business community responsibility, Small business social responsibility, Social entrepreneurship
  • Reference type: Journal Article
  • Geographic location: Australia, Oceania, Global North
  • Quality:
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