Effective Corporate Social Responsibility for Australian SMEs (Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises) in the Building & Construction Industry

King, Mitchell (2020) Effective Corporate Social Responsibility for Australian SMEs (Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises) in the Building & Construction Industry. [USQ Project]

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This paper aims to highlight the importance and impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR)in global industry and how the building and construction Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises(SME) sector are positioned to advance their standing. CSR can be easily mistaken for applying only to Multi-National Corporations(MNC),however as will be evidenced throughout this paper, the importance for organisations, no matter the size and value, to identify and embrace good CSR practices is now more important, and at the forefront of building and construction SME industry than ever. This research will further review CSR implementation limitations for building and construction SEMs and attempt to identify and clarify how best to approach CSR as a building and construction SME.

This paper takes a theoretical and empirical qualitative approach to the literature review, establishing themes in the existing literature to help define best practice for scalable approaches to successful CSR implementation. Due to the subjectivity around the CSR in the existing literature, the topic is best approached theoretically. To establish best practice standards for a topic undefined is ultimately to assume what constitutes as best practice therefore adopting the theoretical approach to establish a position. The theoretical research approach will be used to establish what theories around effective CSR already exist, the relationships between effective CSR and good business outcomes, to what degree the existing theories have been investigated and what limitations are known in the literature.

Being a relatively recent movement, the existing literature offers a relatively modest insight into SME CSR, however the existing literature is rich with CSR applications with MNC which allows the global importance of scalable involvement to be established. By breaking down the constructs of CSR and highlighting the specific applications in which a SMEs can effectively engage in CSR triggers an understanding that CSR in SMEs is no longer a cost prohibited add on for building and construction SMEs, but a core business practice that ultimately defines how the industry operates, and how organisations develop competitive advantages through reputational and increased business success. The research finds the very nature of SMEs allows for less restrictive participation and pathways to good CSR practices with added propensity to ultimately act out of conviction rather than just due to perception and profitability reasons.

Finally, through the findings of this paper, the breakdown of CSR offers guidance for SMEs on how to implement good CSR into everyday business practices by aligning their operational cores to targeted CSR commitments and objectives that are both meaningful and impactful to the global CSR cause. Although the construction SME industry has best endeavours with CSR, systematically understanding what the global causes are remains the first hurdle for many construction SMEs. CSR is a global juggernaut that is creating an environment where organisations must do more than just generate profits. As SMEs by default engage in environmentally and societal sensitive works, the education piece around CSR in building and construction SMEs will remain critical for success.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Thorpe, David
Qualification: Bachelor of Construction (Honours) (Construction Management)
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2021 03:42
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:09
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/43057

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