Power and Size of Firms as Reflected in Cleaning Subcontractors’ Practices of Social Responsibility
- 214 Downloads
Recent discussions in the area of corporate social responsibility suggest that organizational size has complex meanings and thus requires more scholarly attention. This article explores organizational size in the context of relative power in inter-organizational networks. To shed light on the ways relative power interacts with size we studied social responsibility practices among cleaning subcontractors in three firms of different sizes. Our focus on the network differentiates these firms on the basis of their size and sector. Semi-structured interviews were used to trace cleaning subcontractors’ CSR-related practices. We analyzed subjective reports and discursive practices involved in subcontractors’ self-presentations. While the economic and philanthropic dimensions of social responsibility were presented by the cleaning subcontractors as independent of network constraints, the findings show that the legal and ethical dimensions were subject to large client–firm pressures. What we learn from our data is that the four dimensions of Carroll’s model, the economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic, should all develop from and be evaluated against a fifth root dimension of inter-personal commitment.
Keywordscorporate social responsibility firm size power relations cleaning subcontractors inter-organization network
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
The authors wish to thank the Israeli Science Foundation for funding this research.
We also wish to express our gratitude to Ron Grabarsky for his devoted support and useful insights. Our gratitude, as well, goes to our anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions.
- Carroll A 1979, A Three-Dimensional Conceptual Model of Corporate Social Performance. Boston, Little BrownGoogle Scholar
- European Commission: 2003, Responsible Entrepreneurship. A Collection of Good Practice Cases Among Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Across Europe, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
- Gordon N. 2003, Strategic Violations: The Outsourcing of Human Rights Abuses, The Humanist, 63(5), 10–14Google Scholar
- Grimshaw D., H. Willmott, J. Rubbery 2005, Inter-organizational Networks: Trust, Power and the Employment Relationship, in M. Marchington, D. Grimshaw, H. Willmott, J. Rubbery (eds.), Fragmenting Work; Blurring Organizational Boundaries and Disordering Hierarchies, Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
- Harrison B. 1994, Lean and Mean: Why Large Corporations will Continue to Dominate the Global Economy, London: The Guilford PressGoogle Scholar
- Hillary, R.: 2000, ‹Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Environment’, Greenleaf, Sheffield, U.KGoogle Scholar
- Humphreys, N., D. P. Robin, R. E. Reidenbach and D. L. Moak: 1993, ‹The Ethical Decision Making Process of Small Business Owner/Managers and Their Customer’, Journal of Small Business Management 31(3), 9–22Google Scholar
- Longenecker J. G., J. A. Mckinney, C. W. Moore: 1989, Ethics in Small Business, Journal of Small Business Management, 27(1), 27–31Google Scholar
- Shamir, R.: 2002, The Commodification of Corporate Social Responsibility: An Israeli Test Case (The Pinhas Sapir center for Development, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv)Google Scholar
- Visser, W.: 2006, ‹Revisiting Carroll’s CSR Pyramid: An African Perspective’, in M. Huniche and E. R. Pedersen (eds.), Corporate Citizenship in Developing Countries: New Partnership Perspective (Copenhagen Business Scholl Press)Google Scholar
- Warren C. A. B. 2002, Qualitative Interviewing, in J. F. Gubrium and J. A. Holstein (eds.), Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Methods, Thousand Oaks: Sage publication IncGoogle Scholar
- Werther W.B., D. Chandler, 2006, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders in a Global Environment. California: Sage Publications, IncGoogle Scholar
- Wilson E. 1980, Social Responsibility of Business: What are the Small Business Perspectives?, Journal of Small Business Management, 18(3), 17–24Google Scholar