Perceptions of corporate social responsibility amongst immigrant entrepreneurs

Fara Azmat (Lecturer, School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)
Ambika Zutshi (Senior Lecturer, School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Publication date: 2 March 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the understanding of the term corporate social responsibility (CSR) by Sri Lankan immigrant entrepreneurs in Australia. It also seeks to investigate the importance the entrepreneurs place on CSR, their understanding of stakeholders, the types of CSR activities undertaken by them, and the issue of social capital.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with Sri Lankan entrepreneurs based in Victoria, Australia.

Findings

The interviewees were aware of the term CSR but, nevertheless, had different interpretations of its meaning. However, CSR was considered important and all the interviewees were, in some way, involved in CSR activities and also had a good understanding of the importance of their stakeholders. Findings also highlighted the significance attached to social capital by the entrepreneurs such as informal relationships and trustworthiness which build the intangible attributes of CSR. The present findings can be attributed to immigrant entrepreneurs behaving partly to adapt to the host country, by changing their beliefs, values, traditions and partly by being influenced by their home country culture as found in the extended part of this current study.

Research limitations/implications

This paper addresses gaps in the fields of both CSR and immigrant entrepreneurship literature. However, the small sample size is a limitation and further research is required in order to generalize the findings.

Originality/value

It is important to have an understanding of the interpretation of social responsibility amongst immigrant entrepreneurs. Despite the steadily growing number of Sri Lankan immigrant entrepreneurs and their potential impact on the Victorian and Australian socio‐economic context, this area remains under‐researched. This paper addresses this gap in the literature and makes an attempt to provide insight into this area that can be used as a catalyst for future research.

Keywords

Citation

Azmat, F. and Zutshi, A. (2012), "Perceptions of corporate social responsibility amongst immigrant entrepreneurs", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 63-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/17471111211196575

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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