How can corporate social responsibility survive in times of recession?

Olga Pereira, Ana F. Antunes De Sousa, Miguel Maia


Purpose: The investigation carried out aimed to study managers’ perceptions regarding the support of socially responsible business in a context of economic recession (2008-2009). To accomplish this purpose, their evaluations of the economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities of companies will be examined according to the well-known classification by Carroll (1979).

Methodology: In order to identify managers’ perceptions of CSR, the questionnaire proposed by Maignan (2001) was used to evaluate consumers’ perceptions of CSR. The validity and reliability of the model was confirmed. Results are based on the opinions of 139 individuals with management responsibilities in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) located in a European collectivist country according to Hofstede.

Findings: This research study enabled the identification of the most valuable responsibilities concerning managers’ perceptions about CSR and the results establish that the most important responsibilities are Economic, followed by Legal, Philanthropic and, finally, Ethical, in a recession context.

Research limitations: Future investigations should consider embracing qualitative methodologies in order to increase the knowledge about the perspectives that companies managers have regarding the importance of CSR and its impact in the sustainability of the firms, taking into account different time horizons periods and companies of different sizes.

Originality/value: This investigation consists in a first attempt to characterize which are the main CSR responsibilities that companies managers valued, particularly in recession times, considering SMEs from a European country, with a collectivist culture.


Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Recessive Context, Cultural Context, and Managers’ Perceptions.




Título: "Como a responsabilidade social corporativa pode sobreviver em tempos de recessão?"


Objetivo: A investigação realizada teve como objetivo estudar as percepções dos gerentes sobre o apoio a negócios socialmente responsáveis em um contexto de recessão econômica (2008-2009). Para atingir esse objetivo, suas avaliações das responsabilidades econômicas, legais, éticas e filantrópicas das empresas serão examinadas de acordo com a bem conhecida classificação de Carroll (1979).

Metodologia: Para identificar as percepções dos gerentes sobre RSE, o questionário proposto por Maignan (2001) foi usado para avaliar as percepções dos consumidores sobre RSE. A validade e a confiabilidade do modelo foram confirmadas. Os resultados são baseados nas opiniões de 139 indivíduos com responsabilidades de gerenciamento em pequenas e médias empresas (PME) localizadas em um país coletivista europeu, segundo Hofstede.

Resultados: Este estudo permitiu identificar as responsabilidades mais valiosas em relação às percepções dos gerentes sobre RSE e os resultados estabelecem que as responsabilidades mais importantes são Econômicas, seguidas por Jurídico, Filantrópico e, finalmente, Ético, em um contexto de recessão.

Limitações: investigações futuras devem considerar a adoção de metodologias qualitativas, a fim de aumentar o conhecimento sobre as perspectivas que os gerentes de empresas têm sobre a importância da RSE e seu impacto na sustentabilidade das empresas, levando em consideração diferentes períodos de tempo e empresas de diferentes tamanhos. .

Originalidade/valor: Esta investigação consiste em uma primeira tentativa de caracterizar quais são as principais responsabilidades de RSE que os gerentes de empresas valorizavam, principalmente em tempos de recessão, considerando PMEs de um país europeu, com uma cultura coletivista.


Palavras-chave: responsabilidade social corporativa, contexto recessivo, contexto cultural e percepções dos gerentes.

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