Emerald Publishing Limited
School of Business & Law
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to contribute to the extant body of the entrepreneurship and business management literature, investigating corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its implications for firms’ competitiveness. The cases of four different firms are examined through the lens of the resource-based view of the firm and role theory. Design/methodology/approach: Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with the owners and managers of four model firms identified in Western Australia. Findings: While financial outcomes clearly stand out as the end goal for engaging in CSR-related practices, the importance of firm managers’ entrepreneurial role emerges in using existing resources to exploit business opportunities to ultimately achieve competitiveness, benefit the organisation, the community and society. Management’s ability to reconcile financial objectives and CSR practices give rise to the notion of entrepreneurial CSR. Originality/value: The study demonstrates that management’s entrepreneurial drive, skills, knowledge, expertise or strategic strengths can identify substantial opportunities. Furthermore, the investment of resources to develop socially responsible products and services can help achieve CSR and the firm’s bottom line. Finally, learning about participants’ motivations for engaging in CSR could identify areas, concepts and directions to be considered by entrepreneurs, compared/contrasted to previous research or even operationalised by enterprises of different sizes elsewhere.