School of Management
Royal Holloway University of London

The Centre for Research into Sustainability

Theory Development: Social Responsibility in Small Firms and Social Entrepreneurship

Project Description

The growing body of work on ethics and (corporate) social responsibility in small business and entrepreneurship is dominated by empirical contributions which demonstrate that there are important differences in these contexts. The empirical work demonstrates the need to reflect on the value of the standard CSR and business ethics theories outside of the large multinational firm. In this project theoretical contributions to ethics and CSR research are developed and adapted to the small business context and entrepreneurship processes. Research projects include theorising of the processual, dynamic understanding of CSR called Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility (with Richard Blundel and Stefania Zerbinati, both Brunel University). This approach embraces social enterprises as well as what might be called responsible commercial entrepreneurs. Another stream of research focuses on how classic theories such as Archie Carroll’s pyramid of social responsibility can be developed for small and medium sized enterprises.


Laura Spence (Royal Holloway, University of London)