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Purpose Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly communicating and interacting with stakeholders through digital media. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the SME owner-managers’ attitudes toward the pace of technological innovation, and it examines their perceived use and ease of digital media for stakeholder engagement. Design/methodology/approach The research methodology integrated measuring items from the technology acceptance model, the pace of technological innovation and corporate social responsibility, to better understand the SME owner-managers’ rationale for using digital media. The respondents were expected to reveal their attitudes toward commercial, ethical and social responsibilities. Findings A factor analysis indicated that the SME owner-managers were perceiving the usefulness of digital media to engage with marketplace stakeholders. Whilst, a stepwise regression analysis reported positive and significant relationships between the pace of technological innovation and the SMEs’ perceived usefulness of digital media for communication purposes. The results also revealed that young owner-managers from large SMEs were more likely to utilize digital media than their smaller counterparts. Originality/value This contribution implies that both small and micro businesses are utilizing digital media to improve their stakeholder engagement. This study indicates that the pace of technological innovation, the SMEs’ perceived ease of use of digital media, as well as their commercial responsibility were significant antecedents for the SMEs’ online communication.
The SMEs’ Technology Acceptance of Digital Media for
Stakeholder Engagement
By Mark Anthony Camilleri
, University of Malta, Malta AND University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
How to Cite: Camilleri, M.A. (2018). The SMEs' Technology Acceptance of Digital Media
for Stakeholder Engagement. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Purpose: Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly communicating and
interacting with stakeholders through digital media. Therefore, this research investigates the
SME owner-managers' attitudes toward the pace of technological innovation, and it examines
their perceived use and ease of digital media for stakeholder engagement.
Design: The research methodology integrated measuring items from the technology acceptance
model, the pace of technological innovation and corporate social responsibility (CSR), to better
understand the SME owner-managers’ rationale for using digital media. The respondents were
expected to reveal their attitudes toward commercial, ethical and social responsibilities.
Findings: A factor analysis indicated that the SME owner-managers were perceiving the
usefulness of digital media to engage with marketplace stakeholders. Whilst, a stepwise
regression analysis reported positive and significant relationships between the pace of
technological innovation and the SMEs’ perceived usefulness of digital media for
communication purposes. The results also revealed that young owner-managers from large
SMEs were more likely to utilize digital media than their smaller counterparts.
Originality: This contribution implies that both small and micro businesses are utilizing digital
media to improve their stakeholder engagement. This study indicates that the pace of
technological innovation, the SMEs’ perceived ease of use of digital media, as well as their
commercial responsibility were significant antecedents for the SMEs’ online communication.
Keywords: Responsible Entrepreneurship, CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, Digital
Media, Online, Social Media, TAM, Technology Acceptance Model, Pace of Technological
Innovation, CSR measures.
Department of Corporate Communication, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta,
Msida, MSD2080, Malta. Email:
The Business School, University of Edinburgh, Bucchleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH89JS, Scotland.
1. Introduction
Many corporations are increasingly reporting comprehensive content on their corporate social
responsibility (CSR), environmental sustainability and corporate governance issues for the
benefit of their stakeholders. The stakeholder theorists, including Clarkson (1995), Donaldson
and Preston (1995) and Freeman (1994), among others, argued that firms can address, balance,
coordinate, and prioritize multiple stakeholder demands. Their social engagement enables them
to become more efficient, reputable and successful, as they improve their financial performance
(Panwar, Nybakk, Hansen and Pinkse, 2017; Orlitzky, Schmidt and Rynes, 2003). Therefore,
the businesses including the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to
promote their responsible behaviors, and to forge stakeholder relationships. This contribution
posits that online communication has potential to create a ripple effect that grows as SMEs can
reach wider audiences. Notwithstanding, relevant content that is targeted at the right
stakeholders could translate into tangible benefits for the company’s reputation, brand image,
customer loyalty and investor confidence (Camilleri, 2017; Reijonen, 2010; Morsing and
Schultz, 2006), among other benefits. As a result, it has never been more necessary to turn
stakeholders into advocates for both the cause and the company (Du, Bhattacharya and Sen,
The responsible firms are capable of aligning themselves with their broader context (Panwar
et al., 2017; Brammer, Jackson and Matten, 2012; Matten and Moon, 2008; Jenkins, 2006).
Several empirical studies have indicated that discretionary investments in CSR, whether it is
driven from strategic intents or from posturing behaviors, will still result in improved
relationships with both internal and external stakeholders (Panwar et al., 2017; Reijonen, 2010;
Uhlaner, Van Goor-Balk and Masurel, 2004; Orlitzky et al., 2003; McWilliams and Siegel,
2001). Hence, there is scope for the SMEs to promote their responsible entrepreneurial
practices (Panwar et al., 2017; Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015; Baumann Pauly, Wickert,
Spence and Scherer, 2013; Durkin, McGowan and McKeown, 2013). SMEs can use ICT and
the Internet to (i) publicise their information on a web site (ii) interact with marketplace
stakeholders through automated communications systems; and for (iii) consumer engagement
(Taylor and Murphy, 2004).
This paper addresses a knowledge gap in academic literature as it examines the small firms’
owner-managers’ attitudes on the pace of technological innovation, and on their perceived ‘use’
and ‘ease of use’ of digital media for stakeholder engagement and for the promotion of
commercial, ethical and social responsibility.
1.1 The Research Question
Relevant academic literature has reported different findings on the drivers and barriers for the
SMEs’ engagement with digital media (Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015; Durkin et al., 2013;
Taylor and Murphy, 2004). Previous studies suggested that many SMEs are not benefiting
enough of the digital tools’ full potential (Taiminen & Karjaluoto, 2015). The SMEs may not
consider the use of digital media as an effective marketing communications channel to promote
products and services. Very often, SMEs serve small, niche markets, thus, they may not always
use the Internet for their digital marketing (Sin Tan, Choy Chong, Lin & Uchenna, 2010; Shah
Alam, 2009). The small businesses often rely on advertising and promotions in their local
markets. Moreover, the SME owner-managers may be concerned on their security and privacy
issues, as they may be wary of making online transactions (Gupta, Seetharaman & Raj, 2013).
Alternatively, they lack the necessary confidence and skills to engage with their online
prospects (Durkin et al., 2013), or may not have the time and resources to use digital media
(Brouthers, Nakos & Dimitratos, 2015).
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the SME owner-managers’ attitudes toward
digital media. They could use this interactive technology as a vehicle for stakeholder
engagement purposes and to promote their responsible entrepreneurship practices. This study
involves a quantitative methodology that integrates valid and reliable measures from the ‘pace
of technological innovation’ (Garcia and Calantone, 2002), ‘technological anxiety’ (Greenhow
and Robelia, 2009;
Grewal, Mehta, and Kardes, 2004), and has utilized items from ‘the
technology acceptance model’ (Rauniar, Rawski, Yang and Johnson, 2014; Davis, 1989) to
explore the respondents’ attitudes toward digital media. In addition, this contribution
investigates the SME owner-managers’ attitudes on their stakeholder engagement and CSR
behaviors. Uhlaner et al. (2004) posited that the small business owners might consider forging
good relationships with employees, clients, and suppliers, as they reported that these
stakeholders are closely tied to their business. Hence, the researcher has adapted Singh and Del
Bosque’s (2008) CSR measures that comprised commercial, ethical and social responsibility
Specifically, the objective of this contribution is to reveal the SME owner-managers’ stance
toward technological innovation; and to determine whether they intend to use digital media for
stakeholder engagement as well as for commercial, ethical and social responsibility reporting.
2. Theoretical Background and the Formulation of Hypotheses
2.1 Responsible Entrepreneurship and Stakeholder Engagement
Where SMEs are concerned, there seems to be a problem with the adopted terminology
involving corporate social responsibility. SMEs are not corporations. It is unlikely that SMEs
would use any recognizable language of CSR, including the acronym itself (Murillo and
Lozano, 2006). However, the CSR terminology has become the dominant refrain in this subject
area (see Panwar et al., 2017; Perrini, Russo and Tencati, 2007; Uhlaner et al., 2004). Although
it is worth noting that the phrases; 'responsible business' (Moore and Spence, 2006),
‘responsible entrepreneurship’ (Fuller and Tian, 2006) and ‘social capital’ (Russo and Perrini,
2010; Spence and Schmidpeter (2003) have also gained momentum in academic literature.
Bacon, Ackers, Storey and Coates, (1996:83) noticed that the small firms were experimenting
with new management initiatives, such as; culture change, devolved management, team
working, flexibility and quality task forces. Sound empirical evidence has shown that SMEs
were taking up best practice ideas that were adopted by the larger firms (Russo & Perrini,
2010). Eventually, Storey, Emberson, Godsell and Harrison (2006) presumed that a significant
factor for the SMEs’ engagement in responsible behaviors was that good practices were
becoming embedded in their supply chain relationships (Uhlaner et al., 2004). Furthermore,
there was mounting pressure from third parties, as they demanded that SMEs should also follow
online and offline networking behaviors of their larger counterparts (see Harris, Rae and
Misner, 2012). However, SMEs possess distinctive characteristics of informality (Russo and
Perrini, 2010). Therefore, the processes that trigger the employees’ involvement in such
enterprises may need to be identified against other factors that are relevant to particular
organizational contexts. For instance, the nature of the SMEs’ small social setting can provide
them with an opportunity for enhanced flows of communication, more face-to-face
involvement and flexibility in managing human resources. The smaller firms and their practices
are usually portrayed contextually, subjectively and/or in interpretational ways (Camilleri,
The small business entrepreneurs may have reservations about the responsible behavioral
methods of the larger businesses (Fassin, 2008). Whilst the larger corporations support the
philosophy behind their CSR, the small business practitioners tend to express their doubts about
the sincerity of their larger counterparts (Jenkins, 2006). Notwithstanding, the smaller firms
may be opposed to the extra administrative burdens in their daily routines. Baumann Pauly et
al. (2013) maintained that the consistent handling of CSR in MNCs required them to draft
formal CSR policies and procedures. However, embedding CSR policies and procedures
globally, and in all daily operations is an enormous task for MNCs. Hence, rolling out a CSR
policy takes time and resources. The reality is that CSR is different for SMEs than it is for the
larger firms, for the very same reason that sets their operations apart (Russo and Perrini, 2010;
Uhlaner et al., 2004). Whilst, the corporations are more likely to address environmental
sustainability and social responsibility issues, as they are more active in their engagement with
internal and external stakeholders (Camilleri, 2017); the SMEs often demonstrate a genuine
commitment towards their community and society at large (Perrini et al., 2007). The
enterprises’ owner-managers may conduct their business activities with a conscience, as they
are concerned about their responsible and sustainable behaviors (Jenkins, 2006). They
frequently do this without referring to the CSR concept at all, and without communicating what
they do (Fassin, 2008).
Russo and Tencati (2009) have evidenced the small firms’ aptitude toward CSR initiatives. The
authors revealed how the firms’ strategies were making a significant impact on their bottom
line. They noted that there was a genuine commitment for eco-efficiency (i.e. reduction of
consumption and pollution prevention). Moreover, they have shown how micro firms
supported initiatives that encouraged stakeholder engagement. This issue exemplifies the
responsible enterprises’ attempt to secure a social license to operate in their respective
communities. This research perspective suggests that the SMEs are subject to a number of
distinctive and intrinsic characteristics that set them apart from the larger firms. These
characteristics contribute to influence the content, nature and extent of their social and
environmentally responsible activities.
Spence (2007) has gathered a considerable amount of academic work about European SMEs.
While these factors are probably not limited to Europe, a wide array of other literature
(Baumann Pauly et al., 2011; Perrini et al., 2007; Fuller, 2006) have also recommended further
research on the responsible behaviors of SMEs. Other research is increasingly focusing on the
issues of CSR reporting (Camilleri, 2015), and stakeholder dialogue (e.g. Tantalo and Priem,
2016). Relevant studies have indicated that the communication of social responsibility
practices among SMEs is generally unsystematic and handled in an ad-hoc manner (Fassin,
2008). Yet, it may be presumptuous to generalize that all SMEs are not communicating their
responsible behaviors. Many SMEs are increasingly realizing that they may enhance their
reputation and standing if they disclose their good practices to stakeholders. There are
opportunities for them to create good publicity, as they can also raise awareness of their brand
and products. Therefore, there is scope for SMEs to improve their stakeholders’ relations
through the application of appropriate social and environmental reporting (Camilleri, 2015;
Fassin, Van Rossem and Buelens. 2011; Fassin, 2008).
Lately, there were significant improvements in the corporations’ non-financial disclosures in
integrated reports, that are auditable through regulatory instruments (such as the Global
Reporting Initiatives, Integrated Reporting Framework, Social Accountability, et cetera).
Previously, some academic commentators have raised their concerns about the issues of
communicating CSR. The bone of contention lies with the SMEs’ formalization of their
responsible entrepreneurship (Fassin, 2008; Uhlaner et al., 2004). As SMEs might not always
report their responsible entrepreneurship and stakeholder engagement, one might erroneously
conclude that it is non-existent for them. However, relevant literature suggests that social and
environmental disclosures are a necessary requirement, in this day and age. The obligation of
online reporting encourages reflection, as it helps to awaken the organization, to make its
responsible actions visible to stakeholders, and to a certain extent measurable, as well (Perrini
et al., 2007). The administrative burden for the communication of CSR can be weighed against
a cost-benefit analysis (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001; Orlitzky, Siegel, and Waldman, 2011).
In this context, the SMEs may be restrained to report about their responsible entrepreneurship
behaviors as they possess scarce resources and capabilities to formalize their social and
environmental disclosures through digital media (Penwar et al., 2017; Fassin et al., 2011).
2.2 The Technological Innovation, Perceived Use and Ease of Use of Digital Media
The technological innovation can be defined as the application of better solutions that meet
new requirements, unarticulated or existing market needs (Maranville, 1992). Therefore,
technological innovation (including digital media) can provide economic value through the
adoption and diffusion (Garcia and Calantone, 2002) of new products. Alternatively, it may
involve continuous improvements or upgrades of existing products and services. For instance,
digital media has enabled the emergence of a new participatory public sphere where everybody
could dialogically interact and collaborate in the co-creation of content (Lamberton and
Stephen, 2016; Colleoni, 2013; Durkin et al., 2013; Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). The
immediate engagement in real-time between the public and the organization is one of the main
characteristics of the internet. Online users are continuously being presented with the
companies’ content marketing as the global diffusion of social software like blogs, wikis,
electronic fora, webinars and social media networks have facilitated the organizations’
interaction with stakeholders (Camilleri, 2017).
Many corporate websites already possess a high degree of interactivity; with their ability to
disseminate information and to generate relationships between different publics and the
organization (Capriotti and Moreno, 2007). The use of the Internet can be unidirectional when
it diffuses information. However, social media platforms facilitate interactions as they are
characterized by two-way communications between the organization and its stakeholders.
Therefore, online platforms have led to a symmetric engagement between participants, and
have eliminated formal hierarchies (Castelló, Morsing and Schultz, 2013). In addition, there is
a lack of gatekeeping in social media (Morsing and Schultz, 2006; Vorvoreanu, 2009). For this
reason, interactive communication is changing the social dynamics (Harrigan and Miles, 2014;
Fieseler and Fleck, 2013). The Web and data exchanges have empowered the communication
between businesses and their stakeholders. The Internet enables them to engage with online
users and to take advantage of positive publicity arising from real-time, word-of-mouth
marketing (Camilleri, 2017).
Communication through social media is dynamic in relation to traditional media (Lamberton
and Stephen, 2016; Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015; Rauniar et al., 2014). Social media have
the technological potential to speed up communication processes (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010)
and to increase direct interaction, dialogue and participation across organizations and various
audiences (Colleoni, 2013;
Schultz, Utz and Göritz, 2011). Such interactive communications
are often referred to as viral” because ideas and opinions spread like epidemic diseases
through the network via wordofmouth. These channels are perceived as highly trustworthy
sources (Schultz and Wehmeier, 2010). Hence, when SMEs share information with online
communities on their responsible entrepreneurship and stakeholder engagement, they may find
out that their followers (or friends) may also share their passion for good causes. However,
there are many plausible reasons why the communicative features that are enabled by digital
media may not be employed as efficiently by the businesses’ marketers (Tiago and Veríssimo
2014; Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). For this reason, the SME owner-managers are encouraged
to acquaint themselves with the use of digital media in order to increase the impact of their
communications. There is an opportunity for them to use interactive technologies to increase
the frequency, reach and impact of their messages (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). The SME
executives are in a position to amplify the effectiveness of their responsible entrepreneurship
efforts through digital media. However, they should decide what to communicate (i.e. message
content) and where to communicate (i.e. message channel) to reach out to different
In sum, the Web is currently advancing at an unprecedented pace of technology. Its online
communities have already transformed the Internet through innovative, highly scalable, social
media networks and product recommender systems. The emergence of user-generated content
in fora, newsgroups, social media and crowd-sourcing have also offered endless opportunities
for both researchers and practitioners to “listen” attentively to stakeholders, including;
customers, employees, suppliers, investors, regulatory authorities and the media, among others.
The premise is that the digital media improves the efficiency of the organizations’ engagements
with stakeholders. Yet, recent contributions suggest that the implementation of the businesses’
online engagement is neither automatic nor easy (Tiago and Veríssimo, 2014;
Besiou, Hunter,
and Van Wassenhove, 2013; Etter, 2013). The dialogic features that are enabled by web pages,
blogs, and other social media may prove difficult to apply (Etter, 2013; Moreno and Capriotti,
2009). Recent research has discussed about the dialogic aspects of online stakeholder
engagement (Moreno and Capriotti, 2009). Yet, little empirical research has measured the
enterprises’ owner-managers stance on communicating about commercial, ethical and social
responsibility issues through digital technologies.
2.3 The Formulation of Hypotheses
This study has investigated the owner-managers’ attitudes toward their “technology
acceptance” for digital media (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009; Grewal et al., 2004;
Garcia and
Calantone, 2002). The respondents were expected to indicate their behavioral intention on the
“use” and “ease of use” (Davis, 1989) of digital media. This study has adapted “the pace of
technological innovativeness” measure, as its items provided an opportunity to examine the
respondents’ engagement with ubiquitous technologies, including the Internet and social
media, among others. This measure explored how practitioners were keeping themselves up to
date with the latest digital media (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009), in order to interact with
stakeholders and to promote their responsible entrepreneurial activities. This argumentation
leads to the first two hypotheses:
(i) There is a positive relationship between “the pace of technological innovation”
and the entrepreneurs’ perceived “usefulness” and “ease of use” of digital media.
(ii) There is a positive relationship between “the pace of technological innovation”
of digital media and the owner-managers’ stakeholder engagement through
online reporting of responsible entrepreneurial practices.
The technology acceptance model (TAM) has often explained the users’ adoption behaviors of
technology (Rauniar et al., 2014). TAM suggests that there is a causal relationship between the
users' attitudes and their behavioral intention to use technology. In the past, TAM sought to
explain why people accept or reject a particular technological innovation (Davis, 1989). In this
light, this model has been purposely chosen to determine why SMEs were accepting or
rejecting the use of digital media for stakeholder engagement and CSR disclosures. The
perceived usefulness of digital media is the degree to which a person believes that using this
technology would enhance his or her job performance in marketing communications (Reijonen,
2010; Davis, 1989). From the outset, the researcher presumed that the owner-managers would
perceive the “usefulness” of digital media (to communicate their CSR credentials to
stakeholders). TAM also comprises the perceived “ease of use” construct, which is the degree
to which a person believes that using a particular system (including websites, search engine
optimization, social media, blogs, et cetera) would be free from effort. The usage of such online
technologies is influenced by the perceived “ease of use” (Davis, 1989). Therefore, this study
(iii) There is a positive relationship between perceived “usefulness” and the perceived
“ease of use” of digital media.
Although potential users may believe that a given innovation is useful; they may, at the same
time be wary of digital media. The owner-managers may not possess digital skills and
competencies to engage with online prospects. Alternatively, they think that online
technologies may be too hard to use, and that their performance benefits are outweighed by the
effort of using such applications (Meuter, Bitner, Ostrom and Brown, 2005). Therefore, they
will not dedicate sufficient time and resources to use the digital media. As a result, companies
may not always report adequate and significant information on their commercial, ethical, social
responsibility and environment-related activities (Singh and Del Bosque, 2008). However, a
thorough literature review suggested that there is scope for companies of all sizes to engage in
continuous online communications with stakeholders, including; suppliers and consumers
(Tantalo and Priem, 2016; Du et al., 2010; Perrini et al., 2009; Jenkins, 2006). Well-known
brands are usually visible online, and they even communicate about their CSR engagement.
Yet, there are still a number of companies’ that are not reaping the benefits of digital media
usage. This leads to the fourth hypothesis that aims to identify the possible antecedents (by
using a stepwise regression analysis) for online stakeholder engagement.
(iv) The “pace of technological innovation”, the owner-managers’ “perceived
usefulness” and “ease of use” of digital media, and their “responsible
entrepreneurship behaviors” (including their commercial, ethical and social
responsibilities) are the antecedents for the owner-managers’ stakeholder
engagement through digital media.
This last hypothesis has adopted the digital media measures of technological innovation,
technology acceptance, technological anxiety as well as the CSR items that examined the
owner-managers’ attitudes toward commercial, ethical, and social responsibilities.
3 Methodology
The survey questionnaires were distributed by email to SME owner-managers who were
members in a trade union representing the retail and hospitality industries. These participants
were informed in writing about an academic research on the use of digital media among
enterprises. Moreover, the researcher has promoted this study during an annual meeting with
the trade union members. As a result, there was a response rate of 51% (n = 202) from all the
targeted enterprises in a small European Union country. The rationale behind the selection of
the designated profile of owner-managers was to gain a good insight into their ability to make
evaluative judgements on their enterprises’ online stakeholder engagement and responsible
entrepreneurship initiatives. Table 1 presents the socio-demographic profile of the sample:
Table 1. The socio demographic profile of the survey participants
Less than 19 years
Between 20 to 29 years
Between 30 to 39 years
Between 40
to 49 years
Firm Size
Between 50 to 59 years
1 to 10 Employees
Between 60 to 69 years
50 Employees
Over 70 years
250 Employees
37.1 years
Secondary / Vocational
Post Graduate
3.1 The Measures for Digital Media
The researcher has adapted six items from the ‘pace of technological innovation’ that measured
the practitioners’ perceptions on technological change in digital media. Originally, this scale
reported a construct reliability of 0.97 (Grewal et al., 2004) and had used confirmatory factor
analysis to provide evidence to support the scales’ convergent and discriminant validities. This
study has also used the technology acceptance model to explore the respondents’ attitudes on
web technologies (Davis, 1989). This model has become a popular means by which to evaluate
the users’ attitudes on their perceived ‘ease of use’ and ‘usefulness’ toward technological
innovation, as well as on their behavioral intention (Davis, 1989). Originally, the perceived
‘use’ six-item scale attained a construct reliability of 0.97, while the perceived ‘ease of use’
six-item scale achieved a reliability of 0.91 (Davis, 1989). These scales were considered
acceptable as the factor loadings were significant and there was evidence of discriminant
validity for each construct. Four items relating to ‘technological anxiety’ were used to measure
the owner-managers’ degree of apprehension toward the use of digital media (Lamberton and
Stephen, 2016; Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015; Rauniar et al., 2014; Meuter et al. 2005). The
original measure reported a Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.93 (Meuter et al., 2005). This measure was
acceptable as the factor loadings were reported to be significant. There was evidence of
discriminant validity for each construct (as the confidence interval and the variance were
3.2 The Measures for Responsible Entrepreneurship
Many businesses are increasingly engaging in responsible behaviors (Panwar et al., 2017;
Spence, 2007; Uhlaner et al., 2004). Very often, they are even disclosing their environmental,
social and governance information on their web pages (Russo and Perrini, 2010). Therefore,
this study has adapted Singh and Del Bosque’s ‘commercial’, ‘ethical’, ‘social’ and ‘support
to responsible stakeholders’ dimensions that consisted of 16 items. With respect to scale
reliability, the Cronbach’s Alpha and the composite reliability coefficients were above the
minimum acceptance value of 0.7. Moreover, all standardized lambda values were statistically
significant and above 0.5.
The ‘commercial’ dimension measured the owner-managers’ perceptions about their economic
strategy. The ‘ethical’ dimension featured items on ethics and regulatory matters. It explored
the respondents’ attitudes about honesty, integrity and moral principles. The ‘social’ dimension
referred to environmental protection and to discretionary investments in the community. The
‘support to responsible stakeholders’ dimension sought to discover how the respondents
perceived corporate communications on commercial, ethical and social issues (Singh and Del
Bosque, 2008).
4 Data Analysis
Firstly, the descriptive statistics have illustrated the means and standard deviations for all
variables. Secondly, a principal component analysis (PCA) has been chosen to obtain a factor
solution of a smaller set of salient variables. Thirdly, a multivariate regression analysis has
investigated the hypothesized associations by using the stepwise procedure.
4.1 Descriptive Statistics
All responses were coded using a five-point Likert scaling mechanism. The values ranged from
1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), whereas 3 signaled an indecision. The measuring
items that were used in this study included; “the pace of technological innovation’”, the
technology acceptance model’s ‘perceived ease of use’, ‘perceived usefulness’, and
‘technological anxiety’, as well as CSR measures relating to ‘commercial responsibility’,
‘ethical responsibility’, ‘social responsibility’, and “support to responsible stakeholders” are
presented in Table 2.
Pace of Technological
Innovation Items Mean
Digital Media is changing at a very fast pace.
Grewal, Mehta and Kardes
(2004) Compared to other integrated marketing communication, digital
media is changing fast.
I have consistently seen new digital media technologies for some
Innovations in digital media are frequent.
The pace of technological innovations in digital media is high.
Technological innovations and integrated marketing
nications don’t go hand in hand.
Perceived Ease of Use
Items Mean
Learning to operate digital media would be easy for me.
Davis (1989); Meuter, Bitner,
Ostrom and Brown (2005) I would find it easy to use digital media for corporate
My interaction with the digital media would be clear and
understandable for my stakeholders.
I would find digital media to be flexible to interact with.
It would be easy for me to become skilful
at using digital media.
I would find digital media resources easy to use.
Perceived Usefulness
Items Mean
Using digital media would enable me to accomplish corporate
communication tasks more quickly.
Davis (1989); Meuter, Bitner,
Ostrom and Brown (2005)
Using digital media would improve my communication.
Using digital media would enhance my effectiveness in integrated
marketing communication.
Using digital media would make it easier to do my corporate
I would find digital media resources useful in my job.
Learning to operate digital media resources would be easy for me.
Technological Anxiety
Items Mean
I feel apprehensive a
bout using digital media.
Meuter, Bitner, Ostrom and
Brown (2005)
Technical terms sound like confusing jargon to me.
I have avoided digital media because it is unfamiliar to me.
I hesitate to use most forms of technology for fear of making
mistakes I cannot correct.
This study is consistent with the extant literature on the ‘technology acceptance model’ (Davis,
1989, Meuter et al., 2005). As a matter of fact, there were high mean scores of near 4, which
reflected the respondents’ stance on the use of digital media. Moreover, the survey participants
have indicated their strong agreement with the ‘pace of technological innovation’ (Grewal et
al., 2004). The owner-managers suggested that digital media is continuously changing; the
mean score was of 4.03, and there was a standard deviation of 0.87. They also suggested that
integrated marketing communications relies on technological innovation (in the negatively
worded item). Generally, the research participants indicated that they were not apprehensive
toward digital technologies (Meuter et al., 2005). They findings revealed that they did not
hesitate to use different technologies for fear of making mistakes; the mean was 1.9, and the
standard deviation was 0.29.
The participants strongly agreed with the statements pertaining to the commercial
responsibility of their business. The mean scores were all higher than 4. This finding suggests
that the owner-managers felt that they were providing a high-quality service to their customers.
They also indicated that they were acting in a fair and honest manner with stakeholders. In this
case, the mean was 4.07, and the standard deviation was 1.19. The survey participants were
committed to fulfil their legal obligations. The results suggest that they respected the human
rights and ethical norms. Apparently, this respect had priority over achieving superior
economic performance, where the mean was 3.94, and the standard deviation was 1.22.
Moreover, the owner-managers were also concerned on social issues (mean was 3.34 and
standard deviation was 1.24) and environmental responsibility (mean was 3.46, standard
deviation was 1.64). Yet there were low attitudinal scores on philanthropy and stewardship
towards disadvantaged groups and individuals (mean was 2.43 and standard deviation was
0.47). The results also indicated that the owner-managers were not so committed to financing
social and cultural activities (mean was 2.56 and the standard deviation was 0.94). The survey
respondents indicated that they pledged their support toward responsible suppliers. However,
they were not willing to pay more to buy products from ethical and socially responsible
companies (where the mean was 2.12, and the standard deviation was 0.87).
This study investigated how ‘gender’ and ‘age’ could influence the frequency of use of digital
media. The results indicated that gender did not influence this choice as there was no
statistically significant difference between the groups’ means as determined by the Chi square
tests. This study reported that 83 males and 113 females (there were six missing values) used
digital media on a daily basis. Pearson’s Chi-Square χ2: was 1.150, Df 2. p = 0.563. This
finding suggested that gender did not significantly influence the frequency of use of digital
media. There were no statistically significant differences between different age groups and the
frequency of use of digital technology. However, the results showed that the survey participants
who were between 30 to 39 years of age (where n=57), who were followed by those who were
between 20 to 29 years old (where n=47) were more likely to use their digital media than other
groups. Pearson’s Chi-Square χ2 was 3.803, Df 6 and p = 0.703. Surprisingly, there were also
a few owner-managers who have never used digital media in the past (n=5).
4.2 Data Reduction
Bartlett’s test of sphericity revealed sufficient correlation in the dataset to run a principal
component analysis (PCA) since p < 0.001. PCA has identified the patterns within the data and
expressed it by highlighting the relevant similarities (and differences) in each and every
component. In the process, the data has been compressed as it was reduced in a number of
dimensions without much loss of information. PCA has produced a table which illustrated the
amount of variance in the original variables (with their respective initial eigenvalues) that were
accounted for by each component. A varimax rotation method was used to spread variability
more evenly amongst the constructs. There was a percentage of variance column which
indicated the expressed ratio as a percentage of the variance (this was accounted for by each
component in all of the variables). Only principal components with eigenvalues greater than 1
were extracted. Table 3 illustrates the number of extracted components from the original
number of variables and presents the resulting cumulative percentage of variance for the group
of variables (and also reports the related ‘loss of information’).
Table 3 Data Reduction through Principal Component Analysis
All constructs were analyzed for internal consistency by using Cronbach’s alpha. There were
excellent measures that exceeded the recommended reliability estimates. The value of the
Kaiser Meyer Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy was also very acceptable at 0.8.
The factors accounted for more than 62% variance before rotation for the digital media
variables. Whereas, the results suggested that there was 74% of the variance before rotation for
Original Number of Variables
Percentage of
Variance %
Loss of
Digital Media 22 62 38 6
Responsible Entrepreneurship
and Stakeholder Engagement 12 74 26 4
the CSR measure. There were ten extracted components from the original thirty-nine variables
for the digital media and CSR variables. A brief description of the extracted factor components,
together with their eigenvalue and their respective percentage of variance is provided hereunder
in Tables 4 and 5.
Table 4 The Extracted Factor Components from the Digital Media Variables
Use of Digital Media Initial Eigenvalues
Total % of
Perceived Usefulness of Digital Media 5.533 25.152
Pace of Technological Innovation 2.378 10.809
Technological Anxiety
Easy Interaction with Digital Media 1.662 7.553
Perceived Ease of Use of Digital Media 1.192 5.418
Effective Use of Digital Media 1.119 5.085
Extraction Method: PCA
Alpha = 0.802; KMO = 0.792; Sig:000
Table 5 The Extracted Factor Components from the Responsible Entrepreneurship and
Stakeholder Engagement Variables
CSR Reporting Initial Eigenvalues
Total % of
1 Engagement with Marketplace Stakeholders 8.874 35.024
2 Online Reporting of Responsible Entrepreneurship 4.654 20.119
3 Online Environmental Sustainability Reporting 1.846 13.454
4 Engagement with Human Resources 1.162 5.403
Extraction Method: PCA
Alpha = 0.845; KMO = 0.812; Sig: .000
The factor components were labelled following a cross-examination of the variables with the
higher loadings. Typically, the variables with the highest correlation scores had mostly
contributed towards the make-up of the respective components. The underlying scope of
combining the variables by using component analysis was to reduce the data and to make it
more adaptable for the regression analysis.
4.3 Regression Analysis
This section examines the four hypothesized relationships by using multivariate regression
analysis. A stepwise procedure was chosen to select the most significant predictive variables
in the regression equations. Therefore, the p-value was set at less than the 0.05 benchmark.
This also resulted in adequate F-ratios, implying that only the significant amounts of variation
in regression were accounted for. More importantly, in the stepwise procedure the insignificant
variables were excluded without appreciably increasing the residual sum of squares. The
regression models produced the regression coefficients which represented the strength and the
significance of the relationships. Moreover, the socio-demographic control variables,
including; “age”, “gender”, “education” and “firm size” were also entered into the regression
H1: The first hypothesis indicated that there was a relationship between ‘the pace of
technological innovation’ and ‘technological acceptance’ on the use of digital media. The
results indicated that there was a positive and significant relationship between ‘perceived
usefulness’ of digital media and ‘the pace of technological innovation’ where Spearman’s rho,
adj r2 = 0.173. This relationship was significant at (p <0.05). The findings suggested that the
‘perceived usefulness’ was dependent on ‘the pace of technological innovation’ (t-value =
H2: The second hypothesis explored the correlation betweenthe technological innovation of
digital media’ with the factor component; namely, ‘online reporting of responsible
entrepreneurship’. The results indicated that there were positive and very significant
relationships (p <0.01); where Spearman’s rho, adj r2 = 0.296. The small businesses’ ‘online
disclosures on their stakeholder engagement’ were correlated with ‘the technological
innovation of digital media’ (t-value = 2.53) and also with ‘firm size’ (t-value = 1.87).
H3: The third hypothesis explored the correlation between the owner-managers’ perceived
‘use’ with their ‘ease of use’ of digital media. The results indicated that there were positive and
very significant relationships (p <0.01); where Spearman’s rho, adj r2 = 0.296. Evidently, the
owner-managers were using interactive technology to communicate with their stakeholders,
and they were proficient in it (t-value = 2.53). The findings from the stepwise regression
analysis also suggested that the larger firms were more likely to utilize digital media than their
smaller counterparts (t-value = 1.87).
H4: The last hypothesis investigated whether the technology acceptance of digital media and
the companies’ ethos on responsible behaviors would have an effect on their stakeholder
engagement. Therefore, the perceived ‘usefulness’, ‘ease of use’, ‘the pace of technological
innovation’ and ‘technological anxiety’; as well as their ‘commercial responsibility’, ‘ethical
responsibility’, ‘social responsibility’ and ‘support to responsible stakeholders’ were all
considered as plausible independent variables in the regression equation. The factor
component, ‘online reporting of responsible entrepreneurship’ was inserted as the outcome
variable. The findings reported a positive and significant relationship where Spearman’s rho,
adj r2 was 0.230. The regression equation indicated that the small businesses’ ‘online
stakeholder engagement’ was dependent on the easy interaction with digital media (perceived
‘ease of use’), where t = 6.501; the users’ digital skills (‘the pace of technological innovation’)
where t = 4.022; ‘commercial responsibility’, where t = 1.855; ‘firm size’, where t = 0.877;
apprehension of digital media (‘technological anxiety’), where t = -0.126 and ‘age’, where t =
5. Discussion
This contribution sheds light on the SME owner-managers’ attitudes toward the pace of
technological innovation, perceived use and ease of use of digital media; as they communicate
and interact with interested stakeholders online. It also explored their stance on responsible
entrepreneurship, specifically on commercial, ethical and social responsibilities, as well as on
their willingness to support other responsible stakeholders. This empirical study and its
theoretical underpinnings contribute to an improved understanding as to why today’s SMEs
are expected to communicate with stakeholders through digital media. At the same time, it
raises awareness of responsible entrepreneurial initiatives that could be promoted through
digital media, including; corporate websites, social media and blogs, among others.
Generally, the results reported that there were high mean scores and low standard deviations,
particularly when the participants were expected to indicate their attitudes on their commercial
and ethical responsibilities. The nature of the SMEs’ CSR activities is usually integrated into
their company culture, often implicitly in habits and routines that are inspired by highly
motivated owner-managers; rather than explicitly in job descriptions or formalized procedures
(Jenkins, 2006). The factor analysis indicated that the SME owner-managers were increasingly
perceiving the usefulness of digital media to engage with marketplace stakeholders, including;
consumers, suppliers and other businesses, as they promoted their responsible entrepreneurship
behaviors. The communications on their businesses’ social responsibility and environmentally-
sound practices also served them well to engage with other interested groups; including; human
resources, shareholders and investors, among others. This finding mirrors Baumann Pauly et
al.’s (2013) argumentation as these authors remarked that each business decision on economic,
social, and environmental aspects must take into account all stakeholders. Notwithstanding, the
businesses and their marketers need to possess relevant knowledge on their stakeholders, as
this will impact on the effectiveness of their CSR communication
(Morsing and Schultz, 2006;
Vorvoreanu, 2009). The value of their communications lies in their ability to open-up lines of
dialogue through stories and ideas that reflect their stakeholders’ interests (Fieseler and Fleck,
Moreno and Capriotti, 2009). For these reasons, companies cannot afford to overstate
or misrepresent their CSR communications.
Their online communication with stakeholders
could foster positive behaviors or compel remedial actions, and will pay off in terms of
corporate reputation, customer loyalty and market standing (Tantalo and Priem, 2016; Du et
al, 2010).
This study suggests that the SME owner-managers were recognizing that they had to keep up
with the pace of technological innovation. Yet there were a few participants, particularly the
older ones, who were still apprehensive toward the use of digital media. Eventually, these
respondents should realize that it is in their interest to forge relationships with key stakeholders
(Lamberton and Stephen, 2016; Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015; Rauniar et al., 2014; Uhlaner
et al., 2004). This research posits that the owner-managers or their members of staff should
possess relevant digital skills and competences to communicate online with interested parties.
Likewise, Baumann Pauly et al., (2013) also recommended that the managers must be trained,
and that their CSR activities must be evaluated. These findings are in line with other
contributions (Spence and Perrini, 2011; Perrini et al., 2007) that have theoretically or
anecdotally challenged the business case perspective for societal engagement (Penwar et al.,
2017; Baden and Harwood 2013; Brammer et al. 2012).
The regression analysis has identified and analyzed the determinants which explain the
rationale behind the SME owner-managers’ utilization of digital media for stakeholder
engagement and for the promotion of responsible entrepreneurship. It reported that the
respondents’ technology acceptance depended on their perceived “use” and “ease of use” of
digital media; and on their willingness to communicate online on their commercial, ethical and
social responsibilities. The results from the regression analysis reported positive and significant
relationships between the SMEs’ online stakeholder engagement and the pace of technological
innovation; and between the SMEs’ online engagement and the owner-managers’ perceived
usefulness of digital media. This study indicated that the pace of technological innovation, the
owner-managers’ perceived ease of use of the digital media, as well as their commercial
responsibility were significant antecedents for their businesses’ online communication of their
responsible behaviors. Arguably, the use of technology is facilitated when individuals will
perceive its usefulness and its ease of use (Davis, 1989). In fact, the findings from this research
have specified that the owner-managers’ intention was to use digital media to communicate
about their responsible entrepreneurship. They also indicated their desire to use this innovation
to engage with stakeholders on other topics, including commercial and ethical issues. This is
in stark contrast with Penwar et al.’s (2017) findings, as the authors contended that the SME
owner-managers’ perceptions on social engagement did not hold the same virility when
compared to the context of their larger counterparts. These authors argued that the tangible
benefits of CSR engagement had no effect on SMEs. In a similar vein, Baumann Pauly et al.’s
(2013) study reported that the larger businesses were more effective than SMEs in their CSR
communications. However, the findings from this study’s second, third and fourth regression
equations indicated that the small and micro businesses were using digital media to improve
their stakeholder engagement and to communicate about their responsible entrepreneurship
Implications and Conclusions
SME managers and executives are in a position to enhance the effectiveness of their businesses’
communication efforts. This study has identified and analyzed the SME owner-managers’
attitudes toward the utilization of digital media for the communication of commercial, ethical
and social responsibility issues. Previous academic research has paid limited attention to the
technology acceptance of digital media among small businesses, albeit a few exceptions
(Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015; Baumann Pauly, Wickert, Spence and Scherer, 2013; Durkin
et al., 2013; Taylor and Murphy, 2004). In this case, the research findings indicated that digital
technologies and applications were perceived as useful by the SME owner-managers. This
implies that the utilization of digital media can be viewed as a critical success factor that may
lead to an improved engagement with stakeholders.
Several SMEs are already communicating about their responsible entrepreneurship through
conventional and interactive media, including; social media, review sites, blogs, et cetera.
These savvy businesses are leveraging their communications as they utilize digital media
outlets (e.g., The Guardian Sustainability Blog, CSRwire, Triple Pundit and The CSR Blog in
Forbes among others) to improve their reach, frequency and impact of their message. In
addition, there are instances where consumers themselves, out of their own volition are
becoming ambassadors of trustworthy businesses on digital media (Du et al., 2010). Whilst
other stakeholders may perceive these businesses’ posturing behaviors and greenwashing
(Camilleri, 2017; Vorvoreanu, 2009).
A thorough literature review suggested that the positive word-of-mouth publicity through
digital media may lead to strategic and financial benefits (Camilleri, 2017; Taiminen and
Karjaluoto, 2015; Durkin et al., 2013). Therefore, businesses, including SMEs, are increasingly
joining conversations in social media networks and online review sites. These sites are being
used by millions of users every day. Indeed, there is potential for SMEs to engage with their
prospects and web visitors in real-time.
6.1 Limitations of Study and Future Research Avenues
Recently, there have been a few studies that have explored the entrepreneurial attitudes on
stakeholder engagement and CSR reporting (Fassin, 2008; Murillo and Lozano, 2006). Yet,
previous studies have considered different sampling frames, research designs, and
methodologies. As a result, their findings have produced different outcomes.
This research has investigated the SME owner-managers’ perceptions on stakeholder
engagement via digital media. Although the number of survey participants was sufficient in
drawing conclusions about their attitudes; this study is not amenable in drawing general
conclusions in other contexts. Moreover, the majority of the survey respondents (80%) were
owner-managers of small firms having fewer than 50 employees. These participants were
responsible for the marketing communications activities of their firms. However, they often
performed other roles within their organization. This issue could have influenced the findings
of this study. Generally, the results indicated that the SMEs’ owner-managers were using
digital media to promote their products and for stakeholder engagement purposes.
Nevertheless, the descriptive statistics revealed that were a few respondents who were still
apprehensive on the use of digital media.
Future studies can complement and improve this work in a number of ways. For instance, other
research could include both small and large firms across various industries; to examine whether
the effect of CSR communication is different between the two categories. Moreover, the
researcher believes that there is scope in undertaking qualitative studies to explore the
participants’ in-depth opinions and perceptions on the subject. Further research is necessary to
identify the organizational aspects that facilitate or hinder the implementation of CSR-practices
and its communication. Knowledge about these aspects could inform and guide practitioners
in both large and small firms. A longitudinal study in this area of research could possibly
investigate the opportunities and threats of the consistent disclosures of responsible
entrepreneurship through digital media, and to establish its reputational effects in the long run.
Future research can specifically investigate the relevance of the SMEs’ continuous engagement
in online conversations with stakeholders.
The author thanks the General Retailers and Traders Union and the Malta Hotels and
Restaurants Association for disseminating the survey questionnaire among their members, and
for allowing the researcher to communicate about this research project in their annual event.
The author also expresses his gratitude to the journal editor and to the reviewers for their
constructive remarks and suggestions.
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... Scientific map of bibliographic coupling by documents. (Ahmad et al. 2021a;Camilleri 2019;Cardinali and Giovanni 2022;Cheng et al. 2021;Dreyer et al. 2017;Gupta et al. 2021;Hu et al. 2021;Khattak and Yousaf 2022;Ma et al. 2021;Magrini et al. 2021;Okazaki et al. 2020;Scherer et al. 2016;Siano et al. 2016;Stawicka 2021;Tariq et al. 2022;van den Broek et al. 2017;Vasile et al. 2021;Vogler and Eisenegger 2021;Vollero et al. 2021). ...
... As a result of the research, we can outline, as relevant sectors of further scientific research, the following: banks (Rangel-Pérez et al. 2023;Cheng et al. 2021), SMEs (Camilleri 2019;Stawicka 2021), family firms (Patuelli et al. 2022), human capital (Malynovska et al. 2022); innovative channels for communication with stakeholders, respectively, Twitter and others social media (Okazaki et al. 2020;Topor et al. 2022). At the same time, we can differentiate the following ethical aspects: customer trust, customer loyalty (Iglesias et al. 2020;Suebsaiaun and Pimolsathean 2018); new skills and competences (Abina et al. 2022). ...
... Scientific map of citation analysis by documents.(Ahmad et al. 2021b;Alieva and Powell 2023;Camilleri 2019;Cardinali and Giovanni 2022;Charumathi and Gaddam 2018;Cheng et al. 2021;Danylevych and Poplavska 2020;Dreyer et al. 2017;Etter et al. 2019;Forrest et al. 2014; Gao and Jin 2022; Gupta et al. 2021;Hu et al. 2021;Iglesias et al. 2020;Ionaşcu et al. 2022;Jayaram et al. 2015;Ma et al. 2021; Merhabi et al. 2021;Mohammed et al. 2022;Mueller 2022;Na et al. 2022;Okazaki et al. 2020;Paliwoda-Matiolanska et al. 2020;Patuelli et al. 2022;Reguly and Giles 2015;Scherer et al. 2016;Siano et al. 2016;Suebsaiaun and Pimolsathean 2018;Tariq et al. 2022;van den Broek et al. 2017;Vasile et al. 2021;Xin et al. 2022). ...
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Modern technologies require the need to analyze the opportunities for improving the integration of digital technologies in CSR activities in the context of added values between business and science in perspective, including the future digital society. The main goal of this article is to identify the current state of research on the integration of digital technologies in CSR activities in business, as well as to prepare recommendations for further research and practice. Additionally, the study aims to recognize the relationship and dependencies between CSR and digital technologies. A systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis of 129 scientific articles published between 2014 to 2023 was performed. The bibliometric analysis was organized in two directions: descriptive and performance analysis, through which we can study the contribution of the analyzed objects to the given scientific area, and science mapping, which studies the relationships among them. The results indicate that companies more frequently use artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things and other technologies to increase the efficiency and impact of their CSR activities. In addition, this research reveals the basis of bringing forward the new trends for future publications, which shall upgrade and enrich the theory and practice.
... The human resources will surely appreciate the perks they receive, including health insurance covers, wellness programs, corporate offers, discounted services, and the like. Such extrinsic rewards can have a very significant effect on the employees' intrinsic motivations and on their job satisfaction in their workplace environment integrates valid measures from the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) , namely, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, with a responsible HRM construct, drawn from the business ethics literature (Camilleri, 2019), to better understand whether these factors are affecting the employees' organizational commitment. This latter construct is associated with organizational behavior and/or organizational psychology field of studies (Aguiar-Quintana et al., 2020). ...
... Quantitative data were gathered through a questionnaire that integrated extrinsic and intrinsic motivations (Gagné et al., 2010) with responsible human resources management (Camilleri, 2019) as well with organizational commitment (Bulut and Culha, 2010) constructs. Table 1 provides a definition of the measuring constructs and features all items that were used in this research. ...
... The relevant literature that is the related to the stakeholder theory, HRM, organizational behavior and/or to organizational psychology suggest that it is in the employers' interest to nurture excellent relationships with their employees (Camilleri, 2019) and to motivate them Mitchell et al., 2020), in order to enhance their organizational commitment (Bulut and Culha, 2010;Aguiar-Quintana, et al., 2020). ...
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Purpose: A number of hospitality businesses are understaffed and are experiencing severe labor shortages, in various contexts. In many cases, hotels and restaurants are finding it difficult to retain and recruit motivated employees. In this light, this research uses key constructs related to the self-determination theory and integrates them with a responsible human resources management (HRM) measure, to investigate the antecedents of organizational commitment. The underlying objective of this study is to shed light on employee psychology and on responsible organizational behaviors in the hospitality industry. Design/Methodology/Approach: Primary data were captured through an online questionnaire distributed via popular LinkedIn groups that represent hospitality employees. A composite-based structural equations modelling approach was utilized to confirm the reliability and validity of the chosen factors and to shed light on the causal paths of this contribution’s proposed model. Findings: The results indicate that there are highly significant direct and indirect effects in this study, particularly between extrinsic motivations - organizational commitment and between responsible HRM - organizational commitment. These relationships are mediated by intrinsic motivations. Practical implications: This research implies that practitioners ought to incentivize and reward hardworking employees, in a commensurate manner, to offer them great working environments as well as appropriate conditions of employment, to enhance their loyalty, minimize turnover rates, and to attract promising talent. Theoretical implications: This contribution advances a robust Responsible Organizational Behavior (ROB) model comprising responsible HRM, extrinsic rewards, intrinsic motivation and organizational commitment. Originality/Value: This empirical study incorporates a responsible HRM construct with extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. It confirms that they are significant antecedents of organizational commitment. Unlike previous research, this contribution focuses on employee psychology as well as on strategic organizational behaviors during a time when tourism businesses are experiencing an increase in demand for their services, in the aftermath of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It raises awareness on the industry’s perennial challenges in attracting and retaining employees.
... The advent of the information era has brought new challenges to digital media design, and literature [12] argues that with the comprehensive development of big data technology in China, the impact of digital media design has diverse characteristics, and the traditional development model has been unable to meet the development requirements of the new era. Literature [13] in the actual work needs to be re-arranged, and the mode of content design and informatization to lay a solid foundation for the subsequent development. Literature [14] in the actual work needs to be open development mode and focus on the working principles of digital media design innovation. ...
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Information visualization is one of the important contents of digital media design, and they have a mutually complementary relationship. This paper combines the realistic background of the big data era and makes a more comprehensive introduction to the theoretical study of data visualization, including visual perception, visualization functions, judgment indexes, and principles. Secondly, by collecting the time series data, anomaly detection is carried out in the pre-processing stage, while the ring test is divided into a short-term ring and a long-term ring because the time series carries the property of time succession. Finally, anomaly detection is performed by its statistical features, which include distribution, moving average, exponential smoothing, standard deviation, and mean, whose values are equivalent to observing single-dimensional data when the sample data distribution is used as a perspective. The results show that through the comparative analysis of data visualization and traditional mathematical statistics, the correlation coefficients of information visualization for digital media design are between 0.8003 and 0.8129, while the traditional statistical methods for digital media design are only between 0.5038 and 0.5523. The information visualization proposed in this paper is better for digital media design to convey the art expressed by data and deeper mining analysis of spatiotemporal data.
... Digital technology is an entry point for organizations to innovate and meet market needs. Digital technologies can increase growth and broad market reach because they can communicate in real-time (Camilleri, 2019). Findings in Europe show that the government provides policies for small firms to fight in the worldwide market. ...
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The development of digital technology and intense competition have forced owners of small firms (MSMEs) to adapt technological developments to compete with competitors quickly. This study examines the effect of digitalization and competitive advantage on market sustainability and performance. This study used a qualitative method by distributing questionnaires to 166 MSMEs owners in Indonesia. The finding of this research indicate that digitalization and competitive advantage affect sustainability and market performance. This study's results suggest to MSMEs owners that technological proficiency is crucial for companies to survive in an uncertain environment.
... Second, organizations should devote more efforts to cultivating formal and informal channels to enhance communication feedback, especially with the help of modern information and communication technologies such as digital media and social media platforms [80]. Research has indicated that these digital platforms can promote two-way communication between organizations and employees [80,81] and be used to create and share knowledge, help employees resolve doubts, and acquire cutting-edge knowledge. More importantly, employees are paramount during digital transformation, and an effective communication feedback mechanism per se represents an acknowledgment of people. ...
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Background: Enterprises’ digital transformation is an important issue in the digital era. Exploring how digital transformation can be implemented successfully within enterprises is of considerable theoretical and practical significance. From the perspective of employee learning, this study focuses on employees and aims to establish the theoretical linkage between employees’ perception of enterprise digital capability and their sustainable performance. Methods: A survey using the random sampling technique was adopted to collect data from a large professional data platform. A multi-wave survey featuring 433 full-time Chinese employees was conducted using path analyses to test the hypotheses. Results: The results of the path analyses showed that: (1) employee learning and unlearning mediate the relationship between employees’ perception of an enterprise’s digital capability and their sustainable performance; (2) communication feedback strengthens the positive effects of perceived enterprise digital capability on learning, as well as on unlearning; and (3) the integrated moderated mediation model is valid. Conclusion: This paper proves that during enterprises’ digital transformation, employees’ perception of the enterprise’s digital capability promotes employee sustainable performance via both learning and unlearning. Communication feedback strengthens the above relationships. Therefore, this study contributes to the literature on digital transformation and highlights employee-learning-related organizational management issues, shedding light on the practice of enterprise digital transformation.
... Whilst on the internet, online users are interacting with other persons through websites, including in games and social media networks (SNSs) (Barhoumi et al., 2022;Camilleri, 2019;Camilleri and Camilleri, 2022a;Marques et al., 2021;Zhou et al., 2022b), in the Metaverse they will probably engage with them through their avatars. This is what they do when they use VR technologies. ...
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Purpose: Many educators are increasingly acquainting themselves and becoming adept with interactive technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Some of them are also looking forward to utilizing Metaverse applications, as they want to benefit from its immersive three-dimensional (3D) capabilities. Therefore, this research critically reviews the extant literature to investigate how, why, where and when the Metaverse can be used for educational purposes. It also discusses about opportunities, challenges and risks related to this disruptive technology. Methodology: A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) rigorous protocol is used to search, extract, scrutinize and synthesize content from high-impact articles focused on the use of the Metaverse technology in the realms of education. Afterwards, this research theorizes on the costs and benefits of using this interactive technology with students. Findings: A number of researchers are already experimenting with virtual technologies that are very similar to the Metaverse, in different contexts. This research indicates that most students are lured by immersive multi-sensory 3D environments as well as by VR applications that could simulate real life situations and provide engaging experiences with virtual representations of people, places and objects. On the other hand, it reveals that educators ought to consider the potential pitfalls of the Metaverse, including privacy breaches and security risks, as well as possible addictions and the development of mental health issues, among others. Practical implications: Students and educators can use the Metaverse to catapult themselves in a simulated digital universe that could reconfigure their sensory inputs, definitions of space, time and points of access to information. This research calls for the development of regulatory instruments including of sound principles, guidelines and procedures that are intended to safeguard and protect Metaverse users. Originality: This contribution implies that there is scope for educators to continue developing the Metaverse's virtual spaces in order to improve their students' motivations, aptitudes and learning outcomes. It clarifies that the use of the Metaverse in education can create infinite possibilities to enhance their knowledge, competences and abilities through its immersive applications. Yet, it also raises awareness on possible challenges in the short term as well on other risks associated to the prolonged use of this captivating technology.
... It is also a cost-efficient means of reaching a broad audience and promptly resolving problems (Sheth, 2020). From a technological perspective, marketing enables businesses to interact more effectively by gathering and using acquired data to enhance their responses (Camilleri, 2018;Roy et al., 2017;Trainor, 2013). ...
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This study aims to bridge the gap in inconsistent findings on the use of social media technology to enhance firm performance through business network power and market entry speed. The original premise of this study is the formulation of business network power, derived from the resource advantage theory of competition, through social media as a primary process that impacts a firm’s performance. Data were collected from a sample of 236 owner—managers of small-to-medium craft subsector enterprises in the creative industry in Bali, Indonesia. The results indicate that social media can be a primary trigger for leveraging business network power and strengthening market entry speed and performance. This study has several theoretical and managerial implications.
... After learning about customer acceptance for the SMEs Central Agro Lestari website, the next step is implementation. Their online communication with stakeholders could foster positive behaviors, compel remedial actions, and will pay off in terms of corporate reputation, customer loyalty, and market standing [9]. At this stage, the socialization process for the website that has been developed is carried out. ...
Conference Paper
Website is a very essential tool to provide information for the customers, especially in the business world. Information needed by customers can be accessed 24 hours through the website. In the company profile website system, there are two entities: the front page of the website that displays content and the content management page that functions to manage content data. The purpose of building a Website is to develop an information system that can carry out the work of managing content. SMEs Central Agro Lestari is one of the joint business groups that aims to reach the global market, domestic and foreign customers. Customers are an essential part, especially in online transactions made at SMEs Central Agro Lestari. So, it requires the role of a website that can reach customers widely. The research method used in this study is the Research and Development with preliminary, development, validation and implementation stages. TAM Framework is used at the validation stage to determine customer acceptance in order to provide an overview of consumer acceptance of the website that has been developed so that continuous improvements can be made.
... Their collaboration with external (expert) stakeholders may lead to positive outcomes including to knowledge acquisition, operational efficiencies, cost savings, and to creating new revenue streams from the development of innovative projects, among others (Ghodbane, 2019;Huizingh, 2011). Open innovation agreements are clearly evidenced when businesses forge strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders to help them plan, develop, promote, and distribute products (Bresciani, 2017;Camilleri, 2019b;Chesbrough & Bogers, 2014;Greco et al., 2022;Loučanová et al., 2022;Troise et al., 2021). They may do so to be in a better position to align corporate objectives (including to increase their bottom lines) with their social and environmental performance (Alberti & Varon Garrido, 2017;Herrera & de las Heras-Rosas, 2020;Mendes et al., 2021). ...
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To date, few researchers have linked open innovation approaches with triple bottom line corporate sustainability objectives in terms of economic, social, and environmental performance. A systematic review suggests that the businesses' collaborative relationships with external consultants or organizations can increase their competitive advantage, as external stakeholders could assist them in the development of sustainable innovations, diversification into different markets, and in the generation of new revenue streams. At the same time, they can support them in addressing numerous deficits in society. On the other hand, this contribution implies that an organizational culture that promotes open innovation approaches could expose practitioners to risks and uncertainties, like revealing sensitive information to outsiders, among others. In reality, it may prove difficult for the businesses to trust new partners, as they are not subject to their organizations' codes of conduct, rules, and regulations. K E Y W O R D S corporate social responsibility, corporate sustainability, creating shared value, open innovation, stakeholder engagement, strategic CSR
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Organizations engage in Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (Strategic CSR) when they integrate responsible behaviors in their corporate practices (Camilleri, 2018; Porter & Kramer, 2011). Therefore, strategic CSR is often evidenced by the businesses’ engagement with key stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders, regulatory authorities, and communities as their nonfinancial activities can have an effect on society and the natural environment (Camilleri, 2017a). The ultimate goal of strategic CSR is to create both economic and social value (Carroll & Shabana, 2010; Falck & Heblich, 2007). Learn more about Strategic CSR (read further throught this entry)!
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Responsible behaviours are increasingly being embedded into new business models and strategies that are designed to meet environmental, societal and governance deficits. Therefore, the notions of Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management have become very popular among academia as corporations are moving beyond transparency, business ethics and stakeholder engagement. This book provides business students and scholars with a broad analysis on the subject of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It builds on the previous theoretical underpinnings of the CSR agenda, including Corporate Citizenship (Carroll, 1998; Waddock, 2004; Matten and Crane, 2004), Creating Shared Value (Porter and Kramer, 2011; 2006), Stakeholder Engagement (Freeman, 1984) and Business Ethics (Crane and Matten, 2004) as it features the latest Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR2.0) perspective (Visser, 2010). These recent developments imply that the organisations’ commitment to responsible behaviours may represent a transformation of the corporation into a truly sustainable business that is adding value to the business itself, whilst also adding value to society and the environment. This ‘new’ proposition is an easy term that may appeal to business practitioners. CSR2.0 is linked to improvements in economic performance, operational efficiency, higher quality, innovation and competitiveness. At the same time, it raises awareness on responsible behaviours. Therefore, this promising concept can be considered as strategic in its intent and purposes, as businesses are capable of being socially and environmentally responsible ‘citizens’ whilst pursuing their profit-making activities. Carroll (1979) affirmed that the businesses have economic responsibilities as providing a decent return on investment to owners and shareholders; creating jobs and fair pay for workers; discovering new resources; promoting technological advancement, innovation, and the creation of new products and services along with other objectives. Lately, there is similar discourse in many international fora, conferences, seminars and colloquia about corporate sustainability and responsible behaviours. However, the discussions are usually characterised by the presentation of theories that define the concepts, rather than being practical workshops (which involve the businesses themselves). In this light, this book clearly identifies the business case for CSR. It attempts to trigger active participation in corporate suites. Inevitably, it contends that there are still some challenging opportunities facing businesses, which will have to be addressed in the foreseeable future; including Stakeholder Relations and Collaborations, Government Regulation for CSR Compliance and the role of Strategic CSR in Education and Training. This publication combines theory and practice with case studies. Part I introduces the readers to the CSR Agenda. Chapter 1 provides a broad overview of the CSR terminology and its emerging constructs. It presents the business case for CSR. Chapter 2 reports on several international policies and regulatory instruments on the subject of environmental, social and governance disclosures of large organisations. Chapter 3 suggests that there is a rationale to maintain ongoing communications with stakeholders through integrated marketing communications including digital media and traditional channels. Chapter 4 sheds light on socially reponsible and sustainable investments that are being offered in the financial services market. Chapter 5 discusses about the importance of stakeholder engagement with responsible suppliers in the value chain. In Part II; this book contains five detailed case studies on a wide array of corporate sustainable and responsible initiatives that have been taken on board by global corporations in different contexts. Why should you choose this book? This book introduces the corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept and its related paradigms in a structured manner. It is primarily intended to advanced undergraduate and / or post graduate students. However, this contribution is also relevant for entrepreneurs, small business owners, non-profit organisations and charitable foundations. It explores the core aspects of contemporary strategies, public policies and practices that create value for business and society. This concise and authoritative guide on CSR; provides a thorough understanding on corporate social responsibility, sustainability, business ethics and corporate governance. It is a useful guide to students as it sheds light on many facets of CSR. Furthermore, it features international guidelines, codes and principles of responsible corporate governance. This publication shows how stakeholder engagement and sustainability strategies can create synergistic value opportunities for both business and societies in a global context. It suggests that both academia and business practitioners can employ corporate sustainability and responsibility practices as a guiding principle for their business success. Mark Anthony Camilleri, PhD (Edinburgh)
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the utilization and goals of digital marketing, and examines factors that influence the adoption and use of digital marketing channels in SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – The data comprises semi-structured theme interviews in SMEs among 16 managers and 421 survey respondents in Central Finland. Findings – The results of this study reveal that SMEs seem not use the full potential of the new digital tools, and so are not deriving benefit from the opportunities they provide. Furthermore, the results also raise the question of whether SMEs have understood the fundamental change in the nature of communication brought about by digitization. Research limitations/implications – The data comes from one region and thus the research context limits the generalizability of the results. Practical implications – SMEs seem not to be keeping pace with digital developments, mostly due to the lack of knowledge of digital marketing. Most of the studied SMEs do not apply the full potential of the new digital tools and hence are not benefitting fully from them. Social implications – Discussions on the future regional development of SMEs have called for training programmes to help SMEs exploit digitization. This is something that the government should take note of. Originality/value – Whereas the adoption process of new technologies such as IT in general and the internet in particular have been examined in the SME literature, this is among the first studies examining adoption and usage of digital tools from the marketing perspective.
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The business case for social responsibility (BCSR) is one of the most widely studied topics in the business and society literature that focuses on large firms. This attention is understandable because large firms have an obligation to shareholders who, as commonly assumed, seek to maximize returns on their investments, in turn, pressing corporate managers to show that firms’ expenditures in social engagement would pay off. Small firms, on the other hand, rarely face such pressures, yet the BCSR logic is increasingly applied to small firms as well. Our primary objective in this paper is to examine whether and how much do small firm owners’ perceptions of BCSR affect the firm’s social engagement. In finding a fine-grained answer to those questions, we consider BCSR as a two-dimensional construct consisting of tangible and intangible benefits, and also integrate the BCSR perspective with the slack resource perspective to offer a motivation-capacity lens to examine firm’s social engagement. Drawing on a multi-industry sample of 478 small firms in the US, we find that while small firm owners’ perceptions about potential tangible benefits of social engagement are not related to the firm’s social engagement, perceptions about potential intangible are positively related. Firm's financial performance is also positively related to its social engagement, but there is no interaction between potential benefits and financial performance. This study contributes to an improved understanding about small firms’ social engagement, which still remains an understudied area. Our results are in line with studies which argue that firms’ social engagement is a response to institutional factors.
Over the past 15 years, digital media platforms have revolutionized marketing, offering new ways to reach, inform, engage, sell to, learn about, and provide service to customers. As a means of taking stock of academic work’s ability to contribute to this revolution, this article tracks the changes in scholarly researchers’ perspectives on three major digital, social media, and mobile (DSMM) marketing themes from 2000 to 2015. The authors first use keyword counts from the premier general marketing journals to gain a macro-level view of the shifting importance of various DSMM topics since 2000. They then identify key themes emerging in five-year time frames during this period: (1) DSMM as a facilitator of individual expression, (2) DSMM as decision support tool, and (3) DSMM as a market intelligence source. In both academic research to date and corresponding practitioner discussion, there is much to appreciate. However, there are also several shortcomings of extant research that have limited its rel...