Virtus InterPress


Stéphanie Looser, Walter Wehrmeyer

DOI: 10.22495/cocv12i3c5p6


This paper investigates current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of Swiss Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with the aim to aggregate an underlying SME business model as value driver of Swiss CSR. To analyse these patterns this study conducted 30 interviews. A two-step Delphi process challenged the results and enabled the aggregation and visualisation of – L’EPOQuE – as emerging template of CSR. Overall, there is a strong emphasis on ownership, or to be precise, ownership-within-tradition. Family/middle class capitalism and the political/historical background of Switzerland are deciding as well, whereas size and capacities astonishingly seem to matter less. This generated some testable hypothesis, e.g., on how the Swiss SME model will be received in particular settings to which it is “exported”. Further, Swiss SMEs turned out to be genuine “social enterprises” so that the relevance of “social business planning” needs to be questioned, certainly as a novel idea in Switzerland. Overall, this study challenges the primacy of formal management systems to support CSR in companies, especially SMEs, and addresses critical moments at which the nexus between small businesses, Swiss society, and the state might be adjusted.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, SMEs, Emerging Template

How to cite this paper: Looser, S., & Wehrmeyer, W. (2015). An emerging template of CSR in Switzerland. Corporate Ownership & Control, 12(3-5), 541-560.

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