Article

Understanding the impact of cultural factors on corporate responsibility: Conceptual framework and a study of 15 SMEs in Turkey

Abstract

This study offers a conceptual framework to investigate the role of financial and cultural factors on the understanding of corporate (social) responsibility (CR), and by applying this framework, aims to understand how cultural factors are affecting CR perception of Turkey. Since the impact of cultural factors is especially apparent on the smaller enterprises, the research focuses on SMEs in the manufacturing sector. In total, 15 semi-structured interviews with company representatives were conducted. The acquired data was analyzed with a descriptive analysis method. Results show that although participants were not aware of the extent of CR concept, a majority of them do have philanthropic activities, which are motivated predominantly by moral values. However, they show weak performances in terms of their environmental responsibility and stakeholder dialogue. These findings confirm that the CR perception of participant SMEs is compatible with Turkey’s cultural characteristics. Therefore, cultural factors could play a key role for SMEs to embrace the essence of CR as somehow traditional and already existing, rather than considering this notion as ‘imported’ or ‘new’. This research differs from existing literature in its qualitative methodology and conceptual framework, which scrutinizes financial and non-financial factors separately to reveal the CR perception of SMEs.

Keywords

Corporate responsibility globalization SMEs culture