Title: Corporate social responsibility and firm performance of SMEs in an emerging economy: the moderating role of business strategy

Authors: Francisca N. Mapiye Dube; Victor Chang

Addresses: IBSS, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Wuzhong District, Suzhou, China ' School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BX, UK

Abstract: Our research paper investigates the relationship between CSR and firm performance to uncover the impact CSR has on market performance and financial performance. Our rationale is that in the case of emerging economies, CSR may not yield an immediate financial benefit, but we cede that the impact on financial performance is more of a spill over effect from a positive impact on market performance. A quantitative research design is adopted to test the proposed hypotheses. Data were collected from 100 SMEs in Zimbabwe. The proposed conceptual model was analysed using a multiple regression approach. The study's findings confirmed that business strategy moderates the relationship between CSR and firm performance. The conclusions of our investigation indicate that business strategy has a moderating effect on CSR and firm performance. Deducing from our survey findings, we recommend that SMEs should adopt prospector strategy and analyser strategies to effectively implement CSR initiatives.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; CSR; firm performance; business strategy; small and medium enterprises; SMEs; emerging economy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2022.122536

International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 2022 Vol.16 No.3, pp.358 - 381

Received: 08 Nov 2019
Accepted: 03 Apr 2020

Published online: 03 May 2022 *

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