Title: Exploring the corporate social responsibility agenda of British credit unions: a case study approach

Authors: Olufemi Sallyanne Decker

Addresses: Greenwich Business School, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10 9LS London

Abstract: Little is known about credit unions| engagement with corporate social responsibility (CSR), even though they collectively have significant impacts on society in developed as well as developing countries through widening access to financial services. By means of case studies, this paper seeks to explore the approach that exemplar British credit unions adopt to engage with their social and ethical responsibilities. We find that understanding of CSR is linked to cooperative principles, mainly external and community oriented and disconnected from CSR as a source of competitive advantage. The initiatives and practices that are seen to constitute CSR focus mainly on financial exclusion, rely significantly on a mixture of dependent and cooperative mechanisms and are executed through a network of links and partnerships. A strategic engagement with CSR that is value centric, integrated into strategy through principles and commitments and visible would provide sustainable benefits for credit unions and their multiple stakeholders.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; strategic CSR; financial services; credit unions; cooperatives; value creation; UK; United Kingdom; financial exclusion.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBAAF.2010.033501

International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, 2010 Vol.2 No.3, pp.275 - 294

Published online: 02 Jun 2010 *

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