Corporate social responsibility and aging workforces: an explorative study of corporate social responsibility implementation in small- and medium-sized enterprises

Frank Jan de Graaf, Franz Jozef Gellert

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Although critical differences exist between large companies and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), limited empirical research has been done on human resource (HR)-related corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this paper we study aging workforce management (AWM) as a component of CSR. Our study was conducted in the Netherlands through a randomly distributed online questionnaire. Managers and team leaders of 201 SMEs responded. The data were analyzed using multiple hierarchical regression analysis. Our results are twofold: first, findings suggest that CSR policies in micro organizations with fewer than five employees seem to be strongly associated with AWM; and second, that companies with a focus on integration of older workers in daily activities do not perceive their actions as HR-related. Using AWM as part of CSR helps to give insight into the role of the owner, company size and the nature of implicit CSR practices. Our study demonstrates that the use of AWM in CSR research can lead to valuable insights and therefore, our overarching research question is answered that AWM can be used when studying CSR. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-363
Number of pages11
JournalBusiness ethics: a European review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012



  • smes
  • ageing workforces
  • corporate social responsibility

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