A3 Book section, chapters in research books

Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in Internationally Operating SMEs: Implications for Performance

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Torkkeli Lasse, Saarenketo Sami, Salojärvi Hanna, Sainio Liisa-Maija
Editors of book: Marinova, Svetla; Larimo, Jorma; Nummela, Niina
Edition name or number: 1
Publication year: 2017
Language: English
Title of parent publication: Value Creation in International Business: Volume 2 An SME Perspective
ISBN: 978-3-319-39368-1
eISBN: 978-3-319-39369-8
JUFO-Level of this publication: 3
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2019103035949


International entrepreneurship as a field of study has, over the last two decades, shed light on many of the organizational strategy aspects prevalent in entrepreneurial internationalization. However, one area that has remained conspicuously absent in the discussion has been the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR)- and sustainability-related practices and successful internationalization. Both of these areas are increasingly relevant for companies in the environmental and business climate today, particularly for those originating from and operating in international markets where environmental awareness and good corporate behavior is increasingly demanded, both by consumers and by organizational buyers. Extant studies on other contexts have indicated that the relevance and impact of corporate sustainability and CSR may in the SME context be ambiguous and unique compared to larger firms. Therefore, we aim to shed further light on the phenomenon in the context of SME internationalization and international entrepreneurship.

The empirical sample of this study consists of 90 internationally operating Finnish SMEs across several industry sectors. The data were collected via an online survey in 2014, and we apply regression modeling to test the impact of corporate sustainability and CSR on international performance. The findings indicate that CSR, rather than sustainability-related practices, is positively linked to increased international performance of SMEs. Moreover, CSR related to society has the largest positive impact on performance, overriding even that of CSR towards customers. These results will provide further implications on the dynamics of CSR and sustainability in international performance, in particular highlighting their impact on successful SME internationalization.


Last updated on 2019-30-10 at 15:09