How can Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Innovation Enhance Enterprise Performance?: Possible Pathways for the Romanian SMEs in the Context of the Global Economic Crisis

How can Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Innovation Enhance Enterprise Performance?: Possible Pathways for the Romanian SMEs in the Context of the Global Economic Crisis

Ana-Cristina Ionescu (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3886-0.ch086
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By analyzing the experience in Romania, this study aims to provide insight into the relationship between SMEs’ CSR activities and their economic competitiveness in the light of innovation, mandatory in times of economic crisis, and emphasize the idea that business as usual is no longer acceptable. In addition to providing research on the general situation of CSR in Romania, this case is also describing the most relevant (public) actors engaged in this issue, the level of deployment of CSR among SMEs, as well as the characteristics of these activities. In order to prove that innovative CSR initiatives are a positive investment resulting in an economically beneficial outcome for the businesses, that can be disseminated via open innovation networks, a number of five Good Practice case studies have been identified and described in-depth.
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Organization Background

The present collection of case studies was prepared as part of several research project developed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, that consisted in literature review, surveys, case studies, dissemination activities. In addition to highlighting the positive benefits for the business, the purpose is to support SMEs incorporating sustainability objectives, i.e. CSR concepts and tools, into the business strategy, which contains among others R&D objectives that consider the sustainability targets. The SMEs case studies, documented in this publication, reveal an organizational culture characterized by a positive and supportive attitude with respect to environmental and social issues.

Table 1 illustrates the organizational background of five selected company with their sector identity, their CSR categories, contents of the analyzed CSR activities and the impact of the analyzed CSR activities. However, before going to the next section, to set the background detail on the theme of this study, a thorough literature review (with specific focus on the research theme) on innovation, corporate social responsibility, and the relationship of innovation with CSR are being described next.

Table 1.
Overview of the case studies
Company nameIndustryMain CSR CategoryContent of the analyzed CSR ActivitiesImpact of the Analyzed CSR Activities
SC Icemenerg SAresearch and developmentcomprehensive
investment in environmentally friendly production processes;
provision of training;
social events for employees;
measures for health protection of employees;
labour market integration of young people
less staff problems;
better image;
better atmosphere
SC Elmi ProdFarm SRLmanufacture of
soap and detergents,
cleaning and polishing
preparations, perfumes and toilet preparations
societyvarious sponsorships of humanitarian organizations/for humanitarian purposesincrease of turnover;
better image;
higher awareness
SC Borderline
Services SRL
educationsocietyfree offer of servicesincreased awareness among the target
higher number of customers
SC TuvKarpat SRLbusiness and management
consultancy activities
improvement of the infrastructure at the workplace;
flexible working hours;
permanent employer-employee dialogue;
provision of customer feedback opportunities;
environmentally friendly production processes
higher efficiency;
better atmosphere;
better customer relations
Galfinband S.A.manufacture of
basic metals and fabricated metal products
dissemination of information on CSR;
equipment of schools with IT;
donations for humanitarian purposes;
environmentally friendly production;
occupational health and safety
better image;
higher awareness among the target group;
better financial results

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