Business social responsibility: How are SMEs doing in Gauteng, South Africa?

Mmboswobeni Watson Ladzani*, Solly Matshonisa Seeletse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to establish the extent to which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Gauteng, South Africa involve business social responsibility (BSR) in their practices. It also aims to bring awareness of the importance that BSR has amongst SMEs. The objectives are to measure the involvement of SME's BSR on management performance, identify strengths and areas that need improvement of BSR and expose the potential usefulness of BSR in South African SMEs. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative comparative design was used to collect primary data from 326 respondents from 64 randomly selected SMEs in the study area. Structured interviews were used. Findings: The findings revealed that SMEs in Gauteng had performed worst in the area of BSR out of the ten management performance scores measured. The study further found that most owner-managers of the sampled businesses had university qualifications and most of these businesses had passed the survival stage. Research limitations/implications - The study excluded major components of BSR, and cannot be generalized to the remaining eight provinces. Practical implications: It is recommended that SMEs in the study area strengthen BSR as a marketing tool to grow their businesses. Furthermore, SMEs researchers should focus on bringing the benefits of BSR to SMEs operations. Originality/value: Many SMEs seem to understand that BSR is to be carried out only by large enterprises. This study exposes Gauteng SMEs to BSR since those that incorporated BSR in their operations were not doing enough.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Responsibility Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Business social responsibility
  • Job creation
  • Management performance
  • Small to medium-sized enterprises


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