Small Business Social Responsibility: A Critical Multi-Level Review, Synthesis and Research Agenda

Vivek Soundararajan, Dima Jamali, Laura Spence

Research output: Contribution to conference (unpublished)Paperpeer-review


Small business social responsibility (SBSR)-related research is rapidly increasing in quantity but is in divergent literatures and disciplines. It is timely to offer a comprehensive review that identifies, synthesises and integrates prior research and the knowledge gaps. Our methodical search of the literature resulted in 113 multidisciplinary peer-reviewed academic articles over the period January 1970-May 2016 appearing in high quality journals. Using a systematic and in-depth content analysis technique, we reviewed the articles and identified theories used, national contextual focus and methodological in these articles. We also identified predictors, outcomes, mediators and moderators of SBSR at the institutional, organizational and individual levels of analysis. Our review helps determine significant knowledge gaps in terms of theoretical orientation, national contextual focus, core content under study and methods used. We offer numerous suggestions across these topics to help address the knowledge gaps and raise important questions for future research. The primary contributions of this paper are: delineating and summarizing a multilevel analysis of an emerging literature on small business social responsibility; integrating contributions from a wide range of management disciplines; extracting the potential theoretical contributions in this field; and informing directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016
EventAcademy of Management: 2016 Annual Meeting - California, Anaheim, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20168 Aug 2016


ConferenceAcademy of Management
Abbreviated titleAOM Annual Meeting 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Small Business Social Responsibility (SBSR)
  • Multi-Level Review
  • Theoretical Orientations
  • Research Methods
  • Future Research Directions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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