CSR initiatives, organizational performance and the mediating role of integrating CSR into management control systems: Testing an inclusive model within SMEs in an emerging economy

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Source of Publication

Journal of Management Control

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This paper addresses a current gap in the literature by investigating the mediating role that integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into the management control systems (MCS) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can play in the relationship between CSR initiatives and organizational performance. We propose, and empirically validate, an inclusive model to examine these relationships. The study then extends further by embedding two constituents of CSR integration into MCS: namely, management control technology and involvement of management accountants in CSR management. Our study is distinguished by validating, as a contribution, a single construct for each of these two constituents. Data were collected from 117 SMEs in an emerging economy, Abu Dhabi-UAE. PLS structural equation modeling was used in the data analysis. We find that CSR initiatives in SMEs influence organizational performance both directly and indirectly through MCS. Interestingly, the results show that only the involvement of management accountants in CSR management mediates the relationship between CSR initiatives and SME performance. This indicates that the role of human intervention prevails over technology intermediation in conveying the positive effect of CSR initiatives on organizational performance. Overall, the findings help to understand how MCS is an important driving mechanism whereby SMEs may derive performance outcomes from deploying CSR initiatives. The study concludes with implications for future research and policy-makers.






Corporate social responsibility, Emerging economy, Management control systems, Mediation effect, Organizational performance, SMEs

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Open Access


Open Access Type

Bronze: This publication is openly available on the publisher’s website but without an open license