Changing Attitudes Towards CSR and Youth Among SMEs

Allgaier, Hildengard (2012) Changing Attitudes Towards CSR and Youth Among SMEs. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this paper is to apply a Corporate Social Responsibility perspective in the analysis of SME engagement with young people. Considering that small and medium enterprises in the UK face serious skills shortages, graduates are an important potential resource to increase company competitiveness; they are, moreover, an important social asset in the development of the local community and possibly the broader British economy.

Holden et al (2007) argue that organisations in all sectors and of all sizes can prosper through the greater use of graduate labour. However, the picture is perhaps more complex owing to changes in the graduate labour market in the UK and abroad. Considering that the vast majority of young people no longer have a ‘job for life’ and UK recruiters place significant emphasis on experience when recruiting, with 29% citing it as ‘critical’, young people tend to be less dedicated and this leads to a churning effect where they keep moving from a low level job to another without having the opportunity of steady employment.

To gain new insights into existing theories of youth employment by SMEs, data was collected from UK journals, articles, and research reports from bodies working, at least in part, within the domain of the graduate labour market.

The main findings reveal that the graduate-SME relationship in the UK is characterized by mutual unattractiveness, whether as a result of inexperience or market forces and which really offers very broad based targets for policy development. In the “supply” side, there is a need to change and demystify Youth perceptions of employment in small companies. On the other hand, the “demand” side is marked by a need for more information which would demonstrate the value that a graduate can add to a small enterprise together with greater assistance in the recruitment process. Moreover, so long as meaningful engagement with educational establishments and government initiatives is lacking, SMEs will be missing out on growth opportunities which rely on the use of skilled and IT savvy young professionals.

The challenges addressed in this assessment are novel and research on the topic is still at an early stage, especially in the areas relating to impact in terms of responsibility, leadership, and strategic decision making among graduates in SMEs.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2013 09:21
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2016 07:12

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