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The role of negative and positive forms of power in supporting CSR alignment and commitment between large firms and SMEs

Harness, David; Ranaweera, Chatura; Karjaluoto, Heikki; Jayawardhena, Chanaka

Authors

Chatura Ranaweera

Heikki Karjaluoto

Abstract

Do large firms exert power to shape the CSR behavior of their SME partners?” We answer this question by proposing a model built on the stakeholder theory and the shareholder theory, and go on to explain how this impact influences the commitment of the SME towards their large partner. The model highlights the central role that different forms of power exercised by the large firm play in the process. A survey of 291 SMEs confirms the key hypotheses, including the mediating role of reward power. The effects of coercive power are noteworthy and they illustrate the complex and competing forces at play in influencing CSR behavioral change in SMEs. The research makes a novel contribution to practice by highlighting among other things, how power, as a negative force via coercion or positively through expert or reward benefits, support or becomes counterproductive to the change process.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2018
Journal Industrial Marketing Management
Print ISSN 0019-8501
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 75
Pages 17-30
Item Discussed csr, sme and larger partner relationships
Institution Citation Harness, D., Ranaweera, C., Karjaluoto, H., & Jayawardhena, C. (2018). The role of negative and positive forms of power in supporting CSR alignment and commitment between large firms and SMEs. Industrial marketing management, 75, 17-30. doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.03.006
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.03.006
Keywords CSR orientation; Coercive power; Reward power; Affective commitment; Continuance commitment; Normative commitment
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019850117304248?via%3Dihub
Copyright Statement © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/