Original Research

The brand image and performance of small and medium enterprises: How can social responsibility activities help?

Chantal Rootman, Bomikazi Zeka
Acta Commercii | Vol 13, No 1 | a171 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v13i1.171 | © 2013 Chantal Rootman, Bomikazi Zeka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 January 2013 | Published: 25 April 2013

About the author(s)

Chantal Rootman, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Bomikazi Zeka, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Business social responsibility (BSR) activities may lead to benefits for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Research purpose: To investigate how SMEs could use BSR activities to improve their brand image and business performance.

Motivation for the study: In a competitive environment, SMEs face various challenges such as financial constraints, lack of resources or lack of managerial experience. BSR activities pave the way for an SME to make a positive contribution toward the environment in which it operates, as they indicate a level of care for the natural environment and show commitment toward the upliftment of communities. The benefits that accrue to SMEs that engage in BSR activities are yet to be determined and the need for research on SMEs’ BSR activities and results led to this study.

Research design, approach and method: Structured questionnaires were distributed to 320 SMEs in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. A total of 200 usable questionnaires were received, obtaining a response rate of 62.5%, and these were analysed quantitatively.

Main findings: Significant relationships were found between three BSR activities, namely stakeholder relations, community development and environmental awareness, and the SME’s brand image; as well as between the SME’s brand image and business performance.

Practical and managerial implications: Implemented BSR recommendations may lead to improved brand images and business performance; and therefore an increased success rate amongst SMEs in South Africa.

Contribution and value-add: BSR research has predominantly been in the sphere of larger and more established enterprises. The study suggests practical recommendations to SMEs to improve their brand image and business performance by employing BSR strategies relating to stakeholder relations, community development and environmental awareness.


Keywords

SMEs; BSR activities; brand image; business performance

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Crossref Citations

1. Using experiential marketing to leverage the small and medium-sized enterprises’ brand repositioning and revitalisation
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