Towards a sustainable innovation model for small enterprises

Steven P. MacGregor, Joan Fontrodona, Jose Luis Hernandez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter presents the main findings of the RESPONSE project, a 15-month exploration of 60 European SMEs that examined the link between CSR and innovation. The aim was to uncover the keys for effective CSR mainstreaming which we hope to support through the RESPONSE model, derived and presented here. We found that the uptake of CSR activities in our sample was good, yet often unformalised, and therefore not producing real value. We found the most successful companies in their markets to be the largest adopters of CSR, and that they either display a focus on values (solving some social or environmental need, which we term innovation-driven CSR) or value (based on the more conventional model of economic value for shareholders, which we term CSR-driven innovation). We provide examples of such enterprises and a case study on a highly mature SME where CSR and innovation has become highly integrated over a number of years. We finish our chapter by presenting a reflection for further research based on the need to mainstream CSR in SMEs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovative CSR
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Risk Management to Value Creation
EditorsCéline Louche, Samuel O. Idowu, Walter Leal Filho
Place of PublicationSheffield
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • sustainable innovation
  • small enterprises
  • RESPONSE project
  • european SMEs
  • CSR mainstreaming


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