Social Responsibility as a Tool to Achieve Sustainable Development in SMEs
During the past decade companies' Social Responsibility (SR) has gained a significant importance globally. SR is companies' ideology, politics and practice when they voluntarily follow the principles of human, society and environment respect in the relations of all the stakeholders from society, business and government.
Although small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are evolving to play a significant role within the modern global economy, SR in SMEs has still received relatively little attention. Obviously, the success of SR strategies depends on the quality of staff performance in this field, which is largely related to the quality of education on SR. Whereas it is a lack of know-how and experience to support the systematic integration of SR practices in the management process of SMEs, there is a need of specific training materials and tools strictly adjusted to fit their needs and expectations.
This article is based on the analysis of needs of competences on SR from SMEs' and Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions'/universities' perspective obtained from two different surveys. The paper provides a summary of the existing SMEs' activities, needs and perspectives, with a special focus on the issues from the new international standard on SR ISO 26000.The results of the research show that the training resources for companies should be suitable to attain more specific purposes of SMEs and include comprehensive information about SR's profit. Moreover, all training materials need to be easily accessed and simple to understand and to apply and must offer such kind of training that could ensure deep knowledge on SR not only for the top management of the company, but primarily for the employees, on purpose to raise their consciousness.