Corporate Social Responsibility amongst Small and Medium Enterprises is often characterised in the literature as unstructured, informal and ad hoc discretionary philanthropic activities. Drawing insights from recent theoretical/analytical frameworks :52–78, 2010), and on empirical data collected from both Nigeria and Tanzania, we found that CSR practices in SMEs are much more nuanced than previously presented. In addition, SMEs undertake their CSR practices to varying degrees in multiple spaces—i.e. the workplace, marketplace, community and the ecological environment. These CSR practices go beyond (...) philanthropy and in some instances involve institutional works aimed at addressing some of the institutional gaps in the environments where these SMEs operate. The paper makes a contribution by drawing attention to the multiple spaces of CSR practices amongst SMEs, and the institutional works they do, which are often taken for granted in the extant literature. We provide a unique perspective—by arguing that what is frequently conceptualised as philanthropic CSR in Africa is ‘institutional works’. (shrink)
This paper attempts to define Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) more precisely than usual, and to produce the beginnings of a philosophy of this topical and somewhat novel branch of statistics. A data set is, roughly speaking, a collection of k-tuples for some k. In both descriptive statistics and in EDA, these k-tuples, or functions of them, are represented in a manner matched to human and computer abilities with a view to finding patterns that are not "kinkera". A kinkus is a (...) pattern that has a negligible probability of being even partly potentially explicable. A potentially explicable pattern is one for which there probably exists a hypothesis of adequate "explicativity", which is another technical probabilistic concept. A pattern can be judged to be probably potentially explicable even if we cannot find an explanation. The theory of probability understood here is one of partially ordered (interval-valued), subjective (personal) probabilities. Among other topics relevant to a philosophy of EDA are the "reduction" of data; Francis Bacon's philosophy of science; the automatic formulation of hypotheses; successive deepening of hypotheses; neurophysiology; and rationality of type II. (shrink)
At the start of the 21st century, Corporate Social Responsibility seems to have great potential for innovating business practices with a positive impact on People, Planet and Profit. In this article the differences between the management systems approach of the nineties, and Corporate Social Responsibility are analysed. An analysis is structured around three business principles that are relevant for CSR and management systems: doing things right the first time, doing the right things, and continuous improvement and innovation. Basically CSR is (...) focussing on the second principle, and management systems focus on the first. However, CSR is very likely to build on the management systems as well. From a CSR point of view, the existing generation of management systems with their focus on rational control cna only be of limited use in the development of CSR. However, the preventive rationalities of management systems are important. Values and the principle doing the right things is extremely relevant for CSR. This goes far beyond the present generation of ISO type management systems; opportunities stem from building on TQM approaches like the EFQM Business Excellence model. Continuous improvement and innovation is a permanent challenge underlying the two other business principles, and requires both individual and organisational learning processes. In the present generation of management systems, continuous improvement mainly addresses rational prevention, barely the value aspects of business. For the further development and implementation of CSR, each of the three business management principles are vital. There is a need for a new generation of management systems that addresses the values at stake in strategic decision-making, both at company level and in the behaviour of individuals, while the rationalities of prevention and anticipation are still relevant. In both directions more emphasis for continuous learning and innovation will be needed. CSR is likely to trigger the development of management systems in the directions mentioned. This will support companies to be credible and transparent in improving the performance with respect to people, planet and profit. (shrink)
The form of argument used by Popper and Miller to attack the concept of probabilistic induction is applied to the slightly different situation in which some evidence undermines a hypothesis. The result is seemingly absurd, thus bringing the form of argument under suspicion.