Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

Businesses Across Generations: A Regulatory Focus and Generational Perspective on Small-Scale Corporate Social Responsibility

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution 22-23

Western Kentucky University

KY House District #

10

KY Senate District #

5

Department

Department of Management

Abstract

Small and medium-sized (SME) businesses are largely recognized on the global scale for both economic and social impact. From an economic perspective, SMEs comprise a significant portion of the total entrepreneurial activity and economic value worldwide, but their communal contributions are likely through a demonstration of pioneering various community leadership and advancement projects. These relationships between SMEs and the individuals they serve lend themselves to the perspective that small businesses are crucial to the survival and advancement of their communities. However, over time, these businesses change hands, and new management sets in to put forth an agenda based on their experience, the current standing of the business, and where they want to see it go. Largely affecting this is the generational boundaries we have begun to see in the small business world. Despite the cross-generational practice of business we see, little is known about the motivation orientation underlying these behaviors as they potentially evolve through the generations. Using regulatory focus theory in conjunction with small-scale models of corporate social responsibility create a theoretical lens to which we examine how promotion focus versus prevention focus of the small business owner motivates social responsibility engagement from a generational standpoint. Our study aims to uncover and realign our understanding of the motivations behind a business's social responsibility behaviors, and how generational identity moderates this relationship.

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Businesses Across Generations: A Regulatory Focus and Generational Perspective on Small-Scale Corporate Social Responsibility

Small and medium-sized (SME) businesses are largely recognized on the global scale for both economic and social impact. From an economic perspective, SMEs comprise a significant portion of the total entrepreneurial activity and economic value worldwide, but their communal contributions are likely through a demonstration of pioneering various community leadership and advancement projects. These relationships between SMEs and the individuals they serve lend themselves to the perspective that small businesses are crucial to the survival and advancement of their communities. However, over time, these businesses change hands, and new management sets in to put forth an agenda based on their experience, the current standing of the business, and where they want to see it go. Largely affecting this is the generational boundaries we have begun to see in the small business world. Despite the cross-generational practice of business we see, little is known about the motivation orientation underlying these behaviors as they potentially evolve through the generations. Using regulatory focus theory in conjunction with small-scale models of corporate social responsibility create a theoretical lens to which we examine how promotion focus versus prevention focus of the small business owner motivates social responsibility engagement from a generational standpoint. Our study aims to uncover and realign our understanding of the motivations behind a business's social responsibility behaviors, and how generational identity moderates this relationship.