Creating Competitive Advantage and Building Capital through Corporate Social Responsibility: An Exploratory Study of Hospitality Industry Practices

Sandra Sydnor, Jonathon Day, Howard Adler


Hospitality industry managers respond to a wide variety of requests from stakeholders, both internal and external, and even the smallest hospitality company practices corporate social responsibility (CSR). The foundations of these actions can be traced to the interrelated concepts of social capital and stakeholder theory. The present exploratory study used qualitative methods to determine how managers understand and operationalize CSR, how managers determine appropriate stakeholders to support, and what benefits managers expect from CSR activities. Three focus groups were conducted, involving a total of 11 owner/ managers of hospitality firms from a medium-sized Midwestern town. The study found that managers considered CSR activities to be an important business strategy but tended to respond reactively to stakeholder requests. While managers did not typically have specific rubrics for analyzing CSR opportunities, they were inclined to prioritize based on the type of stakeholder involved and relevance to the local community. Finally, as observed, CSR activities are motivated by business and personal reasons.

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Management and Organizational Studies  ISSN 2330-5495 (Print)  ISSN 2330-5509 (Online)

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