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Dr Stavroula Leka CPsychol FRSH Associate Professor in Occupational Health Psychology Institute of Work, Health & Organisations University of Nottingham.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Stavroula Leka CPsychol FRSH Associate Professor in Occupational Health Psychology Institute of Work, Health & Organisations University of Nottingham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Stavroula Leka CPsychol FRSH Associate Professor in Occupational Health Psychology Institute of Work, Health & Organisations University of Nottingham Developing responsible business practices in SMEs: Lessons learned from the UK

2 Presentation objectives Background Research objectives Research findings Engaging SMEs Next steps

3 Institute of Work, Health & Organisations Applied research institute in OSH WHO Collaborating Centre in OH EASHW active participant in Topic Centre activities EA-OHP: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology (

4 Psychosocial Risk Management PRIMA-EF: Development of European Framework for Psychosocial Risk Management EC FP6 Policy Research Programme Partners: BAuA, ISPESL, TNO, CIOP, FIOH Supported by WHO, ILO Advisory Group: EASHW, European Foundation, DG- Employment, DG-SANCO, ICOH WOPS, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP, ETUC, ETUI Liaison Organisations: US NIOSH, University of South Australia, Singapore Ministry of Manpower, Institute for Social Policies (Bulgaria), HSE (UK), Cyprus International Institute (Harvard-Cyprus Initiative for the Environment & Public Health)

5 Background Research funded by Uni of Nottingham Collaborative with Business School’s International Centre for CSR (ICCSR) > developing focus on SMEs Training development through Business School’s Institute for Enterprise & Innovation

6 SMEs  SMEs are important to UK & Europe  Predominant employer  23 million in 25 member states  More than 99% of all enterprises  Employ more than 75 million in Europe  Definitions of SME

7 CSR & OSH 1 Employee health and safety beyond legal requirements Using OSH as a criterion in the selection of subcontractors or in marketing Investing in OSH training Publicising OSH practices

8 CSR & OSH 2  CSR is likely to bring OSH closer to issues such as:  HR  Work and life balance  Fundamental rights at work  Environmental issues  Public safety and health  Profitability and productivity  CSR as opportunity to raise company commitment to OSH

9 Research objectives Explore perceptions of CSR and OSH by SME owner/managers and identify barriers to their integration Review available case studies in SMEs and large organisations where the link between CSR & OSH has had positive outcomes in terms of OSH and CSR practices and identify critical success factors Develop framework for the integration of OSH and CSR in the SME context Test framework through further research

10 Sample & analysis 120 semi-structured interviews with owners/managers of SMEs from variety of sizes and sectors – more small enterprises, lack of representation of agriculture due to access problems Initial thematic analysis Currently further analysis is being conducted

11 Key findings 1 CSR is difficult to understand – term ‘corporate’ doesn’t apply “.. see it as things like recycling ….. probably not particularly applicable to us.” (construction 22 emp) However, ‘responsible business’ does apply “when you run a small business I think you feel responsible for everything, our staff and customers are our livelihood” (service 16 emp)

12 Key findings 2 Majority of SMEs interviewed believe that they should pay significant attention to their social and environmental responsibilities Better awareness and recognition by larger SMEs, and those that are members of business networks and associations

13 Key findings 3 Differences between small and medium firms “ we grew there was more of a need to do things better, once we had over 60 people it became important that everybody knew what we were about... you can’t use the excuse you didn’t know, it could cost you a lot” (manufacturing 125 emp) Differences between sectors

14 Key findings 4 Key role of managers and their values “as far as possible it is my responsibility to make sure people are safe while they are working for us” (service 12 emp) “..he knows he should do more, but he’s got away with it for 13 years…he always says if they don’t like it they don’t have to work here.” (construction 59 emp) More focus on internal issues > staffing issues, employee skills, morale and motivation

15 Key findings 5 SME social and community activities are fragmented and informal Many engaging in CSR but not aware of this “It’s so noisy in the factory, we’ve made a peaceful garden for people to take their breaks outside and get fresh air they use it all year practically the staff say makes them feel better and like they’ve had a break”. (manufacturing 9 emp)

16 Key findings 6 Limited awareness of and focus on health issues > safety prioritised Need for more comprehensive approach to well-being to be promoted

17 Barriers to engagement 1 Main perceived barriers are fear of bureaucracy, time and cost “…. The trouble is I’m not big enough, if one persons off I work a double day their job and mine.” (construction 9 emp) BUT companies that engage point out that barriers tend to be built on perceptions rather than reality

18 Barriers to engagement 2 Lack of knowledge and opportunities of engagement as barriers Lack of clear, simple guidance Language used

19 Framework – Prioritisation Stakeholder Prioritisation Are Prioritised issues being dealt with adequately? Yes? What is the state of play? monitor situation and revisit in future: -Dialogue -Measurement -Reflection No? What is the state of play? Go to Diag 2

20 Framework 2 – Impacts Why is this not being dealt with? What are the business implications of this in the short run and long run? Is action needed? No? monitor situation and revisit in future: -Dialogue - Measurement -Reflection Yes? Go to diagram 3

21 Framework 3 – Implementation Tools & Strategies -Allocation of responsibility -Codes -Guidelines -Employee management of issue -Issue Champions -Mechanisms of monitoring -Feedback mechanisms What is your firm’s policy on this? (linked to mission/value statement) Is extra training required? In House? Bought In? Y N Assessment of barriers to action

22 Framework 4 – Implementation cont. Has this been communicated internally and externally? -dialogue/ engagement -accountability mechanisms Assessment of effectiveness dialogue measurement reflection Go Back to Diagram 1

23 Next steps Interviews with key stakeholders in CSR and OSH across Europe > key elements of CSR of relevance to OSH > promote agreement Action research > implementation of framework to limited number of SMEs and evaluation of impact on CSR & OSH practices

24 Conclusions Further research Promote awareness and understanding Key CSR elements/indicators in relation to OSH Case studies Use platform to disseminate Provide framework and tools to apply and evaluate

25 Thank you!

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