Corporate Responsibility via Community Betterment: Characterizing Firms and Communities in a Sample of SME Wood Manufacturers

Judd H. Michael, Ann E. Echols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community betterment is a little-known component of corporate responsibility, and yet one that could be pursued by nearly all wood-based manufacturers. While considerable research has investigated how wood and forest-related companies adopt traditional corporate responsibility initiatives, little work has been done concerning how industry executives relate to their communities. In order to better understand these relationships, we surveyed pallet industry executives regarding their opinions on whether companies should contribute to the betterment of their local communities. We utilized secondary data to explore the communities’ crime indexes, population sizes, unemployment levels, education of residents, and percentages of annual resident turnover. We differentiated between firms based on their marketing expertise and the extent to which they were hiring. Results suggest that a relationship exists between local community conditions, namely low annual resident turnover and high formal education, and an executive’s beliefs about whether a firm should play a role in bettering its community. Executives who reported a belief in bettering their community were also with firms that had greater marketing expertise, and were increasing in size compared to their counterparts. Implications are drawn for leadership to engage in community betterment as a form of corporate social responsibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalBioProducts Business
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 28 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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