Assessment of Corporate Social Responsibility Growth Opportunities for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Thailand's Electronics Manufacturing Industry and Vietnam's Food Processing Industry

Client: Academy of Responsible Management
Faculty: David Winder, Charles Bailey
Team: Sarah DeNicola, Casey Nairn-Mahan, Laura Parewski, Melissa Petros, Sarah Schwimmer
Year: 2012
With the high level of economic growth present in Southeast Asia (SE Asia), businesses, communities, and governments are gradually recognizing the need for increased corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. This is especially true with respect to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that comprise a huge proportion of the region's businesses. To address this need, the Academy of Responsible Management (ARM) provides trainings to assist SMEs with developing sustainable management models to enhance their performance and social impact through ethical and environmental management. ARM, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is interested in expanding its services to other countries in SE Asia. The Capstone team was tasked with examining the general frameworks of CSR in the region. After a literature review, the team narrowed its focus to the electronics manufacturing industry in Thailand and the food processing industry in Vietnam. Both industries are comprised primarily of SMEs and each has a significant impact on the environment and overall health and safety of industry workers. To gather data and further develop the proposed research, the team traveled to Thailand and Vietnam to interview business owners, union representatives, government officials, and nonprofits in order to forecast ARM's growth opportunities. The team produced a report on its findings with suggested opportunities for growth, next steps, and potential funding partnerships.