iBusiness, 2013, 5, 43-48
doi:10.4236/ib.2013.51b010 Online March 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ib)
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
The Influence of Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on
the St rat egi c Decision-Maki ng P rocess
Yanfei Sha
School of Business,Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing210097, P.R.China.
Email: shamst@163.com
Received 2013
Entrepreneurs manage enterprise strategic de cisio n. Owing to low quality decision,entrepreneurs bring serious problems
to the societ y. The corporate social responsibility has been rising, a nd it also has influe nced the entrepreneurs' decision
environment. This paper refines the deep influence factors of strategic q uality and analyzes the influence mechanism
of entrepreneurial social re sponsibilit y on the strategic decis ion-making. The resul ts sho w that hi gh c ogni tio n and se nse
of entrepreneurial social responsibilitycan enhance the quality of enterprise strategic decision. So enterprise can get
understanding and supporting from stakeholders.
Keywords: Entrepreneur; Stakeholder; Cognition of Social Responsibility; Sense o f Soc ial Respo ns ibility; Strategic
1. Putting Forward the Problem
When the resources and environment we r e loose , the
relationship between the enterprise and society was not
nervous.The societ y did not care about or understand that
enterprise strategic decisions were influenced by what
factors and how to produce. Entrepreneurs could make
strategic decision with only natural instinct. Enterprises
granted to grab the bi ggest p rofits. However, the decision
of simplifying and exploitative would pr oduce a series of
the decision results, such as lowering product quality,
violating consumer and employee rights and interests,
and damaging the ecological environment, wasting of
social resources and many other decision problems. With
the time of economic globalization and tight resources
and environment, consciousness of right of consumers,
employee s , sharehol ders, community and ot her enterprise
stakeholders have been awakening gradually. Enterprise
social responsibility movement has been rising in the
global.From the social responsibility code" to "global
agreementof Multinational company,from SA8000 to
ISO260 00, Enterp rise so cial responsibilit y movement has
been becoming ne w environment for entrepreneurs' deci-
sion making.It influences and restricts the enterprise
strategic decision process.Entrepreneurs own factors are
alwa ys the endo genou s key fa ctors o f restrict ing of qua l-
ity and the correctness of enterprise strategic decision.In
front o f t he new test a nd di ffi cult y, en tre pre neurs ha ve to
think about these questions: enterprise strategic decision
is whether still obey economic goals? Whether need to
accept the socia l responsibility for the te st? In many fac-
tors of influencing the decision of entrepreneurs,can en-
trepreneurs' social responsibility factors have much effect?
With the strengthening of the enterprise's own strength,
the enterprise is to take more social responsibility or stil l
possess? All the questions co me down to the point
whether and how entrepreneurial social responsib ility
influences strate gic decisio n.
Existing researches are not better to explain and solve
the the ory and practi cal pro blem whethe r and ho w entre-
preneurial social responsibility influences strategic deci-
sion. Most object of theory of the enterprise ethics de-
cision were general decision makers. They did not dis-
tinguish the difference between the decision maker's de-
cision process and the target. And being the abstractness
of the normative ethics and thoughts, the ethical standard
of decision-making was not operable.However, west
scholars had lacked of Chinese situation,ignoring the
Chinese traditional culture ethical value and the Chinese
mainstream values. Therefore, it is needed to discuss
Chinese entrepreneurs’decision-making more frequently
in the transition pro cess. Strate gic manage ment circ les on
enterprise strategy decision-making process and the for-
mation mechani sm research was still not fully.T hey were
paying more attention to entrepreneurs’ (executive team)
personality characteristics, neglecting the deep factorsof
ethics, respon sibility, values, and so on, and ignori ng the
enterpr ise et hics cha ngin g in the environment.
The Influence of Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on the Strategic Decision-Making Pro ces s
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
2. Literatu re Revi ew
Strategic management schools most analysed entrepre-
neurs or executive team personality traits, organization
situation in the process of enterprise strategic decision,
since entrepreneurs characteristics was dominant and
easy to measure. Executives of team members of the age,
education level, professional experience and other objec-
tive characteristics had an influence on strategic [1], or
even in fl uenc e si g ni fi ca nt ly.Ho wever, the research Angle
was simpler, ignoing some level factors such as the en-
trepreneurs individual character, attitude and cognitive
[2]. Few studies could step by step from the team cha-
racteristics, team behavior characteristic, group decision
mode characteristic to the group decision-making per-
formance and performance of organization. The whole
complex relationship had inner causal between process,
especially the research lacking of group decision mode
characteristic [3]. Background data mainly got through
the secondhand resource.The researchers had little op-
portunity to directly observe or visit executives team
members on the relationship between the team characte-
ristics and the team behavior.They lacked of the interac-
tion with senior manager s lower notable the possibility of
discovery value questions [4]. The existing researches
ignore the strategic decision-making process, not ex-
plaining clearly the characteristics of strategic decision
itself how to affect the decision-making process.And
these researches are quite limited.In the future, it is ne-
cessary to analyze deeper levels of individual character,
attitude, and beliefs and other factors. Future research
also should pay more attention to the executive team
responsibling for the strategic decision making on the
strategic decision process of efficiency ques-
tions.Business leaders whether had imagination, perse-
verance, and a sense of humor, energy and other personal
quality,were important factors to influence enterprises
creatively and potentially.Making the non-procedural of
decisions depended on the psychological process which
people did not so far know about. Future research will
attempt to enter the psychological zo ne to discover.
In research fields of enterprise ethical decision making,
they focused on two issues: one was the influe ncing fac-
tors of ethical decision making; the other wa s ethical
decision making and behavior choicing process. The
gender difference in personal factors of ethical decisions
affect was not sure; idealism, obligations concerning
philosophical or values had a positive impact on ethical
decisions. Relativism, teleology and ethical decision
made negative correlation. Education, professional, job
satisfaction, work experience,religious and ethical deci-
sions were related, trickery and ethical decision making
process were negative correlation. "Rotten apples" school
advanced that et hical decision making was a direct result
of the decision maker personal characteristics.It de-
pended on entrepreneurs cognition and moral develop-
ment level. "Rotten barrel" school emphasized the exter-
nal environment factors on the influence of the entrepre-
neurs ethical decision making. Entrepreneurs as a special
social group, the ethical decision making and the asso-
ciated ethical behavior were the main body of the impor-
tant e mbodiment, would play an important influence and
demonstration in social groups. The relationship orienta-
tion, sex, age and individual characteristics, and group
norms and traditional culture and other social control
variables had influences on entrepreneurs ethical deci-
sion making. In the ethical decision making, people had
limited moral, including low fame, implic it bias.
The second question answered entrepreneurs in the
face of the ethical dilemmas was how to decision and
choice behavior [5]. Rest and other people put forward
the four phases of model for ethical decision making.
They were an ethical dilemma of cognition, for ethical
judgment, form the ethical behavior tendency, ethical
behavior. However, their model did not consider situa-
tion and social variables. Moral general theory of mar-
keting field model, thought that the individual main on
basis of means theory and teleology two philosophy
standard guided moral judgment.Contingency model and
personal-situation interactive model comprehensively
considered the the enterprise endowment, cultural tradi-
tion and reference group. In order to integrate the
theory into enterprise decision activities, western scho-
lars and enterprise put forward and apply some concise
and easy decisio n model, such as ethics check model; the
moral decisio n-making tree model.
Business ethics decision-making theory ignored the
moral hazard by non-rational behavior of entrepreneurs
as a business-led. It required analysis in-depth of en-
terprise (especially entrepreneurs) irrational psychologi-
cal motivations of de viant behavior, and the se deviatio ns
might be consequences on moral. Future studies will
highlight entrepreneurs playing a key role in corporate
social responsibility, studying the relationship between
the executive team characteristics and corporate social
responsibility from the perspective of higher-order theory.
Porter and Kramer recommended from the perspective of
a broader business and social relations, taking into ac-
count the specific corporate strategic [6]. How to join the
moral judgment and the moral guidelines and how to
influence decision-making needed to study the urgent
prob lem. Pa rt enterprises taking of the social responsibil-
ity had the situation of decision-making dilemma. The
reason was the uncertain factors in decision-making.
These are of great value of the subject for researching
what factors really affected ethical decision-making in
the context of Chi nese culture .
We believe that the ethics of corporate strategic deci-
sion-maki n g need to accept the ethics test, but the stra-
The Influence of Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on the Strategic Decision -Making Proces s
opyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
tegic decision not only can't be able to stay in the moral
reflection level, but aslo can't be the same as the ethical
decision-making of general individual.Strategic decision
making was a practical and comprehensive [7], needing
to be emphasized the results but also to focus on deci-
sion-making process. Compared with business ethics,
corporate social responsibility had a clear responsibility
to object to the content of the responsibility, the respon-
sibility of the urgency and other characteristics [8]. Cor-
porate social responsibility has become a new environ-
ment which corporate strategic decision-making must
face. Although the quality of the corporate strategic deci-
sion-making is affected by many factors, but mainly de-
pending on the quality of entrepreneurs and its level de-
cision-making, depending on the level of control of stra-
tegic decision-making process. Entrepreneurial social
responsibility is a deep-seated factors that affect strategic
decision-making and it has the potential, long-term, a
decisive influence on strategic decision-making process.
Thus, it is necessary to combine the theory of strategic
management theory and business ethics research, as the
obj ec t o f study of a n ent re p re neur , into the i nne r world of
entrepreneurs, and to explore its influence mechanism
and process awareness and sense of social responsibility
on the corporate strategic decision-making.
3. The Influence Mechanism of
Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on
the Corporate Strategic Decision-Making
We believe that the entrepreneurs are the people who
create the enterprises, with decision-making power, and
bearing the main risk. Generally it refers to business
leaders who have decision-making power. Entrepreneur
social responsibility is that the obligations and responsi-
bilities of entr epr ene urs a s b usine ss le ade rs who ha ve t he
final decision-making power and have to risk to the cor-
porate stakeholders.It is a sense of responsibility reflect-
ed in the body of entrepreneurs. Because entrepreneurs
have more op portunities to d etermine t he ethical tone for
the enterprise. The values of entrepreneurs can establish
an example for other personnel of the enterprise. Stra-
tegic decision making is different from the general busi-
ness decisions.According to Simon's point of view, the
business executives is the body of corporate strategic
decision-making. And most strategic decision-making is
non-procedural decision-making. The y have a great rela-
tionship between experience and intuition of deci-
sion-maki n g body.
In terms of the object, the social responsibility of en-
trepreneurs have the same object with the corporate
strategy decision-ma king. The responsib ility of the o bject
of the entrepreneurial social responsibility is enterprises.
Strictly speaking, in the enterprise, entrepreneurs not
only do not need to responsibility for the entrepreneurs '
family, but also the entrepreneur's own. They only need
to responsible for the enterprise legal person. Entrepre-
neurs with the final decision are the people who on be-
half of the final decision-making and behavior. The
object of corporate strategic decision-making is also their
overall. Strategic decision-making is neither tactical de-
cision-making nor a single sector decision-making. It is
the overall plan of the business strategy on an overall
perspective of standing in the enterprise.
In ter ms of the co ntent , the sc op e of the c onte nt of e n-
trepreneurial social responsibility and strategic decision
making are coincide fundamental. The social responsibil-
ity of entrepreneurs in terms of the scope, mainly in-
volved the combination of the relationship of the overall
corporate stakeholders [9]. These respo nsibil ities include
the responsibility of personnel recruitment between en-
terprises and employees, the responsibility of the invest-
ment environment, tax collection between business and
government, the responsibility of distribution of corpo-
rate profits between corporate and shareholder . Corpo-
rate strategic decision-making involves in the enterprise
as a whole planni ng and the direction of long-term pla n-
ning. In terms of the process, it includs the corporate
mission and vision, the planning of the enterprise's over-
all objectives, corporate strategy program selection and
evaluation. In terms of the content, it includs personnel
decision-making, product decisions, marketing decisions
and investment decisions.
In terms of time, the social responsibility of entrepre-
neurs and corporate strategic decision all focuse on the
long term. Short-term social responsibility inputs can
not show results, and it may even increase the costs of
the enterprise. But for the long term, corporate social
responsibility can enhance corporate image and core
competencies. Strategic decision making is for a longer
period of planning. It does not focus on short-term busi-
ness gains and losses. The ambitious of entrepreneurs
and speculative entrepreneurs many clearly differs on
decision-making cycl e a nd bearing the responsibilit y.
4. The Influence of Entrepreneurial Social
Responsibility on Strategic
Decision-making Process
The effect to the society will can not be estimated if the
enterprise's strategic decision do not take full account of
social responsibility. In creating value and wealth for the
community, at the same time it is bounded to make im-
pact on the social inevitable. Drucker further stre s s ed that
even if it was a po sitive impa c t that it should b e managed ,
because this was one responsibility of your [10].
4.1. The Influence of Cognition and Sense of
Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on the
Corporate Mission and Vision
The Influence of Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on the Strategic Decision-Making Pro ces s
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
Corporate mission and vision are the first step of the
strategic management process and the primary strategic
decision-making. The decision of corporate mission and
vision caused business direction and path of development.
Entrepreneurs decided what strategy should be chosen.
Corporate mission and vision are the premise of the
business strategy [11]. Only the clear positioning of the
corporate mission and vision can the strategic objectives
of the enterprise correctly set up. Only establishing can
the mission and visio n motivate and inspire e mployees to
engage in exciting career.
The core of the corporate mission is to answer the
reasons of existence of the business and what demand
enterprises should meet, and what needs should be en-
gaged in what Service [12]. The corporate vision is a
corporate dream, surreal, dreamlike images. A concept of
good corporate vision includes two main components:
the core business philosophy and vivid future prospects.
The corpor ate missio n or vi sion ar e actually a clear indi-
cation of the destination direction of the development of
enterprises and the business forward. Proposed develop-
ment of the corporate mission or vision are not a ga me o f
words, not to propose an attractive and catchy company
slogan. On the co ntra ry, to rai se and establish of the mis-
sion or vision requires to think strategically of the future
of enterprises.The y sho uld co me up with a viable concept
for the future busine ss of the enterp rise so t hat ente rpris-
es come to the road which all business managers have
made solemn commitme nt.
The rea son o f busines s to exis t onl y can f ind fro m o ut-
side the enterprise or society. The relationship between
enterprises and society determines the value of the exis-
tence of the enterprise. The enterprise's survival and de-
velopment can leave without the support of the commu-
nity in a moment. It can be said that enterprise have so-
cial attribute, not only have the economic attributes. En-
trepreneurs' social responsibility awareness refers to the
entrepreneur's own degree of awareness and understand-
ing of corporate social responsibility, reflecting the level
of awareness of social responsibility of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur of high social responsibility awareness,
may see society as a complementary indivisible whole,
rather than numerous independent sets of individuals.
Entrepreneurs’ sense of social responsibility refers to the
entrepreneurs concern ethical and obligations of stake-
holders in the psychological and feel, reflecting the feel-
ings of social responsibility of the entrepreneur. Entre-
preneurial social responsibility was an important aspect
of entrepreneurship. Characteristics of entrepreneurial
spirit was the key factor of influence and determine cor-
porate behavior. A high sense of social responsibility of
entrepreneurs will actively seek good decision-making
and behavior; and not only will treat stakeholders with
respect and sympath y,but also generate guilt and remorse
with own irresponsible decision-making and behavior. A
entrepreneur with good cognitive and emotional to so-
ciety will deal and coordinate with high social responsi-
bility awareness and sense between enterprises and so-
ciety,thinking the existing reason and value of the enter-
prise from the social point of view.He will think pro-
found of the influence of decision-making and behavior
on various stakeholders, and properly handling the rela-
tions hip with sta keho lders, strivi ng for gettin g the u nder-
standing and support from stakeholders.
4.2. The Influence of Cognition and Sense of
Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility
on the Corporate Strategic Objectives
After establishing the corporate mission and vision, the
next stage of the strategic enterprise management is
based on the corporate mission and vision to develop
business goals and to develop strategies to achieve busi-
ness goals. Corporate strategic objectives are the corpo-
rate strategy and constitute the basic content, and are the
pursuit of long-term results of the enterprise to achieve
its mission and vision process. It reflects in the direction
of the business activities during a given period and the
level to be achieved. It can be either qualitative or quan-
titative, such as competitive position, the level of per-
formance, speeding of development and so on. Unlike
the corporate mission and vision, strategic objectives
have a number of specific characteristics and the time
limit, usually 3 -5 years or longer.
Entrepreneurs' social responsibility awareness is not
just abstract c oncepts, it has substa ntial content. W ith the
extent and level of understanding of the different stake-
holders, entrepreneurs decide the degree of development
relationship between entrepreneurs and stakeholders. A
high social responsibility awareness of entrepreneurs
would do well to determine the life cycle of the enter-
prise and according to its own strength a nd development
appropriately. They will undertake the necessary social
responsibili ty, neither be ca use of living in t he early growth
stages to bear some social responsibility nor because
refusing to fulfill some social responsibility in maturity.
Different elements of social responsibility and social
responsibility phase determine the set of corporate stra-
tegic objectives. The corporate strategic objectives focus
on the strength of enterprises and enterprise life cycle is
not only consistent with the logic of their own develop-
ment, but also to cater to the interests of stakeholders
aspirations. Similarly, entrepreneurial social responsibil-
ity is not just an abstract concept, it also has substantive
content. The degree of emotions to the different stake-
holders determines to put into degrees of emotions. A
high sense of social responsibility of entrepreneurs may
set relatively high challenging strategic objectives be-
cause of their enthusiasm and preferences and to meet
The Influence of Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on the Strategic Decision -Making Proces s
opyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
their social responsibility though reaching strategic ob-
4.3. The Impact of Standards of Corporate
Social Responsibility on Corporate
Strategic Decision-Making Process
In 1999, the "global agreement" plan proposed by Kofi
Annan ,former UN Secretary-General and it was offi-
cially launched at United Nations Headquarters in July
2000. "Global agreement" expressly advocated the enter-
prise through the exemplary behavior of its voluntary
observance of human rights, labor standards and envi-
ronmental aspects of the nine basic principles. Social
Accountability International in 1997 and headquartered
in the United Sta tes initiated the develo pment o f SA8000
Social Accountability International standard which stan-
darded for third-party certification as the world's first
social responsibility management system standards, and
established SA8000 Social Accountability Standard cer-
tification system. November 1, 2010, the International
Organization for Standardization published ISO 26000
(Social Responsibility Guide standard) to encourage the
organization of the world to improve their sustainable
development. Domestic corporate social responsibility
standards originated in China Textile Industry Associa-
tion CSC9000T, 2006. In 2010, drafted under the aus-
pices of the food and pharmaceutical industry in Guang-
dong Province and Guangdong Food Industry Associa-
tion, the social resp onsibility standard was carried o ut.
After confirming corporate mission, vision and busi-
ness goals, corporate strategic decision-making process
will enter the selection, evaluation and implementation
phases of the program of corporate strategy. At this stage,
the entrepreneurs choose which standards of social re-
sponsibility to restricting the quality of strategic deci-
sion-making. Corporate social responsibility have be-
come important environmental constraints of corporate
strategic decision-making, in large part because of cor-
porate social responsibility standards promulgated by the
international and domestic organizations. Different stan-
dard system has a different binding, different cognition
and sense of social responsibility of entrepreneurs de-
cided entrepreneurs to choose what constraints the stan-
dard of liability.
The strategic decision-making process corporate mis-
sion, vision and goals established and has operability
characteristics. It should make throughout the corporate
social responsibility standards. For different standards,
man can have different strategic programs.The choice of
corporate social responsibility standards limits the list of
strategic programs and entrepreneurs refuse to offer or
does not meet the standards of corporate social responsi-
bility program. In the standards of social responsibili-
ty,based on traditional economic decision-making crite-
ria , it is undoubtedly conducive for entrepreneurs to
screen in line with the interests of stakeholders in the
program[13]. Neither economic criteria priority nor so-
cial responsibility standards, all gives priority to the op-
timization of strategic d ecision-maki ng. Int o the str ategi c
evaluation stage, the evaluation is based on standards,
inspection and evaluation of different strategic deci-
sion-making[14].The program subjects to the standard of
corporate social responsibility from satisfied deci-
sion-making. The strategy implementation stage and the
standard of corporate social responsibility have become
the controlling standard to urge the implementation of
the program of supervision and to correct the variety of
5. Conclusion
In management practices of Chinese enterprises, the fre-
quenc y of cor porate strategic mistakes is r eminded that
the quality of our strategic decision-making should be
improved. Arbitrary system, the expansion of complex
and speculation and so on are the root cause of failure of
the Chinese entrepreneurs decision-maki ng. The root causes
in fact were directly or indirectly related with cognition
and sense of entrepreneurs social responsibility. The
scandal exposed in Enron, WorldCom and many other
enterprises in their commercia l activities directly or indi-
rectly had relationship with the ethical decision-making
of entr epre neurs. “Sanlu” , “Hua ng Gua ngyu” eve nts, a nd
other hot issue s told us that it was a core issue to streng-
then strategic decision quality of Chinese enterprises.
Strategic CSR should reflect the aspirations of the theor-
ists, as well as the common view of the visionary entre-
[1] Hambrick,D.C.,P.A.Mason, “Upper Echelons: The or-
ganization as a reflect ion of its top managers. Academy of
Manage ment R evi ew”, Vol. 9, No.2, pp:193-206,1984
[2] Carpenter M A,Fredrickson JW, “Top management
teams,global strategic posture,and the moderating role of
uncertainty”, Academ y of Management Journa,l Vol. 44,
No. 2, pp: 533- 546,2001.
[3] Pitcher P,Smith A D, “Top managem entteam hetero-
geneity:Personality,power,and proxies”,Organization
Science, Vol. 5, No. 12, pp: 1- 18,2001
[4] Jacob M. Rose, “Corporate Directors and Social Respon-
sibility: Ethics versus Shareholder Value“, Journal of
Business Et hics Vol. 77, No.5, pp:319331,2007
[5] Gartner ,W.B“Who is an entrepreneur?is a wrong ques-
tion”,American Jou rnal of Small Busin ess, Vol. 12, No. 4,
[6] Porter, M E, and Kramer, M R., “Strategy society: The
link between competitive advantage and corporate social
The Influence of Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility on the Strategic Decision-Making Pro ces s
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
responsibility”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 3, No.12,
pp: 78-92,2006
[7] Glunk,U.,M.G.Heijltjes,R.Olie, “Design characteristics
and functioning of top management teams in Europe”,
European Management Journal, Vol. 19, No.3,
[8] Jacob M. Rose, “ Cor porate Dir ectors an d Social Respon-
sibility: Ethics versus Shareholder Value”, Journal of
Business Et hics Vol. 73, No.3, pp: 319-331,2007
[9] Peter. Drucker,Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Machi-
nery Industry Press, 2007 (01)
[10] MIAO Li, "Study on the Relationship between Corporate
Social Responsibility and Organizational Commitment",
AISS: Advances in Information Sciences and Service
Sciences, Vol. 4, N o. 21, pp. 33 9 ~ 346, 2012
[11] ZHAO Juan, Hu Lan-lan, "Study on the Application of
Multiple Attribute Decision System Based on Intuitionist
Fuzzy Set Theory", AISS: Advances in Information
Sciences and Service Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 20, pp. 206 ~
21 4, 2012
[12] Yangle Zheng, Qi Xu, Akyene Tetteh, "Analysis on Op-
timal Ordering Decision Considering Strategic Customers
of Dual-Channel Supply Chain", JCIT: Journal of Con-
vergence Infor mation
[13] Drayton, William, “The citizen sector: Becoming as en-
trepreneurial and competitive as business”, California
Manage ment R evi ew, Vol. 44, No.7, pp: 120- 132,2000
[14] Andrews,K,The Concept of Corporate Strategy, Home-
wood, IL:Irwin,1971,PP.18-46