La responsabilidad social en las empresas camaroneras


Social responsibility in shrimp companies


Mariuxi Jasmín Carreño-Godoy

Universidad Católica de Cuenca, Cuenca



Juan Carlos Erazo-Álvarez

Universidad Católica de Cuenca, Cuenca



Cecilia Ivonne Narváez-Zurita

Universidad Católica de Cuenca, Cuenca



Verónica Paulina Moreno


Universidad Católica de Cuenca, Cuenca




Recibido: 26 de marzo de 2020

Revisado: 10 de abril de 2020

Aprobado: 25 de abril de 2020

Publicado: 19 de mayo de 2020



The objective of the research is to analyze the management of shrimp companies in El Oro province under a framework of social responsibility (SR) that determines their competitiveness. The applied research has a non-experimental methodological design. The results obtained show the low SR compliance in certain shrimp companies, which shows that a minimum group of them deploy their activities generating a negative environmental impact in protection of the ecosystem, as well as a medium level of protection for their collaborators during chemical handling in pool cleaning. As a general conclusion, it is relevant to highlight the importance that has been generated in shrimp companies by carrying out activities and implementing systems deployed for the fulfilment of SR to determine its competitiveness at the international level.


Descriptors: Social responsibility; marketing; ecology; private enterprises. (Words taken from the UNESCO Thesaurus).




The worldwide social responsibility (RS) includes a regulatory system of business management. Due to this system, the commitments assumed by companies in their activities seek excellence based on institutional association and cooperativism to reconcile their principles with democracy and support for the internal and external community that they integrate. Furthermore, SR is part of the ethics assumed by the representatives or managers in search of giving benefits to the resources used to carry out commercial activities (Cardona, 2017).

In Ecuador, social responsibility is considered an essential requirement to maintain a strategic position in the competitive business world. Likewise, getting involved in SR policies is a merely regulatory option that has become an indispensable requirement of managers towards stakeholders. Besides, it includes an established control of business management to achieve excellence within the company through the commitments assumed in its activities.

El Oro province has grown satisfactorily in the field of shrimp production, marketing and export, due to investment facilities by financial institutions and market demand. Therefore, the SR is considered part of a constant analysis requirement, especially, in the shrimp sector due to the impacts generated during the planting and harvesting process which is destined for the consumption and export of the product, highlighting the principles of satisfaction of expectations, needs of the company and compliance with national and international obligations.

It is essential to emphasize that the problem is based on the affectation of the ecosystem during the process of preparing pools and shrimp production, which is considered a high risk of contamination due to the chemicals and components that are applied for the effect. For this reason, the following question arises: what means do shrimp companies use to mitigate environmental pollution after harvest? However, it should be noted that there are companies that carry out their operations without applying environmental protection regulations; besides, they do not care about the quality of life of their employees and the community that surrounds them, which implies a number of faults and non-compliance with the regulations that governs.

Regarding this context, the objective pursued by the research is to analyze the management of shrimp companies in the province of El Oro under a framework of social responsibility that determines their competitiveness and highlights compliance with environmental protection to largely mitigate the crisis that increases every day due to the misuse of natural resources. For this, it is essential that they work responsibly and establish production practices that generate a lower impact to reduce environmental risks.



The applied methodology was based on a non-experimental design and a mixed approach to determine the number of shrimp companies in El Oro province and their SR compliance system. Likewise, with a descriptive-explanatory scope, an analysis of the variables developed in this document was carried out.

In addition, the historical - logical method was applied in order to analyze the evolutionary process of the corporate social responsibility. The application of the analytical-synthetic method was applied to characterize the problem.

With the use of the inductive-deductive method, a direct organizational relationship was established between the problem evidenced and the information collected. Finally, the systemic method allowed the design of a qualifying level scheme based on the certification and compliance that shrimp companies have in social responsibility.

The population under study was made up of 80 companies dedicated to the shrimp industry.



During the investigative process, the following results were obtained based on the use of investigation instruments that were an indispensable part for the fulfillment of the proposed objective. They were detailed as follows:



An average of 50% complied with the certifications established in reference to the environmental standards required to work under an international competitiveness framework; meanwhile, 50% stated that their compliance with the ecosystem is not very relevant due to international requirements for compliance.

With respect to the flora and fauna, 100% was contaminated after the harvest due to the waters that flowed out directly towards the ocean. It happened due to the location where they were.



40% of the personnel received technical preparation that was offered by the company twice a year on the handling of chemicals and food products for the larvae, while 50% maintained that most of its employees did it on their own to protect themselves from the risks they took when working in this sector. Likewise, 10% maintained that the staff did not have the proper training from the company due to the desertion that existed for adaptation reason.

It is also noted that an average of 60% had signs indicating the risks that workers assume in case of submergence in the pools during planting, pumping or cleaning; meanwhile, 40% did not consider it convenient to carry out signage because they thought that their employees already knew about the risks they assumed when performing the established tasks.



It was estimated that 80% of the companies did not have international certification that endorsed the related activities due to the rigorous processing requirement, limiting their direct commercial activities internationally; however, 20% had a certification that allowed them to carry out commercial activities in a competitive environment.

With respect to the community, 90% of the companies did not hold community talks that allowed identifying and interacting with the community about the risks they had when entering the facilities where shrimp are grown and harvested; likewise; 10% met this requirement, considering it essential for business and competitive growth.

In relation to the companies’ certification, 70% normally participated to obtain the international licenses; on the other hand, 30% did not participate in the events due to the limited working time.



To comply with the projected objective in this investigative process, it is proposed to develop a social responsibility analysis plan based on the constitution of companies destined for the shrimp industry or the international certification, characteristics that highlight their level of compliance with the environment, the community and workers.


Proposal for Social responsibility compliance

The Ethos institute (cited by Medina-Giacomozzi & Severino-González, 2014), points out that “social responsibility is the way of conducting the business of a company in such a way that it becomes jointly responsible for social development” (p. 65), being an opportunity to contribute to the integral growth of society.


Social dimension

It focuses directly on the attention that companies give to their collaborators related to their protection during the process of planting, feeding and harvesting shrimp and their level of compliance under parameters established during the handling of raw material, disinfection, cleaning and pumping of the pools shrimp.


Environmental dimension

Social responsibility in companies focuses on the direct analysis of the environmental impact that they generate during the development of their activities, including raw materials, equipment and waste disposal, for which it is important to carry out an environmental mitigation scheme related to the activities developed by shrimp companies in the province of El Oro according to current regulations.


Governance Dimension

The term governance in SR is based on laws and principles that companies must comply to obtain competitiveness in the national and international market, which implies that the production and commercialization process is performed ethically based on compliance with regulations and affiliation to international unions that guarantee the product offered.



During the process of analyzing social responsibility that shrimp companies in the province of El Oro have, it is determined that not all of them meet the requirements established for this purpose. Generally, most of them, sporadically, achieve the conditions established by the different international regulations, with the majority of companies working under a specific framework during the shrimp production process. Likewise, they comply at a medium level with their work obligations and ethics leading them to work with little social responsibility in reference to the protection of their employees, the ecosystem and the community.




Non-  monetary.




Special thanks to the Board of Directors belonging to the companies dedicated to the shrimp industry of the cantons of Machala, Santa Rosa, Puerto Bolívar, Arenillas and Huaquillas who supported the development of research with social relevance.





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RIF: J-407575716

Koinonía. Revista Arbitrada Interdisciplinaria de Ciencias de la Educación, Turismo, Ciencias Sociales y Económicas, Ciencias del Agro y Mar y Ciencias Exactas y Aplicadas

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