Browsing by Subject "corporate social responsibility"

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  • Vilppo, Tiina; Lindberg-Repo, Kirsti (Hanken School of Economics, 2011-06-14)
    Purpose – This research paper studies how the strategy of repositioning enables marketers to communicate CSR as their brand’s differentiating factor. It aims at understanding how consumer perceptions can be managed to generate brand value through corporate brand repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor. The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research question: How can consumer perceptions be managed to generate brand value through corporate brand repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor? The two research objectives were: 1. to build a model, which describes the different components of consumer perceptions involved in generation of brand value through repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor, 2. to identify the most critical components in the context of the case company, IKEA for generation of brand value during the process of corporate brand repositioning Design/methodology/approach – This paper is based on the literature review covering the logic of brand value generation, repositioning strategy and consumer perceptions connected to CSR activities. A key concept of the positioning theory, the brand’s differentiating factor, was explored. Previous studies have concluded that desirability of the differentiating factor largely determines the level of brand value-creation for the target customers. The criterion of desirability is based on three dimensions: relevance, distinctiveness and believability. A model was built in terms of these desirability dimensions. This paper takes a case study approach where the predefined theoretical framework is tested using IKEA as the case company. When developing insights on the multifaceted nature of brand perceptions, personal interviews and individual probing are vital. They enable the interviewees to reflect on their feelings and perceptions with their own words. This is why the data collection was based on means-end type of questioning. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 12 consumers. Findings – The paper highlights five critical components that may determine whether IKEA will fail in its repositioning efforts. The majority of the critical components involved believability perceptions. Hence, according to the findings, establishing credibility and trustworthiness for the brand in the context of CSR seems primary. The most critical components identified of the believability aspect were: providing proof of responsible codes of conduct via conducting specific and concrete CSR actions, connecting the company’s products and the social cause, and building a linkage between the initial and new positioning while also weakening the old positioning. Originality/value – Marketers’ obligation is to prepare the company for future demands. Companies all over the globe have recognized the durable trend of responsibility and sustainability. Consumer´s worry about the environmental and social impact of modern lifestyles is growing. This is why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provides brands an important source of differentiation and strength in the future. The strategy of repositioning enables marketers to communicate CSR as their brand’s differentiating factor. This study aimed at understanding how consumer perceptions can be managed to generate brand value through corporate brand repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor.
  • Herlin, Heidi (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-06-15)
    The overall aim of this dissertation is to examine how cross-sector partnerships (CSPs) affect non-profit organizational legitimacy (NPO legitimacy) and how involved parties create legitimacy for CSPs. The emergent form of CSPs as a joint attempt to solve global meta-problems such as poverty, climate change, species extinction, and deterioration of key natural resources can result in benefits for both parties involved. However, CSPs can also be risky if they are not managed properly, particularly in relation to organizational legitimacy for the NPOs. The dissertation also focuses on how involved parties create legitimacy for the CSPs through the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The theoretical foundations of the thesis are legitimacy theory, organizational identity theory, and boundary organizations, as well as bridging institutional entrepreneurship. Based on several case studies, combined with a research approach inspired by critical discourse analysis, the thesis comes up with a number of conclusions. The main theoretical contribution is providing a link between Austin’s collaboration continuum for CSPs and the concept of legitimacy of the NPOs. The more integrative a CSP becomes, the bigger the risk for damage to NPO legitimacy, due to complex management and difficulty of selecting appropriate corporate partners. This concerns particularly CSPs with large companies, such as MNCs or TNCs. Short-term project-based, philanthropic, or transactional partnerships, which are managed and controlled by the NPO, are safer. NPOs should also choose corporate partners with similar values. However, co-branding campaigns should be avoided. The research also shows that third-party organizations, such as corporate foundations, may act as boundary organizations between their founding companies and NPOs, and may help move existing partnerships along the collaboration continuum. Boundary organizations may also help in the sustenance of CSPs by allowing multiple logics to be combined. The findings reveal that CSR is used in the legitimation of the CSPs in order to create a distance between the two organizations and replace moral with technical responsibility. In addition, the NPOs are forced to outsource the selection of appropriate corporate partners to intermediaries, thereby becoming morally mute. NPOs must not, as a result of being involved in partnerships with companies, lose their critical vigilance of industry and should openly discuss tensions arising from their private sector involvement.
  • Joutsenvirta, Maria; Vaara, Eero (Scandinavian Journal of Management (2009) 25, 85—96, 2009)
    Despite the central role of legitimacy in corporate social responsibility debate, little is known of subtle meaning-making processes through which social actors attempt to establish or de-establish legitimacy for socially contested corporate undertakings, and through which they, at the same time, struggle to define the proper social role and responsibility of corporations. We investigated these processes in the context of the intense socio-political conflict around the Finnish forest industry company Metsa¨-Botnia’s world-scale pulp mill in Uruguay. A critical discursive analysis of Finnish media texts highlights three types of struggle that characterized the media coverage: legalistic argumentation, truth fights, and political battles. Interestingly, this case illustrates how the corporate representatives — with the help of the national media — tend to frame the issue in legalistic terms, emphasize their expert knowledge in technical and environmental evaluations, and distance themselves from political disputes. We argue that similar tendencies are likely to characterize corporate social responsibility debates more generally.
  • Haga, Jesper; Huhtamäki, Fredrik; Sundvik, Dennis (2021-02-07)
    The allocation of resources among different stakeholders is an ethical dilemma for chief executive officers (CEOs). In this study, we investigate the association between CEO power and workplace injuries and illnesses. We use an establishment-level dataset comprising 31,924 establishment-year observations between 2002 and 2011. Our main result shows that employees at firms with structurally powerful CEOs experience fewer workplace injuries and illnesses and days away from work. We reason that CEOs derive a private benefit from low injury and illness rates and that powerful CEOs are better at influencing employees to take workplace safety and health seriously. Additional analyses reveal fewer injuries and illnesses in firms led by CEOs with expertise power. However, increased injuries and illnesses were linked to firms controlled by CEOs with ownership power. Moreover, we find that structurally powerful CEOs mitigate injury and illness differences in relation to geographical proximity to corporate headquarters. We contribute with both research and practical implications on the topics of CEO power and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in general and workplace safety and health in particular.
  • Sorsa, Ville-Pekka; Fougère, Martin (2020-05-01)
    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been recently conceptualized and studied as a political phenomenon. Most debates in this scholarship have thus far focused on normative issues. Less attention has been paid to the explanatory potential of CSR research grounded in political theory and philosophy. In this article, we conduct a pragmatist reading of political scholarship on CSR and seek to deploy existing knowledge for research pursuing political explanation. We argue that the political ontologies that underlie scholarship on CSR can be used to transform normative and descriptive research also for explanatory uses. We show how ontologies vary in terms of potential research objects and scopes of political explanation, and argue that the main types of political-ontological stances adopted in scholarship on CSR, foundational and post-foundational stances, offer explanatory analysis of different schematic guidelines. Our pragmatist reading of previous research and an empirical case illustration of political explanation of change in corporate responsibility in the biofuel industry demonstrate the opportunities, limitations, and challenges different political-ontological commitments provide for political explanation.