csbCSR "Brown Bag" Research Seminar: Mette Morsing & Anne Roepsdorff

Corporate CSR as a Political Responsibility: A Case Study of Corporate Citizenship in IKEA

Tirsdag, 14 juni, 2011 - 12:00 to 13:00

CBS Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility

Invitation to join our cbsCSR Brown Bag Research Seminar Series


Mette Morsing, Professor, CBSCSR &

Anne Roepsdorff, Assist.Prof. CBSCSR


Jette Steen Knudsen, Assoc.Prof. LPF

Corporate CSR as a Political Responsibility:

A Case Study of Corporate Citizenship in IKEA


This paper (which is a work-in-progress) explores how a company via its

CSR activity takes on a political responsibility in society. CSR is generally

defined as corporations’ social and environmental responsibilities in

society, and in this paper we suggest that CSR also entails a political

responsibility. While practitioners and researchers on CSR have focussed

on identifying the “business case” for a social and environmental

responsibility, they have overlooked or rejected the idea that a corporate

CSR engagement implies a political activity.

Drawing on corporate citizenship research, we study how a

corporation takes on what used to be the government’s political task:

namely, the administration of individuals’ citizenship rights. We observe

how a corporate CSR policy unavoidably becomes entangled in global and

national politics on citizenship rights. We base our exploration on a case

study of IKEA’s CSR policy, that was explicitly emphasizing a political

neutrality, as we show how IKEA’s CSR policy both strategically and

unintendedly finds itself at the epicentre of a heated national political

debate about diversity and integration of ethnic and religious minorities.

We contribute to the political science-oriented research on

corporate citizenship by providing a micro-organizational level analysis,

and we demonstrate how a corporate CSR policy implies a corporate take

up of traditional government functions of civil and political rights. We

discuss how the administration of civil and political citizenship rights is not

only an issue of high importance in developing countries but is also a

growing tendency in strong welfare states, and we discuss the managerial

implications of such corporate engagement in CSR as a political practice.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate citizenship, civil and

political rights, case study, IKEA

The full paper is available: write gj.ikl@cbs.dk.

Registration is recommended, though not necessary. with gj.ikl@cbs.dk

Feel free to bring your own lunch bag.

Sidst opdateret: Communications // 12/10/2012