Maja Rosenstock wins prestigious award

A PhD graduate at cbsCSR, has won one of the 8 awards at this year's PhD Cup


Maja Rosenstock, a PhD graduate at cbsCSR, has won one of the 8 awards at this year's PhD Cup due to the quality of her PhD thesis and the exemplary manner in which she has communicated her results. In her Ph.D. thesis, she worked extensively with Coop and their CSR dilemmas, showing that CSR related work is impacted by conflicting interests.

“Coop's dilemma is based on their interest in increasing revenue and expanding their customer base, while simultaneously developing their CSR profile and increasing sales of Fairtrade and ecological goods. At Coop's headquarters they emphasise the importance of ethical trade, but in their actual shops the priority differs. For the shops, it is not the global focus that attracts costumers but events with cakes and inflatable jumping castles that do”, says Maja Rosenstock.

Coop's CSR goals have been to double sales of Fairtrade and eco-labelled goods over a period of three years. Although, it is still a minority who buy this type of products, Coop have almost reached their set goals and have increased sales by 90 percent during their strategy period. Maja Rosenstock believes, however, that Coop could improve even further if employees knew more about ecological, environmental and fair trade labeled products. She calls this missing link an “embedment” problem.

“There is a big difference between implementing and embedding. Coops have implemented their CSR initiatives and have, in fact, doubled their sales, but the CSR strategies have not been rooted into the shop workers’ state of mind. I have met people who have been employed for many years and did not know what the Fairtrade label was, and many shop workers have never heard of Coop's accountability plan”, Maja states.

One of Maja Rosenstocks findings in her thesis was that there is a market for consistent CSR thinking, which requires focus on CSR tasks that do not necessarily reflect positively on the bottom line. Maja Rosenstocks study showed that Coop's core customers are more concerned with having a large selection of eco-labeled, organic and Fairtrade labelled goods, while core customers in Danish supermarkets are more focused on price and bargains.

“If Coop is to take the issue of responsibility seriously, they should take the steps required to implement some of the CSR initiatives that do not directly benefit the bottom line and make some choices on behalf of consumers in favour of the ecological, environmental and Fairtrade labelled goods. The customers should not always necessarily have the "freedom to choose", but must be guided towards more sustainable consumption. Many companies have a very business oriented look on CSR. They select areas that do well on the bottom line, but if you want to hold on to your customers, one must be consistent in its focus”, she says.

The first PhD Cup was held in 2012. Winners are selected not only based on their PhD, but also based on their communication of it. The jury consists of recipients of Research Communication Award. Maja Rosenstock will be honored in the DR Concert Hall Tuesday 14th of May along with seven other winners.

Maja RosenThe award ceremony for this year's winners of the PhD Cup 2013 is on DR2, 19th of May. The competition is a collaboration between Information, Danish Universities, DR and the Lundbeck Foundationstock can be reached at

For more information about PhDs at CBS please contact Associate Dean for research education, Peter Lotz, on


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The page was last edited by: CBS Sustainability // 02/27/2017