Working with and Working on Corporate Social Responsibility: The Flexibility of a Management Concept

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Why do some corporations become positioned as socially responsible and others as socially irresponsible? Here, an attempt is made to explore this issue. Within the established management literature it is held that managers do not understand corporate social responsibility (CSR), wherein the focus has been turned towards how corporations can work with CSR inside their organisation as a response to expectations coming from outside. In this book, interviews with managers in one British and one Swedish food retailer are analysed, with the intention to understand how CSR is given meaning in and has become integrated with everyday business practices. The investigation was extended to a study of various stakeholder organisations whose texts published on the Internet were analysed. Based on the outcome of text analyses, it is argued that CSR is not only something which can be worked with inside organisations, but is also worked on, within and between organisations, where various meanings of CSR are constructed. The purpose is to open up the complexity of CSR, suggesting that CSR as a management concept is desired by stakeholders to be flexible rather than fixed.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Business Administration
  • Elg, Ulf, Supervisor
  • Svensson, Peter, Supervisor
Award date2008 Sept 26
ISBN (Print)13 978-91-85113-28-6, 10 91-85113-28-X
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2008-09-26
Time: 13:00
Place: EC3:207 Holger Crafoords Ekonomicentrum

External reviewer(s)

Name: Crane, Andrew
Title: Professor
Affiliation: York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Business Administration

Free keywords

  • management concept
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • food retailing
  • critical discourse analysis


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