Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/15812
We face a rising epidemic of global problems. To solve those problems sustainable development is needed; development that combines ecology, society and economy. The international community seems to be conscious of these increased problems threatening life on earth and is realizing that the absence of business in finding solutions is one of the biggest obstacles of sustainable development. The awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seems to be increasing, not only in forms of charity since CSR can be profitable, e.g. through innovative opportunities.
The Icelandic society has undergone a rapid liberalisation and Icelandic companies are expanding all over the world. Icelanders are fortunate to lack human made local environmental catastrophes threatening health (e.g. polluted ground, water and air). This lack of environmental problems could explain why the lack of consciousness and discussion of sustainability problems in Iceland is vague. Likewise the discussion of companies’ social
responsibility has only recently started in Iceland. Given this situation of global problems, the consciousness of CSR in other parts of the Western World and the fact that Icelandic
companies are expanding; I found it interesting to study: How Corporate Social Responsibility is understood in Icelandic Business. Five Icelandic managers with vast international managerial experience as well as first hand knowledge of the Icelandic market were interviewed. The aim was to grasp their perceptions of CSR and to see how their perceptions fit the general focus in public discussion of CSR in Iceland.
This research illustrates one reason for the vague interest of CSR in Iceland; a lack of context or rather information and knowledge. This context guides the translation (Boons &
Strannegård, 2000; Czarniawska & Joerges, 1996; Powell & DiMaggio, 1991) of CSR in Icelandic companies which is mainly as charity. The fact that the seriousness of sustainability problems is increasing and that Icelandic companies are expanding, the outside pressure (Boons & Strannegård, 2000; Powell & DiMaggio, 1991) on companies is likely to increase. CSR is a matter of long-term vision and being proactive which contradicts the forces of fashion (Røvik, 1996). Defining CSR as a charity is short-sighted, decoupled from the companies strategy and can therefore be out-of-date. The research further implies that CSR should be seen as an opportunity not threat.
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