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Stockholm School of Economics Department of Marketing and Strategy Masters Thesis, 10 credits Spring 2009


Like Hand in Glove?

Abstract: This paper focuses on why IKEA engages in CSR and what effects this has on strategy and communication. The research is based on IKEA Sweden and the interview scope of the essay consists of top management at IKEA headquarters and top and middle management at two IKEA stores. We established a theoretical framework based on earlier research as well as on theoretical concepts in the CSR field. The results point towards mainly business- oriented motivations for CSR. However, with growing societal expectations on IKEA, legitimacy is increasingly important and so IKEA is on the verge of changing its CSR strategy and CSR communication.

Keywords: IKEA, CSR, CSR strategy, CSR communication, Philanthropy, Cause-related Marketing

Authors: Paula Gronvius 20078, Clara My Lernborg 20106 Opponents: Linnea Natt och Dag 20460, Lena Vasserman 20462 Advisors: Lin Lerpold, Assistant Professor (Department of Marketing and Strategy) Examiner: Susanne Sweet, Associate Professor (Department of Marketing and Strategy)

Acknowledgements: Firstly, we want to thank our thesis supervisor Lin Lerpold for her time and advice. We also wish to thank Emma Sjöström for her guidance in the initial phase of essay writing. We want to express gratitude to our interviewees at IKEA as well as Professor Bo Edvardsson at Karlstads Universitet who all generously provided us with some of their valuable time in order to give insight into the complexities of IKEA and CSR. Substantial acknowledgement also goes to our families; especially Daniel Gronvius, Gaby Gronvius, Lisa Lernborg and Moa Lernborg who were invaluable in writing this thesis through providing us with support, criticism, suggestions and sources. Lastly, we thank each other for travelling through this journey together.

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