new generation of IKEA co-workers.155 However, S. Koerfer regards IKEA’s value-based company culture as more important than CSR in attracting potential employees.156 IKEA wants its co-workers to show independent initiative in CSR issues, however, it is mainly the managerial level of employees that are aware of CSR issues.157 This is one of the main reasons for implementing CSR coordinators at all stores. The aim of this initiative is to increase awareness of IKEA’s CSR initiatives amongst all levels of co-workers and thereby motivate them.158
Many of the interviewees claim that CSR is also important because of customer expectations; customers expect an honest, responsible “clean” company159. They argue that if consumers are aware of IKEA’s CSR activities, this will give customers a positive feeling leading to customer goodwill.160 Many customers, who have faith in the company, seem to take for granted that IKEA is involved in CSR. With regard to CSR, for most consumers “no news is good news”161 as the company is under constant scrutiny from the media.162 Following the divulged results of IKEA’s annual Brand Capital Survey, there is room for improvement and consequently IKEA wants to increase the awareness of IKEA’s CSR efforts to the general Swedish population to 70% by 2009.163 According to Å. Fredriksson, few customers approach the store employees with questions regarding IKEA’s CSR.164 Both P. Heidenmark-Cook and I. Hrdlickova believe that CSR is not of prime importance for all customers; they have come to the understanding that there is a type of customer for whom these issues are very important and that wants information about them.165 To inform more customers about CSR efforts, IKEA plans to put up informational posters regarding NGO partnerships in certain parts of the store. Next to the displayed and sold woodwork, such as Billy bookcases, posters informing about the conservation projects IKEA and WWF engage in will be put up. Around the rugs (a hot topic in view of earlier child labor scandals166), IKEA's projects with UNICEF about avoiding and eradicating child labor will be displayed. This is something that has been decided centrally by IKEA. Nevertheless, with the help of the central CSR coordinator, E. Stål, each store's communication manager will decide exactly how to display its own posters. Thus, even central issues are always solved locally which gives the stores some autonomy. However, several of our interviewees felt that some disadvantages arose from this arrangement: “The CSR efforts would be improved if there was more central coordination”.167 Nonetheless, several of them expressed the hope that this would be resolved or at least alleviated shortly168 in view of the imminent requirement of CSR coordinators in all stores globally.
155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 Interview, Bergmark, T., 2008-05-26, Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22. Interview, Edvardsson, 2008-10-13. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10, Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-12-23. Interview, Bergmark, T., 2008-05-26. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13. Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. Interview, Gylhenius, A., 2008-11-10, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13, Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-11-23. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22, Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22, Interview, Stål, E., 2008-10-22, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008- 12-05, Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-11-23. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, 2008-12-05. 168