many journalists actively search for scandals because of the potential newsworthiness272. Additionally, E. Stål mentions that through relentless work with NGOs, IKEA is able to be proactive in anticipating EU-rules and regulations with regard to CSR273 and thereby reduce risk so that it will not be caught off guard once these are implemented.274 The interviewees, however, state that IKEA is
increasingly seeing CSR less as a form of risk management275 also a general trend among companies.276
and instead is being more proactive,
Attraction and retention of employees
The interviewees definitely regard CSR as a way to attract employees, especially for the younger generation, who regards CSR as an increasingly important issue. However, S. Koerfer regards the value-based company culture in general, rather than CSR specifically as attracting employees to IKEA.277 According to Bhattacharya et al278, there are several factors that limit the use of CSR as a way to differentiate itself. One can conclude that in the case of IKEA these two factors are employees’ lack of awareness and involvement in CSR and the top-down approach. The choice of CSR activities has been quite top-down as top management ultimately decides even the local projects, although employees can contribute. All interviewees from IKEA regard the awareness of CSR efforts amongst employees as being too low and highlighted the need of improving this. Currently, IKEA is taking steps in order to enable employees interested in these issues to become more involved in initiatives, through installing a contact person for these questions in each department.279 CSR is very important as it gives employees a feeling that the company is a contributing member of society and motivates them to give their whole self to work.280 In IKEA, this is considered particularly salient with local projects and particularly for the younger employees who show an interest in engaging in the local projects; not only because these are initiated by their own company, but because it makes them feel good281. Theory says that positive responses to a CSR program are strengthened when there is a close fit with the company’s industry, mission and core capabilities.282 However, the IKEA case demonstrates that this is not necessarily always the case. Local projects such as “Save the Children’s” Ellen/Allan-projects, which are relatively new to the CSR agenda and have no direct tie to the company’s mission or core capabilities, can in fact provide great value for employees in terms of involvement and motivation.
K.1.2 Motivations stated as important for IKEA but which are not supported by remaining empirical findings:
Brand & effects on consumer preference All interviewees at IKEA mention brand as an important motivation for undertaking increased CSR
efforts. Nevertheless, this is not strongly supported by the remaining empirical findings, as brand is not viewed as shaping consumer preference. This can stem from the fact that CSR is first and foremost seen as a protection and enhancement of the brand – not as shaping the brand. CSR seems to
272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282
Interview, Gyhlenius, A., 2008-11-10, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13. Svedberg-Nilsson, K. (2004). Interview, Gyhlenius, 2008-11-10, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. SSE Guest Lecture, Ljungdahl, F., 2008-12-04. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22. Bhattacharya, C.B. et al (2007). Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Hardjono, T.W. & Van Marrewijk, M. (2001), Joyner, B. & Payne, D. (2002). Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Bhattacharya, C.B. & Sen, S. (2007).