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ensures the parents that their children are in safe care. Although IKEA does not mention this as a factor in their decision-making, this can be seen as benefiting the community as well as IKEA in the long run, as it will have access to a future pool of educated workforce.

CSR strategy Generic social issues

Value chain impacts & social impacts

Example in IKEA

  • IKEA Social Initiative e.g. projects with UNICEF such as building schools etc.

  • Donation of furniture and emergency relief aid e.g. after tsunami in Thailand, earthquake in Pakistan

  • Ellen/Allan project

  • Sponsorship of football teams


  • Environmental Design e.g. PS line

  • Simultaneous implementation of quality standards

  • “IKEA goes Renewable”

  • “Better Cotton Initiative”

  • Building schools and preschools next to factories

  • IKEA Rail for transportation

Social dimensions of competitive context


  • IWAY that regulates working conditions and child labor

  • Close co-operation with suppliers

  • Building schools and preschools next to factories

Figure 7: Responsive and strategic CSR initiatives at IKEA, adapted from Porter & Kramer’s theoretical

e s p o n s v e v e r s u s s t r a t e g c f r a m e w o r k ( 2 0 0 6 ) . . . .

From Figure 7 above, we observe that IKEA’s corporate social agenda contains all forms of CSR. From the analysis, it is noticeable that IKEA puts substantial efforts into transforming the value chain in a positive way as this reduces costs as well as makes a positive social and environmental impact. According to Porter & Kramer309, a company should prioritize strategic over responsive CSR. However, as IKEA moves towards increasingly integrating strategic CSR in their CSR agenda, it is simultaneously adding more responsive CSR to its corporate social agenda. The IKEA Group’s owner: the Stichting Ingka Foundation has decided to broaden its focus on interior decorating to encompass a more general philanthropy. This shows that the division between strategic and responsive CSR can be considered less as a rigid construct and more malleable. Responsive CSR in the form of generic social issues can be considered strategic to IKEA as it enables a company to acquire more legitimacy or license to operate, reputation and shows a moral obligation, which is of great value for the company as well as for its employees, as illustrated in the motivations section of this thesis. IKEA is aiming to focus more on local projects in the form of community involvement, which also includes generic social issues. Porter & Kramer310 claim that the benefits of responsive CSR are only marginal, but the case of IKEA points to the fact that this is vital for a company of such size and prominence as IKEA. It seems as if now that IKEA has reached a substantial level of CSR efforts, it can afford to take the extra step in broadening its CSR focus and involving itself in generic social issues.


Porter, M. & Kramer, M. (2006)


Porter, M. & Kramer, M. (2006)


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