K.2.2 Value adding dimension of CSR To further see whether IKEA’s CSR is strategic, IKEA’s corporate social agenda can be viewed in the light of Burke & Logsdon’s311 dimensions:
Centrality and specificity of IKEA’s CSR As we have seen previously, some of IKEA's projects do not have a close fit with their missions and
objectives. We see that in IKEA the majority of CSR is strategic and contributes to reducing costs and fulfilling its social vision as well as core value of cost-consciousness. Thus, even though it engages in some generic social issues, we would argue that IKEA has a very high centrality in its CSR contributions. As previously noted, many of IKEA’s projects create shared value between it and society - this entails that IKEA is able to internalize the benefits of its CSR programs. One example of this is IKEA’s CSR efforts throughout the supply chain, which benefit both business as well as other actors such as the supplier itself, the community and the environment. This is not true when it engages in generic social issues - which simply create collective goods, shared by others in the industry or society at large. However, the fact that IKEA is broadening its view on CSR shows that the specificity and centrality of IKEA’s CSR efforts is decreasing.
Proactivity and voluntarism of IKEA’s CSR IKEA is keen on remaining at the forefront of CSR engagement. It states that it does not want to be surprised by legislation or by scandals.312 As we have seen earlier, one of the reasons for this proactivity is the need for legitimacy, the reduction of risk as well as for control. It has thus done its outmost to prepare itself by implementing changes to its value chain, changes that go beyond what is expected and required (as discussed in section 22.214.171.124) on value chain and social impacts. We can thus claim IKEA’s proactivity in CSR contributions as high. As we can say that IKEA is very proactive in its CSR contributions, we can assume that its level of voluntarism is equally high. IKEA itself sees the broadening of its CSR efforts as voluntary. The proactivity and voluntarism dimensions are thus ranked medium to high.
Visibility of IKEA’s CSR As the interviewees at IKEA perceived customers’ and employees’ awareness of CSR activities as being too low, we can conclude that the company’s visibility is quite low when it comes to the observeability of its activities. The visibility of IKEA’s actions to its partner NGOs is, however, quite high. However, as material on IKEA’s CSR efforts is available online, this contributes to increased visibility. The visibility of CSR to the employees is rather low. However, this is an issue, which IKEA is actively working on changing through establishing a CSR coordinator for every store and a contact person for social and environmental issues in every department. If IKEA also starts to increase its visibility through communication to customers, this will also affect employees through auto- communication.313 The low visibility can stem from the fear of potential media backlash, had it communicated CSR through stronger PR efforts. One can conclude that this particular dimension is ranked lower than the others, but has potential of improving through the new focus on communication.
Burke, L. & Logsdon, J. (1996).
Interview, Stål, E., 2008-10-22.
Morsing, M. (2006).