As we decided to focus on the company’s own view of CSR, we did not take into account the consumer view of IKEA’s CSR implementation and communication. However, we partook of results from IKEA’s Brand Capital Survey and thus collected information about the consumer view from IKEA’s own perspective. The CSR activities at IKEA are vast and many actions can be labeled as CSR activities. The scope of the thesis does not allow for all CSR activities at IKEA to be taken into account, but rather aims to investigate overarching trends. The interviewees most often chose to speak about CSR activities related to supplier-company relations, partnerships with NGOs and projects at store level, offering a natural delimitation for the thesis. IKEA is well-known for its employee benefits8 and strong commitment to work-life balance in the Western world9, which can be considered as a part of CSR. However, we chose not to focus on this area as there has already been significant research on its company culture.
Moreover, we have chosen to focus on CSR in relation to the stakeholders that IKEA see as its primary ones – employees and customers (see Figure 1). In addition we have focused on NGOs, which we see as increasingly important. We also regard suppliers, media, communities, and trade organisations etc. as stakeholders affecting IKEA. The information on suppliers is confidential in excess of what is stated in our secondary sources, which is why it has been difficult to integrate this perspective further in the thesis. Our findings regarding NGOs have been obtained through primary as well as secondary sources. Regarding communication, we have chosen a broader focus including the new more direct methods of communication that IKEA is pursuing and have chosen not to focus on sustainable reporting, as this is a field which has already been well-investigated.
External stakeholders Distributors
Society at large
Banks & Investors
World Ecological Community
Board of Directors
Figure 1: The internal and external stakeholders we choose to focus on in IKEA circled in red (adapted from Mark-Herbert & von Schantz, 2004)
http://www.csrwire.com/News/7212.html. Enquist, B. & Edvardsson, B. (2009).