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  • Head of IKEA Social Initiative: Marianne Barner

  • Communications Manager of CSR at IKEA Sweden: Eva Stål

  • Corporate Global CSR Communications Manager at IKEA Group: Pia Heidenmark-Cook

  • Communication manager at IKEA Sweden: Ivana Hrdlickova

  • Head of IKEA store Barkarby: Susanne Koerfer

  • Head of IKEA store Kungens Kurva: Anders Gyhlenius

  • CSR coordinator at Kungens Kurva: Åsa Fredriksson

  • Fair Trade Centre: Henrik Lindholm

  • Professor at Karlstads Universitet and co-author of a book on IKEA’s values-based service culture: Bo Edvardsson

  • Head of Purchasing at the IKEA Group: Kent-Åke Ahlgren

  • Former Head of Purchasing at IKEA and guest lecturer at SSE: Sven-Olof Kulldorff

  • Senior Accountant and specialist in sustainable reporting at ÖhrlingsPriceWaterHouseCoopers and guest lecturer at SSE: Fredrik Ljungdahl.

The empirical written data was of qualitative character. The data included a wide variety of sources such as company sustainability reports and newspaper articles. The reports were acquired from both IKEA and independent actors such as Swedwatch. Newspaper articles served as empirical data mainly to reflect public opinions, but also proved complementary when it came to highlighting aspects of IKEA’s business and CSR practices that IKEA itself did not mention. Although interesting, we have been careful in drawing conclusions from these secondary sources.

2.2.3 Data processing Shortly after each interview, both of us transcribed the recorded interview from the tape recorder. We

went through the data on numerous occasions to understand similarities and discrepancies between our versions. In an early stage we identified common themes that we could group the material around. In the empirical part, we have chosen to use quotations from the interviews to add transparency to the text. All interviewees consented to be quoted in the study. The telephone interviews were conducted by one person and in order to maintain accuracy the transcribed material was sent to the interviewees who had the possibility to comment on it. Thus, the fact that both authors did not hear all answers has not impeded on the quality of the results.

2.2.4 Research quality

The quality of a study is usually assessed in relation to its reliability and validity. Reliability specifies to what degree the results of the study have been influenced by chance or the circumstances surrounding it. Validity specifies to what extent the research measures what it is supposed to measure. To achieve high quality, scholars must be careful in their choices and handling of empirical data and state these choices clearly. Thus, the reader can follow the way the study has been carried out, and in turn assess the reliability and validity.

2.2.4.1 Reliability

The importance of reliability has been considered throughout the research process. The method of interviews can pose a threat to reliability as certain factors such as mood and atmosphere may influence the answers. Although we have not made use of control questions14, we estimate the reliability as high as the interviews were recorded and the interviewees were allowed to comment on the transcripts. Furthermore, if there was any doubt about the answer to a question, we conducted a second interview. The majority of the written data was sampled directly from the source, thus largely

14

Ejvegård, R. (2003).

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