Managing Corporate Social Responsibility in Relation to a Subsidiary’s Charter. A Case Study of Bank Relations at Swedbank AB
In step with increased pressure on organisations to take responsibility for their impact on the external environment, many multinational corporations (MNCs) have implemented corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their operations. Meanwhile, as a result of the globalisation, organisations are increasingly seen as heterarchical networks of dispersed actors, rather than hierarchical structures with dyadic relationships between the headquarters and subsidiaries. Previous literature has discussed whether CSR policies are implemented on a central level or within local units of the MNC, there is lacking research regarding how CSR responsibilities are managed within a subsidiary and how subsidiaries manage CSR in relation to its other business responsibilities. Hence, the purpose of this study is to bring clarity in how a subsidiary in the network of an MNC manages CSR responsibilities within its operations and in relation to its allocated charter. This thesis was conducted in the form of a single case study, including twelve interviews at Bank Relations, a subsidiary of the Swedish multinational bank Swedbank, and one interview with a manager from the CSR department at the headquarter (HQ). The study contributes with the following findings: first, that a subsidiary’s CSR management is not necessarily all imposed by the HQ, but can be influenced by non-business-related entities. Second, the use of a common CSR definition is essential in order for the subsidiary to successfully coordinate its CSR-related responsibilities. Third, a subsidiary can enhance its CSR efforts if they are measured in the subsidiary’s business performance objectives. Lastly, this study finds that high levels of subsidiary autonomy may discourage the subsidiary from incorporating CSR responsibilities required by HQ.
MSc in International Business and Trade
Ohlsson Tornberg, Linnea
Corporate Social Responsibility
business performance objectives
Master Degree Project