A societal perspective on business and sustainability: a comparison between Nordic and Baltic countries
2013 (English)In: On Practice and Knowledge Eruptions, 2013Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
The aim of the paper is to discuss similarities and differences with reference to how companies in the Nordic and Baltic countries deal with issues of sustainability and CSR, and how they in this respect relate to actors such as other businesses, governments, consumers and NGOs. Empirically the paper is based on company case studies from Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Lithuania conducted by students in a Nordic/Baltic NordPlus course during 2011, 2012 and 2013. A critical perspective related to the theoretical framework was used in the analysis of the companies and organizations. The methods used were interviews and document studies. The case studies demonstrate that the commitment for the companies to deal and engage with sustainability issues and CSR differ according to company size, industry and external factors (customers, NGOs and/or governmental legislation and procedures) which push or inspire the companies towards more sustainable behaviour. Differences are specially observed between the Nordic countries with a long history of attention towards sustainability compared with the less developed sustainability engagement in Estonia and Lithuania. In this respect, contextual and cultural issues related to the countries different historical heritage and the presence or not of a strong environmental movement are discussed as possible explanations. Push factors for Baltic companies to engage in sustainability issues and CSR seem to be foreign customer demand or issues of being perceived as modern and western oriented businesses. As such export oriented companies show greater interest and commitment to sustainability and CSR than those operating only in the domestic market which still seems to be influenced by the former Sovjet union.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98823OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98823DiVA: diva2:685508