Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
The focal point for this thesis is corporate social responsibility and how it can affect competitive advantage. This study is conducted within the pharmaceutical industry, an industry that is claimed to have a very high level of social responsibility. Thus, understanding what kind of CSR factors that contributes to competitive advantage might be seen as a relevant field of study.
The purpose if this study is to explain what kind of social responsibility factors that generates competitive advantage for pharmaceutical companies. The method used in this thesis is a content analysis, where pharmaceutical companies´ social responsibility reports are viewed and where the appearance of certain key words associated with CSR factors were counted. The following CSR factors have been used: human rights, labour practice, environment, fair operating practice, consumer issues and community involvement and development.
Findings of this study indicate that consumer issues and community involvement and development are positively related to competitive advantage for pharmaceutical companies.
The main limitations of this study are that findings are only applicable for the pharmaceutical industry. Also, since the sample is relatively small (N=25) it might be hard to replicate the findings of this study. This might alter the generalizability ability.
The original value of this study is that it is a step towards understanding what kind of CSR factors that contributes to competitive advantage for pharmaceutical companies.
Key words: pharmaceutical, CSR, corporate social responsibility, competitive advantage.
2015. , 54 p.