Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Background- CSR is a highly relevant subject for corporations today, since there is an increased stakeholder demand to report corporate social, economic and environmental performance. CSR may convey numerous benefits for a firm, such as a competitive advantage, increased trust and improved corporate image, as well as many outcomes related to the employee. The automotive industry is facing high external pressures to lower their carbon footprint, and to become more sustainable, consequently, this industry is a suitable context for CSR research.
Purpose- The purpose of this study is to investigate different characteristics of employee’s and their perceptions and expectations of CSR, to find the most important aspects of the phenomena from an employee’s perspective, and thereby, engaging them in a company’s CSR initiatives. By investigating this field, it will be possible for companies to improve their CSR communication and meet the employee’s expectations. An effort will be made to distinguish different types of employees, to find out their main differences in terms of preferences and willingness to engage, and by that, find the most efficient ways to get them involved in CSR activities. These insights could help companies to successfully implement CSR programmes internally throughout their organization.
Method- A mixed method was used to fulfil the purpose of the study. A quantitative online survey was conducted and provided responses from 350 employees at a single automotive company. To acquire deeper insights, qualitative interviews with ten employees and observations as complete observers were used in a complementary manner at the same company.
Results and Conclusion- The main conclusions from the empirical results and theoretical background showed that the willingness to engage in CSR activities might diverge depending on the location and the functional area of the employee. The CSR aspect that the employees perceived as most important was an economic aspect “maintaining a solid financial performance”, followed by “providing product innovations that get ahead of market and customer needs”, and “satisfying customer needs in a measurable way”. The most efficient ways to engage the employees appeared to be mainly through training, community engagement, and accurate communication.
Practical Implications- The findings from this study provides implications and recommendations to both managers and marketers on how to market the CSR programme internally, which aspects of CSR to emphasise and how to get the employees involved. This will consequently strengthen corporation’s CSR programme and thus, benefit the society.
Keywords - CSR, Employee Engagement, Internal Marketing, Stakeholder
2016. , 77 p.