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Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR): Structure for Responsibility (Management Project)

Many organisational flaws are consequences of unsuitable structure arrangements that do not support the organisation in its work towards goal accomplishment. The appropriateness of the structure is determined by how well it allows the organisation to respond to the environment in which it is active. Furthermore, an organisation is divided into parts with their own requirements on the structure.

CSR is a concept that enables for a wider perspective of how to conduct business, thereby strengthening the link between the organisation and the external society. It addresses the issues of how a company can create sustainable wealth through behaving in a responsible way where a high responsiveness to the environment is crucial. The purpose of this thesis is therefore to describe and analyse how the organisational social structure of the CSR work can help and enhance such engagement.

An abductive approach have steered the authors when conducting this study. Qualitative data is explicitly used, gathered through interviews with representatives from ABB and Skanska. The data derived from these interviews provides a picture of what, why and how the two companies have chosen to work with CSR issues as well as how they have chosen to structure the work. Using the theoretical frame and the empirical data an analyse of the characteristics and arguments for CSR and the cultural, motivational and structural aspects led to the identification of requirements that this work place on the structure and how ABB and Skanska handle these requirements.

The objective of CSR is to be able to assess the business impact on the society and from that standpoint create a way to handle those impacts. Therefore the work is different from company to company but with common requirements on the structure where some are, local responsiveness, creativity and unified work. To answer to these requirements the structure should preferable have the characteristics of horizontal differentiation and specialisation on group level, an integration based on both human interaction and documents where standardisation should be avoided. This implies that the requirements of CSR are best met when the mechanic and the organic structure meet. An organic organisation needs mechanical traits to allow for the guidelines, directives and responsibilities to be defined in order to reach a unified picture. The mechanical on the other hand needs organic characteristics to support and allow for continuous improvements and work that takes local conditions into account.
Source: Jönköping University
Author: Adestam, Carina | Gunnmo, Sofia

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