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Responsibility and collaboration

empirical studies of corporate social responsibility in food retail

Rotter, Julia Patrizia (2014). Responsibility and collaboration. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2014:91
ISBN 978-91-576-8130-0
eISBN 978-91-576-8131-7
[Doctoral thesis]

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a widely debated concept among academics, practitioners and non-practitioners. By definition, CSR concerns the economic, legal, political, environmental and social responsibilities of a business to its stakeholders and society at large. The conventional view of the role of business in society is to act as a market place and make a profit, in a space where demand meets supply. However, extending the role of CSR to include ethical responsibilities often raises questions of why and how? In this thesis, a qualitative research design was used to examine how businesses, more specifically Swedish food retailers, approach their extended responsibilities in society. The analysis focused in particular on collaborations between retail food businesses and other actors.

Food retailers hold a key position in forming a link between producers and consumers in the value chain. They are socially and economically tied to a number of problems facing consumers on local level and in the wider global community, such as climate change, food security and public health. Such problems are often complex and based on value conflicts among various stakeholders, and therefore cannot be resolved in isolation. In conditions of social connectedness, responsibility lies with all actors, with businesses considered to have a privileged position in terms of their negotiating power and ability for collective action. The food retail sector is therefore an interesting empirical setting for studying CSR.

In four empirical studies, different CSR activities in Swedish food retailers’ approaches to taking responsibility for social, environmental or political issues linked directly or indirectly linked to their operations were scrutinised. These activities included different forms of stakeholder engagement, such as partnership, dialogue or multi-stakeholder initiatives. The results indicated that through CSR, food retailers in collaboration with other actors can co-create value and proactively engage in driving (social) change. Responsibility can thus be viewed as the shared objective of collaborations between businesses, organisations and society at large, rather than being attributable to a single actor.

Authors/Creators:Rotter, Julia Patrizia
Title:Responsibility and collaboration
Subtitle:empirical studies of corporate social responsibility in food retail
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :21 November 2014
Depositing date:3 November 2014
Number of Pages:92
I.Rotter, J.P., Özbek, N. & Mark-Herbert, C. (2012). Private-public partnerships: Corporate responsibility strategy in food retail. International Journal of Business Excellence 5(1/2), 5-20.
II.Rotter, J.P., Özbek, N. & Mark-Herbert, C. (2012). Exploring corporate social responsibility in food retail category management. Social Business 2(3), 223-241.
III.Rotter, J.P., Airike, P.-E. & Mark-Herbert C. (forthcoming). Exploring political corporate social responsibility in global supply chains. Journal of Business Ethics. DOI 10.1007/s10551-013-1927-4.
IV.Rotter, J.P. (manuscript). Collective responsibility-taking to tackle wicked problems. The case of public health and corporate social responsibility in Swedish food retail. To be submitted to Business & Society.
V.Rotter, J.P. & Mark-Herbert, C. (2013). Corporate social responsibility in Swedish food retail: The case of tiger shrimp. International Food and Agribusiness Review 16(3), 167-176.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Institutionen för ekonomi, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8130-0
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8131-7
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E70 Trade, marketing and distribution
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E73 Consumer economics
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 502 Economics and Business > Business Administration
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 506 Political Science > Globalisation Studies
Agrovoc terms:supermarkets, retail marketing, foods, social consciousness, social values, business management, consumer behaviour, ethics, sweden
Keywords:business ethics, case study research, corporate responsibility, food retailer, social connection model, stakeholder engagement, Sweden
Permanent URL:
ID Code:11624
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Deposited By: Ms Julia P Rotter
Deposited On:03 Nov 2014 14:24
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:09

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