CSR Maturity and Motivation in the Water Sector

Linne Marie Lauesen

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


    Purpose: - This paper aims to examine the literature of CSR motivation and presents research results from a case study of the water sector (water companies from Denmark, the UK, the USA and South Africa) and its motivation for and maturity in its CSR work.

    Design/methodology/approach - The methodology used in this paper is first a literature review followed by research done with ethnographic methods such as participant observations, interviews and document analysis.

    Findings: - Based on a literature review and research in water companies motivation and maturity based on Crowther (2006) and Crowther and Reis (2011) CSR maturity typology, the paper suggests an extension of this into a CSR Maturity Framework by adding profit-making, legitimacy and business ethics as clusters of motives for businesses to engage in CSR work. The concrete findings of the water sector suggest it as semi-mature according to the proposed CSR Maturity Framework, because it has only reached the level of CSR reporting, but neither suggests definitions of sustainability nor shows any particularly good transparency and accountability yet.

    Research limitations/implications: - The research is limited to water companies in four regions - Denmark, the UK, the USA and South Africa - which means that such companies in other regions may differ from the findings in this paper. However, these companies are especially chosen according to their similarities, which means that it is not the point of the paper to cover all water companies in the world, but to retrieve findings from a specifically chosen type of water companies that share a specifically institutional setup.

    Originality/value: - The originality and value of the paper is based on the findings of the research in motivation and maturity in the cases of water companies, which have been used to elaborate on an existing CSR framework - the CSR maturity typology suggested by Crowther (2006) and Crowther and Reis (2011) into a CSR Maturity Framework incorporating businesses motives of profit-making, legitimacy and business ethics. The CSR Maturity Framework will be applicable for analyzing the CSR maturity for any business sector, and it adds value for businesses in its clarifying and suggesting themes that business sectors need to elaborate.
    TidsskriftSocial Responsibility Journal
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)506-522
    Antal sider17
    StatusUdgivet - 2016


    • Motivation
    • Legitimacy
    • Maturity
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Business ethics
    • Profit making