Creating Shared Value in Diverse Institutional Contexts: A Comparative Case Study of Novo Nordisk’s Activities in Japan & Bangladesh

Anna Schmidt Mortensen & Alexandra Líf Atladóttir

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The problem addressed in this thesis is the gap between the number of people with diabetes and the number of people that are actually diagnosed and receiving adequate diabetes care. This is relevant to investigate since it is estimated that 402 million people with diabetes are either undiagnosed or are not achieving the desired outcome of their treatment targets. This problem requires collective action from the public and private sectors, in addition to civil society. This thesis focuses on the role of the private sector. Through a comparative case study, this thesis examines how Novo Nordisk, a multinational pharmaceutical company, addresses gaps in diabetes care in Japan and Bangladesh. Novo Nordisk’s activities in both countries are examined using the framework of creating shared value and institutional strategies to uncover how and why Novo Nordisk addresses diabetes-related issues differently. In Japan, Novo Nordisk mainly focuses on identifying and resolving the psychological issues related to living with and treating diabetes, using the institutional strategies of socio-cultural bridging and relational to create shared value through the strategy of building supportive clusters. Additionally, a relational strategy was used to create shared value through redefining productivity in the value chain, to a lesser degree. The most comprehensive activities predominantly address gaps in awareness and patient care. In contrast, Novo Nordisk mainly uses the institutional strategies of infrastructure-building and relational to create shared value through building supportive clusters and redefining productivity in the value chain in Bangladesh. The most comprehensive activities focus on patient care, economic cost and infrastructural gaps in diabetes care. This thesis concludes that Novo Nordisk has engaged in activities that display different combinations of creating shared value and institutional strategies in Bangladesh and Japan. The differences in how Novo Nordisk creates shared value in Japan and Bangladesh can be explained by local adaptation to institutional contexts. This is because the findings of this thesis indicate that Novo Nordisk’s activities were devised based on consideration of the context specific needs related to diabetes care in each country. The findings of this thesis points to an under-emphasis in the importance of partnerships in the framework of creating shared value. This is due to the presence of relational strategies found in both Bangladesh and Japan, which indicates that social problems such as gaps in diabetes care require collective action to solve. This was an aspect of the findings the theory could not explain. This thesis also contributes to literature on creating shared value by building on the research of localised strategies.

UddannelserCand.merc.pol International Business and Politics, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider136
VejledereAndrew Crabtree