Distanceledelse gennem socialt ansvar: En undersøgelse af CSR i Novo Nordisk som et ledelsesværktøj til distancestyring

Sarah Emilie Boas

Student thesis: Master thesis


One of the bigger challenges in global corporate management today is managing employees and divisions that are absent and sometimes far away and located in other countries, on other continents and in different time zones - also called distance management. This thesis asks how Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, in the Danish pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, can function as a management tool for distance management. The goal of this study is to delineate an actor-network theoretical approach to distance management and to the conditions of distance control - and thereby it offers an unconventional perspective on distance management. The aim is to understand how a network evolving around CSR in Novo Nordisk allows resources for self-management in the affiliated companies around the world, and how these resources contribute to a construction of different perceptions of reality. The theoretical approach is Actor Network Theory as understood through the eyes of Bruno Latour, Michael Callon and John Law. Thus, the study is based on the school of constructivism, since the concepts of power and reality is interpreted as constructed phenomenon. The understanding of management also brings in the concept of Governmentality by Michel Foucault. Management can therefore be perceived in two ways: First of all as self-management, and secondly in a strategic perspective being aware of which resources for self-management are placed at the employees’ disposal. This study examines how different actors in relation to CSR in Novo Nordisk organize themselves in networks, how some of these determine the conditions for distance management by establishing certain centres, technologies and resources for self-management The methodology in this study includes most possible types of empirical objects such as interviews, articles, reports, homepages, observations, etc. Semi-structured interviews is the methodical approach to conversations primary with managers in chosen affiliates in Israel, the UK, Pakistan, South Africa, Germany, South Korea and from the headquarters in Denmark. The analysis of the interviews and the text-based empirical objects, will e.g. show that the formal communications network and parameters of management in Novo Nordisk generate different technologies to the construction of knowledge in the network, and that distance management is determined by the leadership’s and mid-level managers’ way of interpreting and translating the social responsibility. Moreover, pictures, stories and employee programmes also function as mechanisms for self-management and construction of knowledge in the affiliates. The results of this study contribute to a new perspective on management based on relations. The results will show that CSR can constitute conditions that influence the self-management of individuals. From a strategic distance management perspective, this approach can draw attention to conditions for distance management and management in general that render visible unexpected consequences that can emphasize strengths and weaknesses in the different constellations of a network.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages86