Corporate Social Responsibility & Corporate Sustainability in the Cruise Industry: A Case Study of the North American Ocean Cruise Industry

Katja Juul

Student thesis: Master thesis


The concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Sustainability are becoming a standard part of business strategy. For the North American Ocean Cruise Industry, there is a lack of research in this area.
Therefore, this research thesis is an addition to the scarce literature on the topic. The cruise industry
is a growing industry, which means that now and, in the future, there will be a focus on their initiatives in regard to the impacts they have on the environment and society.
This research is a case study, limited to the North American Ocean Cruise Industry, the purpose of this research is to find out what the North American Ocean Cruise Industry, is doing in regard to showing social and environmental responsibility. This thesis is based on one main research question:
• How can the North American Ocean Cruise Industry improve their CSR and CS?
The thesis will first be answering the sub-questions, by using frameworks such as and secondary data collected from the websites of the 19 cruise companies, that are taking the lead in this thesis.
After looking at the individual companies, an overview of the general initiatives in the case study industry is provided, in order to place the cruise companies in the chosen frameworks. The analysis found that the industry is using a stakeholder approach, with an ambition level that is profit driven, a stance that is enlightened self-interest, and the industry is placed at the “engaged
stage of corporate citizenship”.
These findings from the analysis leads to the conclusion, that the cruise lines in the North American Ocean Cruise Industry can do a lot more to both inform customers and to improve their negative impact on the environment.
Furthermore, a closer look at their value chain in combination with the Diamond Framework, would help the North American Ocean Cruise Industry achieve a greater competitive advantage.

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages79