Virksomheden, politikken og samfundsansvaret: En governmental analyse af CSR som erhvervspolitisk tematik

Eyðun Hentze Højgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


The subject and area of interest of this thesis is the notion of corporate social responsibility as subject to different types of public regulation and steering in Denmark. Over the last 10 years or so, CSR has seriously caught foothold throughout Danish business life. And likewise CSR has become the focus of political governance. Within the last few years there has been a change in the way by which companies are encouraged to work with CSR. From primarily being adressed as a social and environmental concern, in recent years political efforts to promote social responsibility within business have increasingly pushed the “profit motive”. It pays to do CSR, is the political claim and message. Similarly, we see that CSR more and more often figures in industrial policy strategies for competitive advantage and globalization. Through CSR, social concerns seem to have caught the interest of industrial policy. Firstly, a brief outline of CSR in Denmark today is drawn. Then, the concept of CSR is placed into a theoretical framework of political governance, in which it is regarded as an expression of a modern neoliberal tendency towards indirect political control. A recently published action plan is then introduced as a current example of such a management rationality. Departing from an analysis on how CSR is integrated into an overall action plan of industry policy, the thesis looks into the historical development of industrial policy towards CSR. The historical preconditions and circumstances within which CSR became an important and relevant theme are investigated. Also, we ask what are the options of political management, and how are they effected by the fact that inherent in the CSR concept is the insistance that the social commitment of the firm must fundamentally be voluntary? Finally, the capabilities and limitations, objectives listed and implications for modern political management of - and through - a modern industrial policy concept of corporate social responsibility are discussed. The thesis concludes that while the profit motive has facilitated and supported the widespread of CSR, the political succes of governing an increasing number of velfare issues throughout such indirect mechanisms and market mechanisms may come at a cost.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages94