A study of the mechanisms working towards an institutionalization of corporate social responsibility in the industry of farmed salmon

Lise M. Hille

Student thesis: Master thesis


Corporate social responsibility, CSR, has gained respect both as an idea and a company strategy (W.C. Frederick 2008). Being corporate socially responsible means that environmental concerns, animal welfare and concerns about people and community are taken are taken into account by the institution. CSR triggers many discussions among scholars from different fields, and the discussion about a definition and a common understanding of what CSR really means is still ongoing. One of the most interesting discussions is about the business case of CSR, and the thought that companies can perform financially well by doing social good in the society. Another debate is whether or not companies should engage in social initiatives at all, and the argument that managers should not act as social change agents are put forward by Friedman (1970). On the other hand there is the stakeholder theory arguing that the actions of companies not only has economic consequences for the shareholders, but also have different impact on the various stakeholders in the environment. In this paper I focus on the mechanisms that can influence the institutionalization of corporate social responsibility in the industry of farmed salmon, and I investigate a shift from conventional to organic salmon farming in the fisheries. As argued by DiMaggio and Powell (1991:64) institutional analysis "seek to explain homogeneity, not variation... Once a field becomes well established, however, there is an inorexable push toward homogenization". The change into becoming similar is driven by three isomorphic forces; coercive, normative and mimetic. I elaborate upon how these three mechanisms work when I analyze the process of institutionalization of corporate social responsibility.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages76