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Retailers' management of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their supplier relationships – does practice follow best practice?

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The aim of this study is to further explore (a) the extent to which retailers deploy corporate social responsibility (CSR) best practices to ensure social and environmental sustainability in international supplier relationships and (b) the association between firm characteristics and the retailers' CSR activities in the supply chain. As a first step, the study identifies eight best practices based on earlier research and the authors' qualitative studies of IKEA. As a second step, a survey of Swedish retailers was conducted. The results of the study suggest that a significant amount of the actors in the Swedish retail sector do not follow the majority of best practice as outlined and discussed in this study. Furthermore, it is found that sector belonging has a considerable impact on the extent that a retailer follows best practice, while firm size and internationalization experience also have a significant, albeit limited, impact on retailer behavior.

Keywords: CSR; Sweden; best practice; retail industry; supplier relationships

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Economics and Management,Lund University, Tycho Brahes väg 1, PO Box 7080, SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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