Public Support for Corporate Social Responsibility in the Welfare State: Evidence from Sweden
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 38, no 1, 75-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Several scholars have claimed that we are currently witnessing a growing saliency of so-called corporate social responsibility (CSR). Yet, while there is a lot of work suggesting that public opinion might prompt firms to behave in socially responsible ways, there is a lack of empirical studies exploring the extent ordinary to which citizens actually support CSR. Moreover, the state is conventionally theorized as the main institutional device for governing markets and their social consequences, and there is a growing literature exploring the relationship between CSR and the state. On the basis of these observations, this paper juxtaposes public attitudes towards CSR and state intervention in the market. Considering that attitudes might vary across groups with different structural relationships to the firm, this study also looks at the social bases of support for different attitude profiles. Using Swedish survey data collected in 2011 and latent class analysis, the empirical results demonstrate that most Swedes in favor of CSR are highly supportive of state intervention in the market. The study of social cleavages restates this pattern: social groups with fewer marketable resources are strongly overrepresented in supporting a combination of CSR and state intervention in the market. No clear social profile is found for the relatively small group of people who support CSR but not state intervention. It is concluded that voluntary CSR is unlikely to offer a serious full-scale alternative to the welfare state: Swedes continue to think of public authorities as the ultimate institutional guarantor of social welfare.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Vol. 38, no 1, 75-94 p.
corporate social responsibility, csr, welfare state, public opinion, attitudes, political sociology
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88493DOI: 10.1111/1467-9477.12035ISI: 000348711200005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-88493DiVA: diva2:715930