The value of corporate social responsibility : looking beyond the bottom line
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- Master Thesis 
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has developed increased prominence as an idea, as a company strategy and as a practical program in companies across the world. The literature in the CSR field has focused on whether firms have a responsibility beyond business, and whether CSR affects financial results. This study explores whether and how a company’s corporate social responsibility strategy adds value to the company, beyond the financial perspective. The study was carried out using case studies of three companies with well-implemented CSR strategies; The Body Shop (Norway), Stormberg, and Kaffehuset Friele. The main findings of this paper concern CSR implementation, CSR driven value, and CSR perspectives. The research provides four components of CSR strategies: corporate values, CSR initiatives, organizational membership, and fit to core business. Further, this paper finds that CSR adds organizational value along the operations, human resources, markets, reputation, and stakeholder dimensions. The final contribution of this paper is the development of three CSR perspectives: “black and white”, “caring for each other”, and “the big picture”. The perspectives integrate implementation and value. The firm’s CSR perspective influences which values are found and the extent of the direct link between CSR strategy and value created.