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Balancing profit maximization and social benefit within CSR projects

By Louise Villadsen Nielsen, Mads Oustrup, Ane Todbjerg, Conor Clancy and Ingrid Weimers


This project investigates the perceived dichotomy between, profit maximisation and creating social benefit in CSR projects. The focus of the research is the multi-stakeholder project “Educa-tion Clarification in Practise” (ECP), run in collaboration between ISS, a Danish multinational company and Høje Taastrup Municipality. The focus of the project is to help young people under 30 into either job or education. The project investigates the different stakeholder logics within the project and the implications in regards to balancing profit maximization and social benefit. In order to identify the different logics, we use Victor Pestoff’s notion of competing logics in com-bination with Boltanski and Thévenot’s theory of common worlds. We also present various ap-proaches within instrumental and political CSR theory to contextualise the identified logics, and also contribute to the wider academic debate. The research consisted of five qualitative inter-views with representatives from ISS, Høje Taastrup Municipality and the Young Social Assis-tance Recipients. We conclude that we can identity a broad selection of logics across the stake-holders. Several logics were argued to harmonize while a small selection of logics could be ar-gued to show a potential conflict and two dominant logics were identified across the stakeholder groups. We also conclude that we can see a general consensus of experiencing the ECP-project as a success. This was argued to be caused by the dominance of logics across the stakeholder groups, which we ultimately argue, will have implications for the balancing profit maximisation and social benefit. Last but not least the report discusses the application of instrumental and po-litical CSR theories respectively and argue that ultimately profit maximization can be seen as the main motivation for private companies like ISS in doing CSR-projects

Topics: CSR, ISS, social, profit, dichotomy
Year: 2015
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