chapter  6
18 Pages

Lost in Translation: The Case of Skandia’s ‘Ideas for Life’

ByPauline Göthberg

Since the 1990s, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gained increasing attention among societal actors (Margolis and Walsh 2003; Zadek 2001) and corporations are increasingly addressing the issue of corporate responsibility. Although it is not obligatory to follow the requirements (European Commission 2001), corporations are expected to comply beyond the letter of the law, and the idea seems to have spread to a large number of corporations. However, even though there seems to be a general understanding of CSR as an integration of social and environmental concerns in all business activities (European Commission 2001), in practice the activities undertaken by corporations differ considerably. As the editors of this book point out in the introduction, in order to understand the difference between a seemingly homogenous definition of the concept of CSR and the many different practices, it is also important to look at the actual practices being conducted under the umbrella label of CSR. But why do practices differ when looking at the corporate level of CSR? To answer this question we have to get a more detailed understanding of how corporations interpret new demands such as CSR.