EU CSR: TALK THE TALK OR WALK THE WALK? A case study of the Inditex Group
Sammanfattning: This study examines the various institutional pressures -including the ones proceeding fromthe supranational level of the EU - and how they impact and shape the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan of an EU-based multinational company. By filling this gap, we alsopursue to steer the empirical focus on the organizational translation of the current EuropeanCommission (EC) approach on CSR. The research is therefore of a qualitative nature in which the Spanish multinational garment company The Inditex Group is employed as case for an indepthstudy. Semi-structured and open-ended interviews with CSR corporate officers alongside text analysis of official EC documents are the principal research methods, while the theoretical lenses are provided by neo-institutionalist theories of organizational change. An special focus is placed on the concepts of institutional pressures (Di Maggio & Powell, 1983)and translation to analyze the impact of the various institutional forces - EU and non-EU - and how principles and ideas are materialized into the organizational level of the company (Czarniawska and Joerges, 1996). The results show how the CSR public policy activity developed by the EC plays a shaping role in two ways; firstly, through a soft type of coercive pressure, and secondly, through a role of fashion-setter. Inditex's case shows that the firm isahead most of its competitors when it comes to the adoption of EU CSR. In particular, the impact of the EC's CSR policies on Inditex CSR plan, does not affect all components equally but it has been demonstrated to be higher in documents of a transversal and global reach.
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