“Identifying a best practice template to support managers in strategy selection and implementation towards CSR objectives”

BY: John Sohn

Word count:17,978 excluding appendices

Executive MBA Dissertation

Dissertation submitted in the final fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration


Trine, Thomas and Martin – my wife and two sons
Thank you for your inspiration, support and patience

David Rees; Executive Director, Cultural Fluency; Visiting Fellow, Henley Management College, School of Reputation and Relationship

Questionnaire respondents in the Danish Concrete Industry
Thank you for your active participation. To those that needed a guide to CSR, thanks – it was motivating to be able to support you.


The research paper describes a best practice template to support managers in the Danish concrete industry in strategy selection, implementation and achievement of outcomes according to environmental responsible objectives.

The described best practice template is based on a Corporate Social Responsibility approach and describes the steps in improving environmental outcomes and business profitability in stakeholder partnerships.

Data output from a web-based quantitative analysis determines that present measurement of environmental outcomes drives the future improvements, and identified manager perception and behaviour as the main influencers on strategic intent.

Level of internationalisation, position in the industry and functional position seems to cause the main differences and similarities in manager sense making when setting objectives and selecting strategies for achieving environmental outcomes.

Benefits driving environmental improvements are linked to stakeholder satisfaction within the value chain. The main focus is to achieve energy and waste reduction outcomes while business profitability is a minor objective.

The industry specific issues determined by analysis of primary data are well described in the Corporate Social Responsibility literature reviewed. The theories, concepts and models identified to support managers are highlighted and used in the best practice template.

A practical case story and a simple business case followed by a suitability, feasibility and acceptability test-template is described to secure managers’ ability in successful use of the best practice template.

As the context of Corporate Social Responsibility constantly evolves with the changes in importance of issues in society and business environment, as de-monstrated in the review of historic development, future analysis and creation of a shared industry perception of the future is suggested to create long-term benefits in the industry.

Table of Contents:

Glossary of Terms – Key Words

1. Introduction

1.1 Topic, Objective and Background

1.1.1 Formal Topic Requirements and Boundaries

1.1.2 Research Objective and Scope

1.1.3 Background – The Danish Concrete Industry

1.2 Research Approach and Dissertation Structure

2. Literature Review of Strategic CSR

2.1 Context and Scope of CSR

2.1.1 Historic Development

2.1.2 Concepts and Labels

2.1.3 Future Expectations

2.2 Strategy Development and Selection

2.2.1 Stakeholders, Vision and Mission

2.2.2 Organisational and Environmental Constraints

2.2.3 Threshold Differences “CSR Filter”

2.2.4 Strategy Selection

2.3 Strategy Implementation

2.3.1 Initiatives and Outcomes

2.3.2 Design, Select and Sustain Value Creation

2.4 Literature Review Summary

3. Research Hypothesis and Questions

3.1 Strategy Development and Selection

3.2 Strategy Implementation

3.3 Importance of Research

4. Field Research Design

4.1 Overall Field Research Design

4.1.1 Field Research Objective

4.1.2 Research Strategy

4.1.3 Justification of Approach

4.2 Data Collection Techniques

4.2.1 Research Setting and Population

4.2.2 Sampling Strategy

4.2.3 Questionnaire

4.2.4 Encountered Challenges

4.3 Data Analysis & Generalisability

4.3.1 Analysis Techniques

4.3.2 Reliability, Validity and Generalisability

5. Field Research Data Output

5.1 Data Output Composition

5.2 Strategy Development and Selection

5.2.1 Competitive Attractiveness

5.2.2 Competitive or Cooperative Motives

5.2.3 Levels of Internationalisation

5.2.4 Position in Value Network

5.2.5 Generic Competitive Strategies

5.2.6 Competence Utilization

5.3 Strategy Implementation

5.3.1 Key Success Factors

5.3.2 Present Capabilities

5.3.3 Strategic Focus

5.3.4 Quality and Performance Management

6. Research Findings

6.2 Strategy Development and Selection

6.2.1 Stakeholder management

6.2.2 Strategy Selection

6.2.3 Threshold Levels

6.3 Strategy Implementation

6.3.1 Initiatives and Outcomes

6.3.2 Design, Select and Sustain Value Capture

7. Conclusion and Recommendation

7.1 Conclusion on Research

7.1.1 Strategy Development and Selection

7.1.2 Strategy Implementation

7.2 Recommendation for Future Business practice

7.2.1 Strategy Development and Selection

7.2.2 Strategy Implementation

7.3 Limitations of the Research


Reference and Citation List

Other Bibliography

Appendix 1 – Organisations and the Concrete Industry

Appendix 2 – Details of CSR History and Stakeholders

Appendix 3 – Reporting Standards and Principles

Appendix 4 – Field Research Structure

Appendix 5 – Survey Sample

Appendix 6 – Statistical Analysis

Appendix 7 – Best Practice Template

Appendix 8 – Practical Case Story

Appendix 9 – Simple Business Case

Appendix 10 – SFA analysis strategic environmental options