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Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14089
Management consultants' influence on corporate responsibility reporting in Finland - Case study among Big4 companies and Finnish retailers
Author: Kangasniemi, Anni
Title: Management consultants' influence on corporate responsibility reporting in Finland - Case study among Big4 companies and Finnish retailers
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Management and International Business
Index terms: johtaminen; management; konsultointi; consulting; raportit; reports; yhteiskuntavastuu; corporate responsibility; trendit; economic trends
Pages: 88
Key terms: corporate responsibility; yhteiskuntavastuu; Finland; Suomi; management; johtaminen; reports; raportit; qualitative research; laadullinen tutkimus
Abstract:
The objective of the study is to examine the influence of management consultants on corporate responsibility reporting in Finland. In order to meet the expectations from various stakeholders to be transparent on responsibility issues, managers are buying various CR services from management consultants, including CR reporting. Influence of management consultants in academic literature is epitomized by the creation and dissemination of management fashions, where consultants are perceived as standard setters, which also makes for the theoretical frame of reference of the study.

Qualitative methods were the appropriate choice for shedding light on the phenomenon. The research strategy was multiple case study exploring the field, with five case companies involved in CR reporting from Finnish context. Case companies were selected to represent the supply and demand sides of the corporate responsibility market in Finland, resulting to three management consulting companies amongst the Big4 companies and two Finnish companies from retail industry. Semi-structured interviews were held in each of the case companies with one company representative from each company to gather primary data, in addition secondary data from companie's web pages and reports released was sourced. Findings were processed using thematic content analysis followed by a cross-case comparison.

The findings suggest that the influence of management consultants on CR reporting in Finland manifests itself in the quality of CR reports and the choice of reporting standard. Regulation and stakeholder pressure are the biggest drivers for CR reporting currently, the influence of management consultants on CR reporting in Finland resulting from consultant's position in giving strategic advice and providing legitimacy. As external resources helping their clients in solving business issues, management consultants have a role in driving CR issues on the strategic agenda of companies and illustrating the implications of CR to their clients.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.