Possible Limitations of Scandinavian Perspectives of Sustainability and CSR

Sustainability is meeting the needs of people without compromising the ability to do the same for the next generation! The corporate world adopts CSR as a practice to show that they do their part to balance the scale of their impact on society.

Scandinavian countries that are often considered as the leaders of Global Sustainability and CSR have been practising an effective approach towards enhancing Sustainability and CSR since decades ago. Scandinavian history, culture and political environment have been fertilizing this immense approach.


Is the Scandinavian perspective of Sustainability and CSR universal?

Living a Lagom life which highly appreciates the balance and harmony in everything whether its work or Daily life, Feminine aspects of culture, Low power distance in Organizations, the leadership which encourages participation in decision making and consensus-building, as well as a societal and political appreciation of democracy, have been collectively contributed to Scandinavian unique approach towards Sustainability and CSR.

Nevertheless, the above qualities and characteristics are considered to be norms and tendencies, not absolutes. It is unusual to expect almost all Scandinavians will proactively promote sustainability and CSR as every individual is different and possessing different values and motives. As the main critique of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions argues, even though in the Scandinavian context, perhaps there might be organizations that adopt and practice a different perspective towards Sustainability and CSR, in particular a perspective that does not promote Sustainability and CSR anymore.

In addition to the above argument, the countries with extreme conditions such as extreme poverty, extreme socialism (such as North Korea) and extreme climate conditions (like drought) might be having preliminary issues of adopting these Scandinavian inspired perspectives of Sustainability and CSR as their ability to fulfil basic needs is almost doubtful.

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