The barriers to corporate social responsibility in the nordic energy sector

Mauricio Latapí*, Lára Jóhannsdóttir, Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir, Mette Morsing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nordic companies have been at the top of sustainable business rankings since the early 2010s. Some of them are energy companies that have adopted Corporate Social Responsibility to have a positive social impact and become carbon neutral. However, limited literature has analyzed the barriers that Nordic energy companies face while implementing Corporate Social Responsibility. This article aims to identify and categorize the barriers faced by Nordic energy companies. The research is based on empirical data obtained from interviews involving high-level managers from the largest suppliers of energy in the Nordic region. A model is developed, which identifies and categorizes seven barriers at the individual level, seven at the organizational level, and three at the institutional level of analysis. The findings suggest that barriers can be of a direct and indirect nature and can be found across the three levels of analysis. The main contributions of this article are: (1) it identifies and categorizes the barriers that Nordic energy companies face; (2) it defines the barriers as direct and indirect based on their interaction with the company; (3) it presents two models of the barriers and provides empirical evidence that complement the literature; and (4) it contributes to the literature by focusing on the Nordic countries, a region that has received limited attention by scholarly research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4891
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful and acknowledge that this research was made possible by the support of the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT, for its abbreviation in Spanish) which granted a 36-month scholarship to M.L. to conduct his Ph.D. at the University of Iceland. We also want to thank the institutions that provided support and/or funds towards this research, which include the Landsvirkjun Energy Research Fund, the Erasmus+ Programme of Higher Education studies and traineeships, and the University of Iceland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Other keywords

  • Barrier
  • Business models
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Energy
  • Nordic
  • Strategy
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development


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