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Critical Perspectives of Marketing Discourse: Case Study of IKEA´s Corporate Philanthropy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis discusses how IKEA perceive and use concept of Sustainable Development and relates it with consumption. For that purpose, an online-survey was undertaken with the aim to see how IKEA´s customers perceive IKEA´s philanthropic activities in developing countries and how these activities influence on their consumption patterns and ideas of inter-generational justice.

Besides that, a critical discourse analysis is performed with the intention to gain insight into IKEA´s communication of sustainable discourse focusing on the text and external communication from IKEA. The results from critical discourse analysis and online-survey showed that IKEA is shifting its position toward sustainability discourse and changing its business model, while at same time IKEA is penetrating into new markets and reaching new consumption under cover of corporate philanthropy. The online survey showed that IKEA´s customers stated a strong expression of necessary presence of inter-generational justice in developing countries. Intergenerational justice represents the moral obligations toward present, but also toward future generations. IKEA´s philanthropic activities in developing countries, on the other hand, were appraised as weak by survey respondents.

One of the conclusions this thesis is that IKEA´s incorporation of Sustainable Development is associated with challenges. IKEA´s communication of corporate sustainable development effects on customers’ consumption pattern motivating them to buy and consume more IKEA´s products. IKEA´s philanthropic activities in developing countries are not sufficient enough. Survey respondents evaluated that donation efforts are not sufficient.

Ideally, it is assumed that IKEA as a part of corporate sustainable development should promote less consumption and invest more in sustainable use and protection of natural resources with the aim to reach inter-generational justice as well as to incorporate Sustainable Development into its discourse and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
consumption patterns, corporate philanthropy, critical discourse analysis, IKEA´s marketing discourse, Stenmark´s principle of inter-generational justice, Sustainable Development
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160458OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-160458DiVA: diva2:451103
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2011-11-01 Created: 2011-10-24 Last updated: 2011-11-02Bibliographically approved

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