Corporate Social Responsibility in Sweden

Today I spoke in depth with Lycksele natives on the current condition of their immigration and refugee workforce situation. In the current state of Sweden, “foreigners” endure more difficulty in order to get a job. In order to work, immigrants must speak Swedish and often face discrimination based upon their race. One Swedish man stated that: “If a foreigner just changed their surname it would be the difference of them receiving a job.” Hearing this, I realized that I have taken for granted the progress that the United States has made and the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resources.

In the United States, equity and diversity has become the norm. Businesses take pride in being socially responsible when it comes to supporting diversity and equality in the work force. CSR and Human Resources are there to ensure that there is no discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, religion or race. Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is a practice where a business acts as a citizen and feels responsible for the community that the business is a part of. Human Resources on the other hand, ensures that the values and code of ethics of a company are properly executed while managing the human resources of the business. Both Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility have become integral to the American Business that values equality.

In our discussion, the Swedish citizens that we spoke to had never heard of Corporate Social Responsibility, and asked: “Why is that important? Do companies do that just to look good?” These questions reminded me about the numerous conversations I had in class regarding this topic. I responded: “Yes and no, companies can have a motive for looking good to the public, however, there are companies who genuinely want to support their community and equality in America. In America diversity is encouraged.” In America, CSR, is becoming more prevalent now than ever. But does Sweden utilize this practice in another form? That answer is yes.

While Sweden still struggles to overcome their immigration integration issues, they are very much involved in the environmental sustainability practice of CSR. This has been clear through many of our visits, in which companies are striving to become more efficient. The conference in Lycksele revealed that the Swedish people care about issues in the community such as gender equality, and competence, however, the question is do the companies care about these issues? Our visit to Norrsken revealed that there are companies that do care about not only the community at hand, but the world. Norrsken balances startup companies that make a profit and strive to improve the world with issues such as obesity, hunger, corruption, inequality, and immigration.

Overall we are seeing the importance of CSR and Human Resources in the workforce. In Sweden, human resources are not being utilized or given a chance because they are not integrated into society correctly. The thoughts behind CSR are there, and the Swedish people care, the practice is just not labeled and as well known as it is in America.