Stéphane has so far conducted eleven in-depth interviews with CSR and sustainability consultants and practitioners.
He stopped by CSR Forum before the long weekend, and we made sure to get an update about his work and findings so far.
Eva: How many interviews have you conducted so far?
Stéphane: So far I have conducted 11 interviews with consultants working in a variety of organizations including non-profit sector, small consultancies, freelance/independent consultants as well as consultants from the big 4.
Eva: What are the most interesting aspects/themes you have come across so far?
Stéphane: Without revealing specifics, I think that the most interesting aspect for me is the debate between structure and agency and how it reveals itself in concrete examples. It is interesting to see that people in Denmark have a perception of being able to play a role in the situation. They have a perception of being in power to influence and do something. My experience so far is that structure is not seen as a constraint in Denmark, but rather perceived to be there to help. There is an element of trust, of course. At the same time, the structure is perceived and experienced as something there to provide ability, it is empowering. I don’t know the extent yet, but there’s an interesting mix here.
Another theme I have seen is that there are different characteristics across the different types of employment, from non-profit all the way to the big 4. However – all consultants I have talked to have a self-identification as a “problem solver”. I find this very fascinating.
Eva: Interesting – how do you see this in contrast to your previous experience and prior knowledge?
Stéphane: This is somewhat in contrast to other cultures I have experience from, most notably France. However, there is not that much difference with Québec. Or there, there are other elements of influence.
Eva: Is there any particular question you ask where you are surprised with the answer you get?
I think the most interesting question I ask is ‘what is good CSR?’. The answers I get are very diverse and subjective from person to person, but all very interesting!
Eva: And finally – any plans for the long weekend? I know you have been traveling around Scandinavia since coming to Copenhagen.
Stéphane: This weekend I am staying in Denmark – first I am attending a workshop on vocational training at CBS then I am going to Aarhus to work from there next week. But I will surely travel more later on!
Read the fist post about the collaboration between Stéphane Pisani from Laval University (Québec, Canada) a and CSR Forum here