Bankens natur : miljöfrågans genomslag i svenska banker
Sammanfattning: This dissertation focuses on a previously anomalous and neglected issue that became common order and regarded as beneficial to traditional goals of Swedish banks. Before 1995, environmental issues were seen as irrelevant in banking, mainly because "banks have no production". Environmental awareness was considered relevant for the manufacturing industry but not for the business of banking. However, in 1995, all major Swedish banks displayed a marked change in policy, a policy that began promoting environmental considerations as relevant or even necessary for business success. How this sudden turnabout became possible is evaluated in a qualitative study of Swedish banks. The transformation is interpreted through the perspective of neo-institutional theory in organizational analysis.By 1995, environmental issues were institutionalized in society and, to a large extent, in the business community as well. However, because of the previous resistance, the new issues had to be interpreted in terms consonant with the current dominating rationale. Consequently, environmental awareness was made sense of and legitimized by such well-known allies as risk minimization, cost reduction and profitability. In the rhetoric and construction of rationality, environmental concerns were not considered primarily for the sake of the environment but rather as instrumental toward business goals. It is suggested that the adoption of environmental considerations was driven by commonly shared ideas of appropriate behavior and through processes of mimetic isomorphism. Moreover, institutionalization required local translation by dedicated actors who took advantage of available allies in order to strengthen and maintain environmental issues as relevant in the new context.
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