New book chapter: “Cermaq: From Activist Target to Sustainability Leader”

Int Man

We have written a chapter in the new book”International Management: Theory and Practice” which is published by Edward Elgar. The book is edited by P. Gooderham, B. Grøgaard and O. Nordhaug, and it’s aimed at MBA students and it’s about the various challenges that multinational companies face.

Our contribution is a case based discussion of Cermaq and their operations in Chile, especially focusing on the crisis in the Chilean aquaculture industry in 2007,
the critique directed at Cermaq, and the substantial measures Cermaq has since undertaken in
order to make the company and the industry more sustainable.

The case discusses  in light of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) framework, which focuses on the “why?”, “how?” and “so what?” of corporate responsibility (see Jørgensen and Pedersen, 2011). Finally, the case offers recommendations for future operations based on the analysis of the motivation (why?), integration (how?) and the effect (so what?) of CSR initiatives initiated by Cermaq after the fish health crisis in Chile.

The case is set in 2012, five years after the initial crisis, and we look back at the time before and after Cermaq’s turnaround. The Cermaq crisis is a relevant case in this regard because it involves a multinational corporation (MNC) that was exposed to pressure from activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), thus triggering a CSR crisis. The reason that Cermaq became a target for the activists were its poor environmental performance with regard to fish health and control of fish populations. In a word, Cermaq’s core activities were claimed to be unsustainable and environmentally destructive. The case is especially relevant for CSR in an international context, since it involves the OECD
and its Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.


Jørgensen, S. and Pedersen, L. J. T.: 2011. ’The Why and How of Corporate Social Responsibility’, Beta: Scandinavian Journal of Business Research, Volume 25, Issue 2, 121-137.



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