I study Statoil‟s use of international technology transfer (ITT) and corporate social responsibility (CSR), and ways in which the two business functions interact within Statoil. Some reflections are made on how the academic fields of ITT and CSR – both of which are extensively studied by scholars – can be seen to overlap.
My reflections are illustrated with examples of combined ITT and CSR projects from three countries of significant importance to Statoil‟s strategy for international growth: Angola, Russia and Venezuela. I have interviewed seven Statoil employees and one university professor who manages Statoil-funded projects in Venezuela.
I hypothesise that Statoil will either have or be in the process of formulating explicit strategies for the combined use of ITT and CSR; that Statoil‟s recent history as a technology recipient will affect its attitudes to technology transfer and knowledge sharing today; and that the Norwegian government, as Statoil‟s majority owner, will influence or attempt to influence how Statoil conducts its ITT and CSR projects. The first hypothesis is partly confirmed, the second is confirmed and the third is refuted.
Additionally, I discuss selected theoretical frameworks from the two relevant academic fields and how compatible they are with the actual situation in Statoil. Most notably this concerns Bozeman‟s (2000) suggestions for criteria for measuring technology transfer effectiveness; Wang et al‟s (2004) theories of a firm‟s capacity and willingness to transfer technology; and the notion, espoused by several scholars within the CSR field, of CSR as a voluntary activity.