This study looks into the interplay between governments and transnational corporations (TNCs) regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR), and it investigates the potentials to link CSR to the international development agenda. The analysis focuses on Norwegian CSR, that illustrates a rare combination of strong state with significant ownership in national companies, a relatively small number of TNCs and a strong civil society. The results of the analysis indicate that the Norwegian government exercises a strong influence over corporate governance. However, despite an apparent alignment between the topics proposed by the State’s development cooperation agenda and those Norwegian companies are expected to report on, the analysis did not find proof of a transfer of agendas. Instead, businesses appear to use CSR as a communication tool, thus complying with the government’s desire to project a positive image of Norway internationally. Furthermore, the government appears to prioritize commercial goals and profitability.