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Communicating CSR: practices among Switzerland's top 300 companies

Gregory Birth (BSI SA, Lugano, Switzerland)
Laura Illia (Judge Business School, Cambridge, UK)
Francesco Lurati (Università Della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland)
Alessandra Zamparini (Università Della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 9 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide a picture of the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication among the top 300 companies in Switzerland and to investigate how favorable the cultural context is for this kind of communication.


The investigation of the top 300 companies in Switzerland was conducted using a written survey that built on previous studies.


CSR communication in Switzerland appears to be well developed, but still has broad margins for development. Examples are provided on how to improve CSR communication. Such improvements should be relatively easy to implement since Switzerland, it is argued, appears to be open to CSR communication.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation considered only the communication objectives toward a limited range of stakeholders, such as clients, shareholders, and employees. The survey was conducted among the top 300 companies in Switzerland; these companies are not necessarily representative of the whole Swiss business community.

Practical implications

The paper describes the elements that should be considered in order to develop an effective CSR communication. These elements are synergies between issues, objectives, and channels; criteria for a credible social report; the exploitation of the potentialities of CSR advertising and the web; and the understanding of the national context where the organization is operating.


This paper focuses on CSR communication, an area that has received limited attention in CSR research. Organizations may find interesting hints on how to develop effective CSR communication.



Birth, G., Illia, L., Lurati, F. and Zamparini, A. (2008), "Communicating CSR: practices among Switzerland's top 300 companies", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 182-196.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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