Communicating CSR, citizenship and sustainability on the web

Angeles Moreno (University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain)
Paul Capriotti (University Rovira Virgili, Tarragona, Spain)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Publication date: 8 May 2009



The aim of this study is to deepen the understanding of corporate web sites – of which corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship and sustainable development (CSR/CC/SD) issues are included – which stakeholders are privileged, and which mechanisms of inner and outer control are referred to in these web sites.


A specific tool was developed to monitor the treatment of CSR/CC/SD issues on corporate web sites. Content analysis was applied to the complete spectrum of enterprises within the IBEX‐35, which is the selective index of the Spanish Stock Exchange.


The research reported herein shows that the web has become an essential instrument for the communication of CSR/CC/SD issues, although its use is limited to certain content. There is also a disparity between the volume of information and its dispersion; communication is primarily unidirectional/expositive; and companies do not sufficiently use eternal criteria to guarantee the corporate behaviour they report.

Research limitations/implications

The IBEX‐35 company sample analysed in this study represents the companies on the Spanish Stock Exchange that have the most capital. Thus, its results cannot be extended to other top companies or to smaller firms. This research could be expanded by extending the survey to other companies and/or to other countries. It would be especially interesting to compare different external international evaluation criteria to add to the debate on the risks of the present CSR/CC/SD agenda.


This study represents the first investigation of this topic amongst Spanish companies, and a specific tool to monitor the treatment of CSR/CC/SD issues on corporate web sites has been developed.



Moreno, A. and Capriotti, P. (2009), "Communicating CSR, citizenship and sustainability on the web", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 157-175.

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