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Bridging diversity management and CSR in online external communication

Carmen Daniela Maier (Department of Management, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)
Silvia Ravazzani (Department of Management, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 1 May 2019

Issue publication date: 23 May 2019




The purpose of this paper is to address the need to reconsider online external communication that integrates diversity management (DM) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) by examining the multimodal discursive strategies purposefully employed by organizations to reflect the symbiotic relationship between these two areas of management practice and to communicatively emphasize their corporate commitment.


Building on the recently emerged stream of literature linking DM and CSR, and adopting a critical perspective on discourse analysis, this study delves into the multimodal discursive strategies that help bridge DM and CSR in online external communication. The analytical approach proposed is used for the qualitative analysis of 43 web pages selected from Microsoft company’s “Global Diversity and Inclusion” website.


Findings highlight the discursive efforts made by the organization to strategically integrate DM and CSR communication into one single framework. The analysis reveals how the coordinates of social practices (social actors and social actions) are purposefully and multimodally recontextualized in the corporate discourse when communicating this integration.


This study extends the focus of critical discourse analysis from exclusively language to the interplay of different semiotic modes, offering a fine-grained exploration of the multimodal meaning construction performed by organizations in the context of online external communication.



Maier, C.D. and Ravazzani, S. (2019), "Bridging diversity management and CSR in online external communication", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 269-286.



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