Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance: Volume 11

Cover of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance

Concepts, Perspectives and Emerging Trends in Ibero-America

Table of contents

(17 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xv
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Part I Theoretical Perspectives

Abstract

The chapter describes the recent history of Sustainability Indices in three Latin American countries: Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. In these countries, local Stock Exchanges have been recently launching their own Sustainability Indices. This ongoing trend may indicate a particular way of addressing Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) in the region. The chapter relies on secondary data, mainly documents published by the Stock Exchanges themselves, and on some selected academic and practitioner oriented articles. All three countries present some common features. In all cases, local stock markets launched Sustainability Indices, and their composition has been publicly available from the beginning. Consequently, SRI is now developing in the region in a different way from that of developed markets. The chapter is based on secondary data only. Further research may involve interviews and surveys with different stakeholders (i.e., investors, quoted companies, public officials). The illustration of a different way of developing an SRI market may help public officials and investors from other countries, either in Latin America or elsewhere, who intend to promote SRI. There are few studies on SRI in Latin America, and comparative research between different countries in the region is still rare.

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Abstract

The main objective of this chapter is to propose an alternative framework to analyze Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – which we call a “non-strategic” approach to CSR– that stems from a criticism of the normative perspective of Public Relations (PR) and the competitive corporate strategic mindset. Inspired by Certeau’s tactical take on the everyday life of common people and the Latin American critical school of “alternative communication,” we set the foundations of a theoretical and practical overture that could lead to a set of possibilities in the area of CSR. The conceptualization of this alternative view about CSR is based on both a critical discussion of fundamental notions of PR, communication and management, and the empirical insights stemming from the practice in the field, mainly in the Latin American region. The non-strategic approach to CSR challenges both theoretically and practically the very idea of socially accountable corporation and its relation with society. Conceptually, the non-strategic approach considers all the parties engaged in the process are responsible for bringing out emerging value and translating it into a shared destination through experimentation. Practically, being non-strategic, which emphasizes the tactical actions that are rooted in the daily life of people, entails the creation of social innovation spaces or labs and networking that could become tools for problem solving and increase the possibilities for creative collaboration between corporations and communities. The non-strategic approach offers an analytical framework to assess the ethical and practical implications of CSR initiatives.

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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to carry out a theoretical review of the state of the art in relation to Latin American Small and Medium Enterprises' (SMEs) communication practices and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from 2009 to 2016. A range of recently published papers (2009–2016) is retrieved in a literature search of the Web of Science and Google Scholar under keywords such as ‘CSR’, ‘SME’, ‘Communication’, and ‘CSR in Latin America’. This chapter provides information about CSR in SMEs, indicating what can be found on this topic and how the management of CSR communication can help those firms. It also recognizes the lack of any real formation in SMEs to solve their problems in this area. This chapter emphasizes that, in general terms, SMEs are aware of CSR management opportunities but, because of the aforementioned constraints, their current CSR communications practices are absolutely basic and their management is still limited and short-term. Instead of a generalized exhaustive study, this is an approach to develop new studies in the future. It does not contain empirical results but rather practical information for reflections on CSR and communication in Latin American SMEs. A useful source of information for SME managers. CSR communications policies generate no value unless they have been taken into account in the overall design of corporate CSR policy, particularly if there is no clear vision of how new stakeholders may be more valuable strategically than operationally. This chapter fulfils an identified information/resources need and offers indications for future lines of research.

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Abstract

The chapter discusses Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with appropriate theoretical framings with the intent of creating a deeper understanding and application of CSR theories in Ibero-America’s hospitality industry. The research method is a qualitative research approach relying on critical review of scholarly articles on CSR theories. The sourced articles were critically discussed and analysed to fit the needs of the hospitality industry in Ibero-America. The shareholder/agency, stakeholder, legitimacy, instrumental, social contract, conflict, green and communication theories were identified as the eight dominant theories of CSR with diverse applications in the hospitality industry. The CSR theories discussed are not exhaustive, as there are emerging theories that explicate CSR in different contexts. The implication is that better understanding and application of CSR theories would strengthen conceptual, theoretical and empirical research in Ibero-America. The CSR theories are useful sources of information for practitioners for designing corporate CSR policies as well as providing scholars with sound theoretical framework for academic research. The chapter is a novel attempt at bridging theory and practice in the field of CSR, as well enriching the understanding of this concept among both practitioners and scholars in Ibero-America.

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Abstract

The chapter addresses the use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an indicator of social change and progress towards sustainability by analysing how stakeholders shift their CSR perceptions in different economic conjunctures between visions that are closer to communication or to governance as structures of network interaction. A matrix is presented that defines four models of CSR perception by integrating theoretical approaches of CSR framed by market or by society, by communication or by governance. Stakeholders’ perceptions are then positioned in the matrix through qualitative analysis of the diverse definitions, constructions and positions with respect to CSR made and adopted by corporate agents, social stakeholders and communicators in their discourses. The study proves that changes in how actors perceive and explain self-governed CSR do not depend so much on economic factors as on the networks of stakeholder interaction through communication and governance. Mapping CSR stakeholders’ perceptions indicates changes and limiting actors, but is not enough to isolate the triggers of those changes. The maps provide a starting point for further exploration of (de)politicization, framing, and understanding of CSR communication and governance, and for the analysis of the limitations of the current model of CSR self-governance. The theoretical approach and methodology provide a framework that integrates communication and governance as relational structures of network interaction in CSR.

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Part II Empirical Perspectives

Abstract

The chapter examines the employment of unique social media concepts (e.g., dialogue, engagement, mobilization, authenticity, influence, and transparency) for CSR communication among top companies in Latin America. A quantitative content analysis of 1,000 tweets from corporate official accounts of the top 25 largest firms in the Latin Trade ranking was performed. Tweets were randomly selected if contained hashtags or keywords related to CSR concepts (CSR, sustainability, citizenship, society, environment, etc.). Transparency was the social media concept most employed on CSR-related messages on Twitter. However, most of the companies did not include any of the social media features analyzed. The results of this chapter are consistent with previous studies that social media is used as another traditional informational channel. This work only analyzed tweets sent by Latin American companies, it did not take into consideration responses to messages (replies or retweets of the followers of each company). Future studies can examine stakeholders’ response regarding CSR communication for in-depth analysis of the use of social media by Latin American companies. Organizations and companies can benefit from the results of this work in order to craft effective content on social media that includes features and strategies that can resonance to different groups of stakeholders. CSR social media communication studies that focused on Latin America are scarce. Our study is pioneer in analyzing the usage of social media concepts for CSR communication in Latin America.

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Abstract

This investigation set out to uncover whether CSR appeals – socially and/or environmentally oriented efforts promoted as part of a corporation’s advertising campaign – present a fruitful strategy for pharmaceutical manufacturers. This study investigates whether consumers in the two countries are similar with regards to (1) attitudes toward CSR engagement (2) perception of the social engagement of a company (3) perceived product/cause fit and (4) evaluation of CSR versus non-CSR appeals in OTC pharma ads. A field study was conducted (483 subjects; non-student sample) to explore how a standardized promotional message with or without a CSR appeal is perceived in a cross-cultural setting. Results indicate that consumers’ response (with regard to attitudes toward CSR, perceived social engagement by a company, perceived product-cause fit, as well as ad evaluation) all varied by country. Consumer responses were only tested with regard to a fictitious product as well as for one product category. Overall results suggest that CSR messages resonated more with some consumers than with others and, thus, may need to be tailored by market. Apart from a very small number of investigations, neither consumer evaluations of over-the-counter (OTC) drug ads in general, nor responses to CSR ad appeals in particular, have been explored. Thus, this investigation’s primary goal is to explore responses toward CSR messages in non-prescription drug ads in the United States and Brazil.

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Abstract

This chapter aims to understand the communication practices of CSR in technological environments, specifically corporate websites. It is important to know what are the dimensions of CSR most valued in online communication, what content is more widespread, and if there is dialogic communication between organizations and different stakeholders. It was used a quantitative method of analysis, using the expanded web content analysis. It was based on the study results of the 1,000 largest Portuguese companies published by the Economic Journal in 2014. The chapter includes the analysis of the best companies from 24 sectors of activity of Portugal. Portuguese organizations use their websites to communicate about CSR practices. A large majority of companies dedicate to these subjects a higher number of pages. The findings indicate that the issues disseminated are various, but the predominance content is related to environmental dimension. Results suggest a low level of dialogic dimension adoption. It is proposed a theoretical framework of online communication of CSR that integrates a set of indicators from three interlinked dimensions: the technical dimension, the informational dimension and dialogical dimension, considering the different kind of publics and the different practice areas inherent to CSR. This framework is a contribution to the deepening of knowledge and understanding of online communication of CSR practices, on the perspective of public relations theory. It has practical implications to communication, because it proposes guidelines that should be considered in an effective online communication of CSR in organizations of various sectors of activity in Portugal. It is proposed a theoretical framework of an effective online communication of CSR that integrates a set of indicators from three interlinked dimensions that are part of the dialogical capacity of organizations.

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Abstract

Accurate measurement of Company Social Performance is a challenge which calls for attention from many stakeholders. Worldwide, businesses are very economical, powerful entities and have operations in developed and emerging countries, and therefore are requested to behave ethically and in accordance with social concerns. The financial crises of 2008 affected the reputation of many firms and give Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) more importance. In addition to the demands of Sustainable Global Economy, firms are required to disclose activities. Evidence demonstrated that for CSR disclosing initiatives, firms are evaluated and measured. Ethic rating (ER) is one method to measure CRS. This investigation presents a CSR measuring approach based on CSR disclosing/reporting, information in which the ER is based. In my endeavours, more specifically, I try to answer the question how could I measure CSR using ethic rating? This work presents a specific case of study of Colombian quoted enterprises in the Colombian Stock Exchange using ethic rating analysis. For this research, sustainable reports and annual reports are analysed and the ethics rating is based on both qualitative and quantitative assessments. The ethic rating analysis shows that CSR in Colombia is gaining importance each year, and IGBC companies are showing improved performance. Currently, there are no studies conducted to assess ER for Colombian companies.

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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze public relations management in a group of Ecuadorian organizations to propose recommendations that contribute to the advancement of their sustainability processes. This study is based on the contemporary theories of corporate social responsibility by Garriga and Melé (2004), the public relations models by Grunig and Hunt (2000), and the evolutionary vision of the collaboration continuum for sustainability by Austin (2005). Based on these approaches, the authors proposed four evolutionary contexts through which the organizations move based on their sustainability and communications endeavors. A questionnaire was created to identify the theoretical orientation of an organization’s sustainability processes and public relations model. The questionnaire was applied in 16 large-sized Ecuadorian organizations involved in different economic activities. It was observed that in some cases, sustainability and public relations activities converge in the same evolutionary context while in others they do not. Thus, four possible scenarios and recommendations are presented. The questionnaire can be applied in future research to propose new conclusions or recommendations. Communications professionals can access an instrument to diagnose the communications function within their organizations and receive guidance on how they can contribute to the advancement of the sustainability process.

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Abstract

The main purpose of this study is analyzing the influence of corporate social responsibility practices and programs on employee human resources performances in Puerto Rico. The study used an exploratory approach and primary data for this research was obtained through a questionnaire collected from 205 employees of companies with CSR active programs. The study uses structural equation model (SEM) technique to test the hypotheses. The study found the highest significantly positive relationship in CSR programs and employee human resources performances than CSR practices and employee human resources performances. The present study discusses important implications regarding uses of CSR for enhancing employee’s organizational commitment and satisfaction. One of the least studied areas at the moment is the internal corporate social responsibility which is directly related to company’s employees. This dimension of the corporate social responsibility refers to the set of responsible activities and practices that the company realizes toward their employees that consider the living conditions of each one of them and the contribution that it can do to improve their well-being.

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Part III Case Studies

Abstract

This chapter examines the increase in global demand for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and considers the impact of such demand on the Peruvian and Bolivian farmers who produce it. Specifically, it analyzes the social media marketing of U.S. based I Heart Keenwah (IHK) and considers the role of “storied food” with respect to corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in a Web 2.0 context. This chapter reports the results of textual, rhetorical, and cultural analyses of the digital marketing materials IHK deploys, and considers IHK’s use of Web 2.0 tools to mobilize discourses of socially responsible marketing, and implications of industrial quinoa production on Andean biodiversity and indigenous culture. This chapter principally concludes that the social media and digital marketing materials that IHK deploys obfuscate the social, economic, and ecological complexities surrounding the quinoa industries in Peru and Bolivia. This chapter provides evidence of new tendencies in capitalist commodification, and demonstrates how the traditional and indigenous protectors of the quinoa plant species are being denied their agricultural and cultural heritages. Further more, it demonstrates how the language of corporate social responsibility is abused in the service of less sustainable, branded, and extractive imaginaries and corporate profit. Given the significant rise in international quinoa demand, IHK’s explosive economic success, and IHK’s reliance on Andean quinoa, this case study provides unique insights into global food capitalism in the age of social media.

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Abstract

Specifically, this chapter reviews practical issues concerning how ethical values are developed to generate a sense of common purpose across two SME organizations, one in South America and the other in Spain. We used a survey questionnaire covering 12 thematic areas for the pilot study based upon two private language schools. We also critically reviewed literature on other business sectors and on SME clusters to discuss some emerging trends in preparing to be both “Right 4 Market” as well as “Right 2 Market.” This chapter provides information about each SME and its context, indicating what can be found there and how the information can help diverse SME across for-profit and not-for-profit sectors such as NGOs in both regions. It’s a first stage pilot for a yet to be completed study and it is based upon a very small convenience sample. Challenging the traditional business paradigm requires key factors embedded and embodied in organizational learning, systems, and innovation. Ethical capital accumulation relies on effective communications, culture, and evolving workplace custom and practice, as well as demographic factors. This chapter fulfils an identified information/resources need and offers some initial practical advice for SME and some insights for future researchers.

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This chapter discusses the Operation Lava Jato (or Operation Car Wash) which is an ongoing investigation in Brazil, since 2014, by the Federal Police and the Federal Public Ministry. This Operation triggered systemic and endemic corruption among companies, self-described as socially responsible, the State, and Brazilian Government. The analysis is based on empirical data available on the internet and in the Brazilian press about “Operation Car Wash” (Operation Lava Jato) and its socio-legal implications. We conclude that when a society has a historical and cultural tradition permeated by close private and patrimonial relations between government and companies, this fact negatively impacts the economic performance and the adoption of ethical behavior and social responsibility. This case study examines the recent police investigation into corruption involving companies and governments in a Latin American country. It provides empirical and historical data on the nature of the capitalism of ties model developed in Brazil that impacts on economic performance and the strategic proposal of corporate social responsibility.

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About the Authors

Pages 317-325
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Index

Pages 327-328
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Cover of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance
DOI
10.1108/S2043-0523201711
Publication date
2017-06-24
Book series
Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-411-8
Book series ISSN
2043-0523