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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Michel M. Haigh, Pamela Brubaker and Erin Whiteside

The purpose of this paper is to examine the content of for‐profit organizations' Facebook pages and how the communication strategy employed impacts stakeholders'…

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5389

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the content of for‐profit organizations' Facebook pages and how the communication strategy employed impacts stakeholders' perceptions of the organization‐public relationship, corporate social responsibility, attitudes, and purchase intent.

Design/methodology/approach

For Study 1, a content analysis examined the types of information on for‐profit organizations' Facebook pages. Facebook pages were coded for organizational disclosure and information dissemination, corporate social responsibility information, and interactivity. Pages were also coded for using a corporate ability, corporate social responsibility, or hybrid communication strategy. Three organizations were then selected based on the content analysis results to serve as exemplars in the two‐phase experiment. Participants filled out measures of initial attitudes, perceptions of the organization‐public relationship, corporate social responsibility, and purchase intent. A week later, participants interacted with the organizations' Facebook pages and then answered additional scale measures.

Findings

Study 1 found for‐profit organizations discuss program/services, achievements, and awards on their Facebook pages. The main communication strategy employed on Facebook is corporate ability. Study 2 results indicate interacting with Facebook pages bolsters stakeholders' perceptions of the organization‐public relationship, corporate social responsibility, and purchase intent. The organization employing a corporate social responsibility communication strategy had the most success bolstering these variables.

Research limitations/implications

Several of the organizations did not have Facebook pages to code for the content analysis. Some organizations' pages were not coded because the page was just starting and there was no information available. The content analysis included a small sample size (n=114) which impacted the experiment. It limited the number of organizations that could be employed in the experimental conditions.

Practical implications

When posting information on Facebook, organizations should employ the corporate social responsibility communication strategy. However, regardless of the strategy employed, interacting with Facebook information can bolster stakeholders' perceptions of organizational‐public relationships, corporate social responsibility, attitudes, and purchase intent.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the experimental literature. There is very limited experimental research examining the impact of Facebook on stakeholders. It provides practitioners with some guidance on the types of communication strategy they should employ when posting on Facebook.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2018

Alexander V. Laskin

The purpose of this paper is to apply a third-person effects theory to the study of corporate social responsibility communications. Previous studies have asked what…

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1037

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply a third-person effects theory to the study of corporate social responsibility communications. Previous studies have asked what importance investors assign to the socially responsible activities of corporations. However, in the context of publicly-traded companies, it becomes important not only to calculate the effects of available information on an individual investor, but also to estimate the effects of every piece of information on the investor’s perception of the investment community at large.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a survey methodology in order to evaluate what value respondents assign to socially responsible behaviors as well as to identify a presence of third-person effects in the corporate social responsibility evaluations. Using an online survey, the respondents were asked to read a modified news article and the respond to a series of questions. In total, 96 completed surveys were collected and analyzed.

Findings

The research finds the presence of third-person effects incorporate socially responsibility message processing. The results of the study show that, while individually people are supportive of the socially responsible behaviors of corporations, they perceive others to be less supportive of such behaviors; they also see others as less likely to encourage such behaviors through action. As a result, people are less likely to act on their own views of corporate socially responsibility as they perceive themselves to be outliers. These findings lead to important consequences for investor communications, which are discussed in light of the efficient market hypothesis.

Research limitations/implications

From an academic standpoint, the study proposed that in investor and financial communication, third-person effects could play a significant role. Yet, third-person effects research in investor relations literature simply does not exists. Thus, the study’s main contribution is expanding third-person effects theory into the field of the investor relations research.

Practical implications

From practical standpoint, expectations and perception of corporate social responsibility have a significant effect on corporate reputation and, thus, communication about corporate social responsibility become important as they shape these perceptions and expectations. Yet, such corporate social responsibility issues may include a variety of matters, such as governance, responsibility, and the quality of social and economic choices, sometimes even contradictory to each other. It becomes a job of investor relations managers to study, analyze, and respond to these competing demands.

Social implications

From societal standpoint, the study advances the debate on the role of corporations in the society. With such concepts as social license to operate and creating shared value, and the growing expectations about corporate behavior, understanding the stakeholders perceptions of socially responsible behavior of corporations as a function of their perceptions of other stakeholders’ viewpoints, creates a better understanding of the complexities involved in the issue of corporate social responsibility reporting.

Originality/value

Since investors and other financial publics are not homogenous and may have different perspectives, opinions, values, etc., they may react to the same information differently. Furthermore, they may expect others to behave differently and such perceptions, whether accurate or not, may, in fact, influence their own behavior, as third-person effects theory would suggest. Investor relations, then, becomes a function of managing these expectations. The presence of the third-person effects in investor communications can have a strong effect on market behavior and, thus, must become an important part of the investor relations professionals’ job – how the messages are crafted, communications, and measured. Yet, third-person effects is non-existent in the investor relations literature. Thus, the study provides an original contribution by applying a third-person effects theory in the investor relations research.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Book part
Publication date: 24 June 2017

Luísa Augusto

This chapter aims to understand the communication practices of CSR in technological environments, specifically corporate websites. It is important to know what are the…

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.

Details

Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-411-8

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Book part
Publication date: 28 July 2014

Øyvind Ihlen, Steve May and Jennifer Bartlett

The purpose of this chapter is to address the question of how communication studies can prove its value in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR). As many…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to address the question of how communication studies can prove its value in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR). As many disciplines seek to understand CSR, the role of communication has been relatively underexplored despite its prevalence in demonstrating and shaping social responsibility positions and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review.

Social implications

The literature review points to what we consider as four aces. Communication studies alert us to (1) how meaning is constructed through communication, something that has implications for the management of organizations as publics hold different views of CSR and expect different things from them; (2) how a dialogue between an organization and its publics should unfold; (3) how practices of transparency can assist organizations to come across as trustworthy actors; and, importantly, (4) how a complexity view is fruitful to grasp the CSR communication process.

Originality/value

These four key themes could be instructive for practitioners who want to argue for and demonstrate the usefulness of strategic communication for the management of CSR and bridge meso and macro levels of analysis.

Details

Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: Perspectives and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-796-2

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Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2018

Mavis Amo-Mensah and Ralph Tench

Contemporary debates on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are framed in a global context; however, there is ample evidence that national and institutional frameworks…

Abstract

Purpose

Contemporary debates on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are framed in a global context; however, there is ample evidence that national and institutional frameworks define CSR practices. Questions about the activities of Transnational Companies (TNCs) in their host countries further highlight growing CSR concerns, developments and challenges in specific regions. Our aim in this chapter is to examine the theoretical arguments on the relationship between context and CSR, looking at the role of situational conditions in driving responsible corporate behaviour in a global environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on discourse analytic concepts, we use insights derived from our comparative research on transnational companies’ (European and non-European) self-presentations of CSR-related actions in a developing country, Ghana, to illuminate our argument.

Findings

The discussions demonstrate that context relationships are crucial in CSR practices since they contribute to a wide variety of implicit meanings that provide in-depth understanding of companies’ responsibilities in specific regions. Our empirical analysis showed that linguistic categories of the TNCs related more to responsibilities that focused on ethos than logos, which suggests credible CSR messages to a large extent.

Originality/value

The chapter contributes to the emerging literature on the context-specific nature of CSR in two important ways. First, it provides insights to further the debate on the utility of balancing local and global requirements in corporate CSR actions. Second, our linguistic-based model of analysing CSR communication content, which we demonstrate from our study, offers a novel approach to assess companies’ real intentions, motives and perspectives on CSR in the wake of growing corporate scandals.

Details

The Critical State of Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-149-6

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Book part
Publication date: 12 July 2016

Lina M. Gomez and Lucely Vargas-Preciado

The communication of messages and initiatives still remains the missing piece in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice. Traditional media and corporate

Abstract

The communication of messages and initiatives still remains the missing piece in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice. Traditional media and corporate websites (ruled by a one-way communication process) have failed to promote an open and interactive CSR communication process with different groups of stakeholders.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, among other social media platforms, allow users to interact and collaborate with each other. For example, people are empowered through social media to demand more transparency regarding corporate operations that can impact society and environment. Therefore, with the popularisation of social media, companies must understand that today more than ever, they should effectively communicate sustainability practices with the purpose of building and improving stakeholder relationships. But are companies ready to engage in CSR communication through social media? In other words, are they ready to invest in relationships?

This chapter analyses how corporations use social media for CSR communication. A content analysis methodology was used to examine Twitter official corporate profiles of 50 Fortune companies over the course of a two-month period. The purpose of this investigation was to discover what type of CSR and Sustainability core subjects were communicated and the type of communication presented in the messages.

Details

Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-384-9

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Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Fatai Olawale Ismail and Joseph Adepoju Tejumaiye

The purpose of this study is to deconstruct the term “tribalism” for its application to foster context and industry-based corporate social responsibility (CSR…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to deconstruct the term “tribalism” for its application to foster context and industry-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication system in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used both the qualitative and quantitative research methods of data collection; it is an in-depth survey with multiple data collection settings.

Findings

(1) There is a pattern of CSR communication across the three industries sampled. (2) CSR across three industrial sectors is much about “donation” and “gift”. (3) CSR functions are now in a stand-alone corporate communication department. (4) CSR communication lacks the participatory mechanism to really involve the host communities' concerns. (5) Across the four organizations, CSR communication is often as financial or annual reports. (6) There is a general feeling and understanding that CSR and corporate communication in corporate organizations in n Nigeria require a more participatory mechanism. (7) CSR policy in Nigeria is till much of legal enforcement and efforts to have a national CSR commission has gone beyond legislation process.

Research limitations/implications

This research was only able to collect data from four selected organizations representing just three industrial sectors (freight-forward, banking/finance and insurance) in Nigeria. There was no external funding to capture more organizations.

Practical implications

The first implication of the findings of this study is that, for the practice of CSR and communication by corporate organizations in Nigeria, the system is much a top-down and non-participatory. This means host communities and other stakeholders do not have considerable participation in the organization's CSR and communication process. The companies in this study select or budget for CSR interventions they consider valuable to communities in most cases. This pattern of CSR operation cuts across the four selected organizations in this study. Thus, it could be argued that this pattern is an industrial/national phenomenon because all the respondents indicated that their organizations operate CSR based on what other related companies do in Nigeria. Second, the fact that CSR and communication by corporate organizations in Nigeria are regulatory influenced means many organizations may try to evade CSR activities by not budgeting for it.

Social implications

Meanwhile, in this study, deconstructing the evolutionary perspective which sees tribe as a primitive form of organization and relation characterized by the absence of a centralized collaborative system, it is argued that tribalism can catalyze systemic participation and oneness. In line with this perspective, tribal corporate organizations in Nigeria would model an alliance for CSR and communication system on proximity of operational context, that is, Nigeria. Being part of a tribe, corporate organizations as against the public ones will represent an identity reference for social corporate communication in Nigeria.

Originality/value

Despite the theoretical problematic issues raised by the notion of tribe, it is deconstructed in this study to define modes of social organization, and it reflects native perceptions of a changing collective identity. Thus, it is also argued in this study, that there will be an increase in works on tribalism in organization communication and CSR in Nigeria as emerging business and global market will continue to shape the operation environment.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 8 September 2020

Maria Palazzo, Agostino Vollero and Alfonso Siano

Increased public scrutiny and stakeholder pressure have given more importance to strategic corporate social responsibility (SCSR) and its three dimensions – orientation…

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1009

Abstract

Purpose

Increased public scrutiny and stakeholder pressure have given more importance to strategic corporate social responsibility (SCSR) and its three dimensions – orientation, process and value creation. At the same time, they provide banks the inspiration needed to pursue business goals, attain positive performances and communicate their social responsibility efforts. This paper analyses whether and how companies in the banking sector use corporate websites to communicate SCSR dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis was performed based on the corporate websites of leading banks included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index to assess the prominence of SCSR communication.

Findings

The study shows that banks give less prominence to SCSR on corporate websites differently from companies belonging to other sectors, as they are less likely to expose their orientation to SCSR and pay slightly less attention to value creation than other companies.

Practical implications

The paper provides theoretical insights into SCSR dimensions and how they are communicated on corporate websites. From a practical standpoint, the study provides guidance for managers in the banking sector aimed at improving their communication efforts, avoiding decoupling issues and adopting a consistent value creation perspective.

Originality/value

Few studies have used a value creation perspective to differentiate between the dimensions of a SCSR approach. The paper fills this gap by assessing the communication efforts adopted by banks and insurance companies in this area.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Book part
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Lukasz M. Bochenek

Abstract

Details

Advocacy and Organizational Engagement
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-437-9

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Sora Kim and Scott Rader

This paper aims to propose a typology of corporate communication strategy; to investigate whether the typology is present among Fortune 500 corporations; and to explore…

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3282

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a typology of corporate communication strategy; to investigate whether the typology is present among Fortune 500 corporations; and to explore whether there is a dominant strategy and industrial differences among them.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of all 2008 Fortune 500 corporate web sites was undertaken.

Findings

This paper finds that there are three corporate communication strategies used to affect publics' corporate associations: corporate ability (CAb) strategy; corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy; and a hybrid strategy. The results demonstrate that a majority of corporate public relations for Fortune 500 companies emphasize a CAb communication strategy over a CSR or hybrid strategy, whereas the top 100 Fortune 500 corporations focus on a CSR strategy over the other two strategies. Industrial differences are also found in adopting different corporate strategy among the companies.

Originality/value

The applied value of this research it is that provides convincing and realistic insights about contemporary corporate communication strategy and a valuable set of communicative directives to public relations practitioners managing corporate‐context communications with stakeholders since it explores dominant corporate strategy among Fortune 500 companies.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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