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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2019

Franzisca Weder, Isabell Koinig and Denise Voci

The purpose of this paper is to determine inasmuch energy suppliers dedicate communicative resources toward sustainable development and corporate social responsibility…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine inasmuch energy suppliers dedicate communicative resources toward sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR), also paying attention to how they frame it, and if they manage to achieve consistency in their communication or fall victim to contradictions.

Design/methodology/approach

By use of a qualitative content analysis, online communication tools (information on corporate websites) as well as content for download were examined in detail. The present study sample comprised of 12 case studies from selected countries (Austria, Russia, Germany, the USA, France and Korea).

Findings

Overall, findings indicate that CSR has already been implemented in most energy and energy-related industries; however, it is put forward with varying degrees of attention and intensity, depending on which topics energy companies choose to address communicatively (results were classified according to a frame positioning scheme by Weder, 2012, 2018). Results underscore the fact that, at times, companies are struggling to link their CSR projects back to their core businesses. Yet, a clear trend to politicization can be described as a strong correlation of communication strategies of energy suppliers and political programs of the respective country becomes obvious.

Research limitations/implications

Limited research as to how CSR topics are framed in different branches has been conducted to date; likewise, the energy sector, whose motives has been often subject to public questioning, has received little attention in CSR communication research to date. Hence, ambiguities were presumed to exist.

Originality/value

The present study examines the relevance and framing of CSR in a highly competitive, centralized industry that is challenged by a global process of transition to renewable energy. The results show that the analyzed energy suppliers offer only a limited variety of issue-specific frames; instead CSR as well as sustainability are (ab)used as master frames or “buzz words” in a fairly shallow economic or socio-political argumentation.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 May 2019

Franzisca Weder, Sabine Einwiller and Tobias Eberwein

This editorial is an introduction to the special issue on CSR communication related to the 4th CSR Communication Conference, held in Vienna (Austria) in September 2017…

Abstract

Purpose

This editorial is an introduction to the special issue on CSR communication related to the 4th CSR Communication Conference, held in Vienna (Austria) in September 2017. The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the state-of-the-art in academic research on CSR communication concepts, strategies and future scenarios.

Design/methodology/approach

The editorial critically evaluates existing academic research dealing with CSR communication in the digital age. More precisely, it analyses established theories and concepts of CSR communication in terms of their fit to meet future challenges.

Findings

It can be noted that CSR communication practice is heading for new shores. Economic pressure, legal and political requirements, reputation risks in a digital media ecology and a new civic-minded and well-being-oriented generation of employees require a reorientation of CSR communication from information to impact orientation. Thus, the authors complement the approach of communication about CSR with the concept of communicative responsibility as a normative framework for corporate communication in the future.

Originality/value

The analyzed literature as well as the papers of the CSR Communication Conference indicate that the authors are heading toward a future of impact- instead of information-oriented communication. Here, communicative responsibility comes in as a fourth dimension of corporate responsibility, offering a normative framework for strategic, impact-oriented sustainability communication, integrated reporting and internal CSR.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Franzisca Weder

Recognizing the existence of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and more precisely a social impact related to diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI), organizations…

Abstract

Recognizing the existence of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and more precisely a social impact related to diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI), organizations today are confronted with the question of what is considered as good. How is the good life created and communicatively constructed inside an organization? Who (agent) is responsible to realize, secure, and manage the process of value creation and social change, or moral agency? I offer a new perspective on the ethical duty of public relations (PR) practitioners to be revolutionary, to be communicative rebels. I conceptualize PR from a critical theoretical perspective as process of problematization, as process of cracking open common sense and underlying systems of power and norms in an organization. Then I offer strategies for creating shared (communication) spaces in which to imagine and experience transformation and social change. In these spaces (huddles), good life is courageously problematized to offer a new narrative of sustainability including DEI as communicatively codesigned. The aim is to highlight opportunities and tools for PR practitioners and PR scholars to be revolutionary – more than an organization's conscience, but an agent of change for exciting, innovative, and transformative communication practices at the core of the discipline.

Details

Public Relations for Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-168-3

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Abstract

Details

Public Relations for Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-168-3

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