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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2019

Katharina Hetze, Paula Maria Bögel, Andreas Emde, Sigrid Bekmeier-Feuerhahn and Yvonne Glock

The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical analysis of CSR communication posted on the websites of 70 companies listed on the main stock markets in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical analysis of CSR communication posted on the websites of 70 companies listed on the main stock markets in German-speaking countries, the so-called DACH region. The results of this analysis offer answers to questions that are currently being discussed in the CSR literature, namely, on the importance attributed to stakeholder information vs stakeholder dialogues in (online) CSR communication.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a quantitative content analysis, the study examines the extent to which leading German, Austrian and Swiss companies are meeting communication and CSR-related requirements, especially regarding stakeholder dialogue and overall stakeholder involvement.

Findings

Drawing on Morsing and Schultz’s (2006) theoretical insights concerning stakeholder engagement, this study shows that current CSR communication primarily provides information for stakeholders and contains only a few elements of consultation with stakeholders. In addition, no elements indicating stakeholder involvement in decision processes were found. Data analysed in 2004, 2007, 2012 and 2016 for the German DAX companies allowed for comparisons over time. A closer examination of these data revealed increasing professionalism in CSR communication, especially in the provision and presentation of information. Regarding information clarity and opportunities for dialogue, however, the results show low progress. The criteria set developed for the study provides guidance for how companies can improve their CSR communication, but the findings on the long-term slow progress in stakeholder involvement, in some aspects even a decrease in dialogue, also raise questions about the (perceived) use of online CSR dialogues for companies.

Research limitations/implications

Communication is viewed from a strategic instrumental perspective. The empirical analysis focusses on the technical possibilities offered by the internet to make CSR communications and reporting available and understandable to stakeholders and to promote dialogue with and among stakeholders.

Originality/value

By focussing on online CSR communication in the DACH region, this study contributes to the current state of research and offers several recommendations for practitioners; it particularly provides critical reflection on online stakeholder dialogues and related paradigms (constitutive vs functionalistic perspective).

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

György Pataki, Richárd Szántó and Réka Matolay

Online CSR communication of top Hungarian companies has been analysed, aiming at the exploration of the internal and external consistency of corporate communication practices.

Abstract

Purpose

Online CSR communication of top Hungarian companies has been analysed, aiming at the exploration of the internal and external consistency of corporate communication practices.

Methodology/approach

Critical discourse analysis was implemented in the research of selected corporate web pages and social media presence of the companies in the sample. Then a comparison of online disclosure and the unethical/illegal activities of selected industries – telecommunication, construction and retail – was made.

Findings

No positive correlation between the culpability and the intensity of online CSR communication was detected. Therefore, it is not confirmed that disclosure of socially responsible activities and principles on the web is a mere corporate lip service. However, in certain highly controversial industries companies intensively communicate about their CSR actions on the one hand, and commit different forms of misconduct on the other.

Research limitations/implications

Our methodology certainly has limitations since we registered only a few forms of unethical behaviour. Additionally, our focus was on large Hungarian companies, therefore the opportunity for generalization is limited.

Practical implications

Our findings show remarkable dissonances in CSR communication and point to a rhetoric-reality gap that needs more attention from practitioners as well.

Originality/value

Applications of critical discourse analysis of online CSR communication is relatively rare, only few studies have been conducted so far to explore potential dissonances and contradictions within online communication and between communication and real activities.

Details

Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-582-2

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Carmen Daniela Maier and Silvia Ravazzani

The purpose of this paper is to address the need to reconsider online external communication that integrates diversity management (DM) and corporate social responsibility …

1611

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2010

Caner Dincer and Banu Dincer

This study, according to the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication and the technological revolution of the last decade, aims to investigate the…

1413

Abstract

Purpose

This study, according to the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication and the technological revolution of the last decade, aims to investigate the online CSR communication of the SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

According to the study's purpose and character, the data are collected from the websites of SMEs. The firms are chosen randomly from a database of a web portal for SMEs. The websites in the sample are examined in order to explore the nature and the extent of information on CSR activities and style of presentation.

Findings

The findings showed that the number of SMEs with CSR information on their websites is very low. The SMEs do not use the potential of their websites to their advantage in terms of the quantity and style. However, the study offers an overview of different CSR activities and communication styles of these activities.

Research limitations/implications

The research used a sample from an SME web portal database with the result that it makes it difficult to generalize the results but they are in coherence with the results of similar studies.

Practical implications

The study enriches the extant literature and provides future research areas as well as insights and basic principles for managerial use for better usage of the web. Online CSR activities that organizations may find interesting and hints to improve websites for a better style and image of good corporate citizenship are also discussed.

Originality/value

The study explores in the Turkish context the current situation of online CSR communication and shows that even the SMEs are increasingly concerned with communicating ethically and responsibly to the diversity of stakeholders through the web.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2019

Lea Iaia, Demetris Vrontis, Amedeo Maizza, Monica Fait, Paola Scorrano and Federica Cavallo

The purpose of this paper is to identify the distinctive elements of CSR communications that characterize the communications models of family businesses in the Italian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the distinctive elements of CSR communications that characterize the communications models of family businesses in the Italian wine industry, and to compare them with nonfamily businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, a sample of large and medium companies practicing corporate social responsibility was identified. The content of their websites was examined using content analysis and text mining (correspondence analysis techniques and word association analysis using the T-Lab software).

Findings

The analysis indicates that the ownership structure nature makes a difference in the online CSR communications process. The cultural identity in both family and nonfamily businesses is founded on intangible factors such as tradition; however, being a family business is a fundamental driver in the online CSR communications process, no longer forming a bond among players in the wine industry, but rather linking with other wine family businesses.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this work is the small size of the investigated sample. An added value it contributes is its focus on the Italian wine industry. The paper provides the essential elements that family and nonfamily wine businesses should consider in customizing their CSR communications with the brand’s specific details.

Originality/value

The authors highlighted the similarities and differences of family and nonfamily wine businesses in terms of their online CSR communications. The authors also observed how the family wine business identity, in its multidimensional construct, has common factors with what we call “familiness.” This research could establish a starting point for further work within this important sector.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Kingsley Opoku Appiah, Mary Asare Amankwah and Lawrence Adu Asamoah

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of online corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting of the insurance industry in Ghana. Specifically, it…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of online corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting of the insurance industry in Ghana. Specifically, it explores the impact of firm age, size and origin on online CSR reporting using data from 31 private insurance companies in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employ ordinary least squares regression analysis in the estimation of the influence of the predictive variables on firms’ online CSR disclosure.

Findings

The findings indicate positive insignificant association between online CSR disclosure and firm-specific characteristics (i.e. firm age, size and origin). These findings are robust to different specifications.

Originality/value

Research directed towards online CSR communications amongst private insurance firms in the context of emerging market are almost non-existent. This study therefore makes an important contribution by addressing the imbalances of CSR reporting in Ghanaian insurance firms.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Merve Kiliç

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, this study analyzes the extent to which banks report online their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices; second, it…

3138

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, this study analyzes the extent to which banks report online their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices; second, it determines the impact of size, ownership structure, multiple exchange listing, and the internationalization of banks on the level of their online CSR reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines the Turkish banking industry’s online CSR communications by performing a content analysis of banks’ online reporting of their CSR practices in four sub-dimensions, namely, environment and energy, human resources, products and customers, and community involvement. A sample of 25 banks in Turkey was grouped according to the criteria of size, ownership structure (listed or unlisted on stock exchanges), multiple exchange listing (listing on home and foreign exchanges), and internationality (local or foreign). This study employs a nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test to determine the significance of the differences among these groups.

Findings

The results of the study demonstrate that the most disclosed dimension on the websites of the banks is products and customers. In particular, there is a lack of disclosure on items of environment and energy. Further, the findings of the research show that size, ownership structure, and multiple exchange listing are significant in explaining online CSR disclosure level.

Originality/value

Several previous studies have focussed less on the CSR disclosure practices of companies in industries with little direct environmental impact, such as banking and finance. This study extends the previous studies of CSR reporting by gathering data from the banks’ websites rather than their annual reports. This study contributes to the literature by examining the online CSR disclosure practices of banks from an emerging market context and, specifically, that of Turkey.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2011

Robert Ebo Hinson

Banks spend thousands of dollars on several CSR activities and communicating the same to defined stakeholders becomes a strategic task that must be artfully managed by the…

1575

Abstract

Purpose

Banks spend thousands of dollars on several CSR activities and communicating the same to defined stakeholders becomes a strategic task that must be artfully managed by the banks. Bank web sites now represent a useful communication platform in the reportage of CSR activities. This paper aims to report on CSR reportage amongst four leading banks in Ghana. Two of them have won CSR industry awards while the others have not.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach was adopted using Hinson et al.'s online CSR framework to analyze CSR reportage in the four banks. Two of them (one indigenous and the other, local) had previously won CSR awards at a Ghana Banking Awards ceremony in the last five years, and two had not. The data drawn from the banks were analyzed within and across the four cases.

Findings

Agricultural development bank, the bank with the most socially responsible bank of the year awards, has the weakest online CSR reportage in the study with just one CSR report online.

Originality/value

CSR communication is a rapidly evolving field of scholarship and this study adds to the extant literature from a developing economy banking perspective.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 October 2010

Robert Hinson, Richard Boateng and Nnamdi Madichie

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has witnessed a resurgence in the management literature in recent years. This might be due to a renewed focus on…

4224

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has witnessed a resurgence in the management literature in recent years. This might be due to a renewed focus on corporate governance and ethical practices of companies the world over. This current study seeks to focus on how banks operating in Ghana communicate their CSR programmes and intentions via their corporate websites.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework was adapted from the extant literature and was used as the basis of a content analysis of 16 banks in Ghana. This paper adopts a qualitative research approach drawing upon available information from the websites of these 16 banks.

Findings

One of the banks that had won the most CSR awards at the Ghana banking awards had the poorest CSR communication content on its corporate website. It was also noted that banks that had never won a CSR award previously seemed to have a better organised structure in respect of their CSR activities on their websites. These findings clearly demonstrate the challenges that sometimes exist in transferring bricks‐and‐mortar organisational capabilities to online environments.

Originality/value

Studies focussing on online CSR communications in emerging market contexts are almost non‐existent and this study makes an important contribution in not only addressing this imbalance, but more importantly in improving bank marketing practices in Ghana.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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