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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

Article
Publication date: 17 June 2022

Suk Chong Tong and Fanny Fong Yee Chan

With the prevailing use of online communication platforms, this study revisits the definitions of trust in an online context. By exploring organizational online

Abstract

Purpose

With the prevailing use of online communication platforms, this study revisits the definitions of trust in an online context. By exploring organizational online communications from a practitioners' perspective, a conceptual framework that illustrates the nature of trust and its relationship with dialogic communication between organizations and organizations' stakeholders in the digital era is proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 27 in-depth interviews were conducted with public relations and marketing practitioners involved in coordinating organizational online communications in Hong Kong.

Findings

From the practitioners' perspective, stakeholders' online trust toward an organization, which is a hybridity of initial and rapidly evolving trust, begins with stakeholders swift and initial judgment of the organization according to category-based cues (including knowledge-based attributes of the organization, institutional cues, and particular attributes of online dialogic communication) available on online platforms and further develops over time. Practitioners regard the integration of online and offline communication platforms to be the most effective way to build trust in organization–stakeholder relationships in the digital era, while dialectical tensions can hinder trust formed in online communication.

Originality/value

Along with the proposed conceptual framework, this study advances the discussion of online trust in public relations practices from the practitioners' perspective. A qualitative approach provides rich descriptions that may help to enrich theories in public relations and communication management regarding the interplay of trust and dialogic communication in organizational practices in the digital era.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Weiting Tao and Christopher Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the communication strategies corporations adopt for Facebook and/or Twitter, and the consistency of communication strategies used…

3581

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the communication strategies corporations adopt for Facebook and/or Twitter, and the consistency of communication strategies used on both Facebook and Twitter.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of 2011 Fortune 1000 corporate Facebook and Twitter sites was undertaken. Specially, communication strategies on 63 Fortune 1000 Facebook sites and 65 Fortune 1000 Twitter sites in January 2012 were examined.

Findings

This study found that a majority of the examined Fortune 1000 companies emphasized a corporate ability communication strategy over a corporate social responsibility communication strategy on their Facebook and Twitter sites. Additionally, none of these companies used a true hybrid strategy on their social media sites (SMSs). Results also demonstrated that these companies were following the one message principle of integrated communication.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to its samples size and the coding time frame.

Practical implications

Results of this study can help public relations and corporate communication professionals leverage multiple SMSs to build strong associations, improve engagement, and strengthen relationships with target stakeholders.

Originality/value

Through examining corporate communication strategies on SMSs, this study contributes to current social media research along with corporate communication/public relations scholarship. It replicated and extended prior work by examining how existing corporate communication strategies on traditional web sites were incorporated into two new mainstream media – Facebook and Twitter.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Giacomo Manetti, Marco Bellucci and Stefania Oliva

This article aims to contribute to the critical accounting literature by reviewing how previous studies have addressed the topic of dialogic accounting (DA), examining the…

2529

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to contribute to the critical accounting literature by reviewing how previous studies have addressed the topic of dialogic accounting (DA), examining the main themes investigated and discussing potential further developments of the DA research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study builds on a systematic literature review of 186 research products indexed on Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar that were published between 2004 and 2019 in 55 accounting or non-accounting scientific journals and 14 books.

Findings

First, a content analysis of each contribution informs a classification in terms of research design, methodology, geographical setting and sector of analysis. Second, a bibliometric analysis provides several visual representations of the network of research products included in our review using bibliographic coupling, cooccurrence and coauthorship analyses. Third, and most importantly, the main narrative review discusses the development of the research strand on DA from the seminal works that introduced the topic, through the core of critical contributions inspired by the struggle between democracy and agonism, to the most recent contributions, in which new topics emerge and innovative methodologies are applied to the study of DA.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this manuscript is twofold. In addition to providing a systematic, bibliometric and narrative review of the evolution of nearly two decades of literature on DA, the present study is intended to collect ideas for further research and to discuss how the advent of new technologies and the peculiarities of various institutional contexts can shape the future research agenda on this critical form of accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 April 2022

George Nel and Roelof Baard

The aim of this study was threefold: to examine companies' e-mail handling performance, to ascertain whether companies' view corporate websites and respond to e-mail…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was threefold: to examine companies' e-mail handling performance, to ascertain whether companies' view corporate websites and respond to e-mail requests as mutually exclusive or complementary, and finally to gauge the strategic importance of retail investors.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are based on an analysis of the corporate websites and e-mail handling performance of the 77 smallest companies listed on a South African stock exchange. A “mystery investor” approach was employed to measure companies' e-mail handling performance in terms of responsiveness, timeliness and relevance of responses. A disclosure score was calculated for each company based on a content analysis of corporate websites.

Findings

The opportunity for improvement exists, as evidenced in the fact that only 53% of companies responded to an e-mail request from a retail investor. The results suggest that corporate websites and the e-mail functionality are not used in isolation but as complementary. Although the results suggest that companies neglect retail investors, companies that provided a dedicated investor relations (IR) contact address prioritised both their corporate websites aimed to a wide range of stakeholders, as well as responding to an e-mail request received from a retail investor.

Originality/value

This study contributes to research on the association between one-way and two-way communication channels, aimed at retail investors. It is the first study to explore these relationships using data from the smallest companies listed on the stock exchange of an emerging economy.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 February 2022

Wenbin Dai and Allen Z. Reich

This study aims at investigating the differential impact of different CSR communication strategies on consumers' brand trust and consequent attitudes and behaviors in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at investigating the differential impact of different CSR communication strategies on consumers' brand trust and consequent attitudes and behaviors in the credence goods market.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental laboratory study was conducted to collect data from graduate students (n = 414) from two Chinese universities. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model.

Findings

The results show that a dialogical communication strategy, compared to a monological communication strategy, is significantly more effective in increasing consumers' brand trust for credence goods as well as their willingness-to-buy and positive word-of-mouth. The results also confirm the mediating effect of CSR knowledge and the moderating effect of broad-scope trust on the relationship between CSR communication strategies and brand trust.

Practical implications

This study implies that in order to promote consumer trust and supportive behaviors toward brands, managers of companies in credence goods market should consider the increased use of various dialogical CSR communication strategies.

Originality/value

The study is one of the first to verify the impact of dialogical vs monological CSR communication strategies on consumers of credence goods.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Stefania Romenti, Grazia Murtarelli and Chiara Valentini

The aim of this paper is to develop and test a theoretical framework, grounded in managerial and organisational theories of dialogue, through which organisations can take…

5967

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to develop and test a theoretical framework, grounded in managerial and organisational theories of dialogue, through which organisations can take decisions in relation to the most appropriate crisis response strategies for handling social media stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework is developed through a conceptual analysis of literature on dialogue, social media and crisis communication. The theoretical framework is then tested in eight different international organisations experiencing a crisis. For each case, different web contents, such as organisations' status updates/posts, links, videos published on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, were analysed using a rhetorical research approach.

Findings

The analysed organisations apply different online dialogue strategies according to crisis types and in combination with specific crisis response strategies. Most of the organisations investigated carry on those dialogue strategies suitable to develop consensus (concertative), guide conversations on specific topics or issues (framing), find solutions to the crisis collectively (transformative). Concertative strategies were often associated with informative crisis response strategies, framing strategies with denial and justification crisis response strategies and transformative strategies with corrective actions.

Research limitations/implications

By using a dialogic perspective in setting up online conversations with their external stakeholders, the paper proposes a theoretical model to explain companies' decisions in carrying on online dialogues during critical situations and thus contribute to the body of knowledge on online crisis communications.

Practical implications

The proposed model can support crisis communicators to manage dialogue's aims and dimensions differently by taking into account both contextual and situational conditions.

Originality/value

By integrating management studies on dialogue into crisis communication and social media literature, the authors intend to offer an alternative thinking of organisations' decision-making in relation to crisis response strategies and social media stakeholders.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Kristin Fjeld and Mike Molesworth

This paper aims to promote better understanding of how the internet is used as part of crisis communication.

4329

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to promote better understanding of how the internet is used as part of crisis communication.

Design/methodology/approach

The internet may be changing the way PR operates in a crisis. It has been reported that the web has a significant role in disseminating information and that many‐to‐many online communication allows organisations to achieve “excellent” communication. However, it has also been suggested that in practice there is a need for more flexibility that the “excellence” model suggests. This study reports on data collected from in‐depth interviews with ten senior PR‐practitioners in order to understand their experiences and attitudes.

Findings

A range of attitudes are identified, informed by recent experience. Although participants indicated knowledge of and preference for two‐way communication with stakeholders, in practice they found this impractical or undesirable. This, their preference for existing approaches, and ignorance about the internet informed their views about online communication. The result was that some regarded the internet as inferior in terms of its ability to achieve “traditional” tasks and because of its potential for undesirable dialogue. When the web was acknowledged as useful it tended to be considered as supplementary to existing approaches. There was little recognition of the need for online dialogue.

Originality/value

This paper articulates a range of positive and negative attitudes towards the use of the internet for crisis communication, based on the experiences of senior PR practitioners.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Sebastian Martin

German, Austrian and Swiss utilities are confronted with radical changes in the European energy sector. A dialogue between the utility companies and their various groups…

Abstract

Purpose

German, Austrian and Swiss utilities are confronted with radical changes in the European energy sector. A dialogue between the utility companies and their various groups of stakeholders is gaining importance. Increasingly, utilities create their own Facebook presence enabling such a dialogue. Still, to the best of the author’s knowledge there exists no research which explicitly focuses the stakeholder dialogue of German, Austrian or Swiss utilities on Facebook. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyse Facebook as an instrument for dialogic communication in the energy sector.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was distributed to 1,280 German, Austrian and Swiss utilities, and 14 per cent of the utilities completed the survey, including 130 German, 19 Austrian and 25 Swiss companies. The participating utilities are primarily in public ownership.

Findings

The Facebook conversation of utility companies and their stakeholders meets the basic requirements of a virtual stakeholder dialogue. Nevertheless, less than half of the companies perceive their current stakeholder conversation on Facebook as truly interactive. Therefore, even if the basic requirements of a dialogue are met, most companies still do not seem to fully use the dialogue potential of Facebook.

Originality/value

This study provides first insights into virtual stakeholder dialogues in the energy sector. A suggestion to operationalise such a virtual dialogue is provided. Both operationalisation as well as the empirical results help researchers and practitioners to better understand virtual stakeholder dialogues.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 October 2017

Wim J.L. Elving and Rosa May Postma

In this study, the strategies of companies regarding social media and stakeholder dialogue and engagement are central. Based on insights from previous studies, it showed…

Abstract

In this study, the strategies of companies regarding social media and stakeholder dialogue and engagement are central. Based on insights from previous studies, it showed that organizations used little opportunities for stakeholder dialogue on social media. Since dialogue is a condition to create engagement, it is of importance for a follow-up study. Therefore, 10 respondents from leading European companies were interviewed and asked about strategies regarding stakeholder dialogue and related topics. From the results, we can conclude that engaging in dialogue with stakeholders on social media is still underdeveloped. Organizations are not only missing opportunities but also take risk not pursuing the opportunities social media offer.

Details

How Strategic Communication Shapes Value and Innovation in Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-716-4

Keywords

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