Corporate Social Responsibility Communication: Stakeholder information, response and involvement strategies

Abstract

 

While it is generally agreed that companies need to manage their relationships with their stakeholders, the way in which they choose to do so varies considerably. In this paper, it is argued that when companies want to communicate with stakeholders about their CSR initiatives, they need to involve those stakeholders in a two-way communication process, defined as an ongoing iterative sense-giving and sense-making process. The paper also argues that companies need to communicate through carefully crafted and increasingly sophisticated processes. Three CSR communication strategies are developed. Based on empirical illustrations and prior research, the authors argue that managers need to move from ‘informing’ and ‘responding’ to ‘involving’ stakeholders in CSR communication itself. They conclude that managers need to expand the role of stakeholders in corporate CSR communication processes if they want to improve their efforts to build legitimacy, a positive reputation and lasting stakeholder relationships.

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Authors: Mette Morsing & Majken Schultz