Institutionalization of CSR in social media context ...

5 downloads 9 Views 937KB Size Report
CSR institutionalization in social media context: MPS case study ... companies” sought to draw attention to CSR communication (Pinkston and Carroll ... motivational concept of social responsibility through monitoring and evaluation of social.

Institutionalization of CSR in social media context: MPS case study. ABSTRACT Purpose – A new approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been emerging in response to growing socio-economic concerns and to overcoming stakeholders’ scepticism to CSR communication. The main objectives of the paper are to illustrate the evolution of CSR by describing its different stages and to identify unused potentials of social media for CSR communication. Design/ methodology/ approach – This study draws together the relevant literature on social responsibility in order to analyze the transition from CSR to CSR 2.0. The paper uses a case study approach to point out the new potential of social media for CSR communication. The Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) case study is based on an interview with the CSR manager, and the analysis of MPS most used social media. Findings – The paper shows opportunities/risks of social media usage and suggests how to ensure organizational legitimacy in CSR context. The MPS case study shows the growing importance of social media for stakeholders involvement in CSR initiatives. Research limitations/ implications – The study is limited by the analysis of a single case study. Furthermore, the use of interactive media in a CSR 2.0 perspective can help organizations to gain an increasing “corporate social responsiveness”. This may imply new practices and research challenges concerning CSR 2.0 communication. Originality/value – This paper offers a new perspective on CSR communication in the context of social media using new communication tools in order to encourage stakeholder engagement in CSR initiatives. Article classification – Case study Key words: Corporate social responsibility, CSR 2.0, social media, CSR communication, social responsiveness.


CSR institutionalization in social media context: MPS case study 1. Introduction The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been widely discussed among academics and practitioners (Carroll, 1979; Margolis and Walsh, 2003; Walsh et al., 2003; de Bakker et al., 2005; Lockett, et al., 2006); in fact, it is a firm obligation to evaluate the effects of CSR programs/strategies on the external social system (Lindgreen and Swaen, 2004; Luo and Bhattacharya, 2006). For many years, the CSR debate has been focused on social responsibility definition and its ethical principles (Carroll, 1979; Wood 1991; Windsor 2006). Therefore, in the last decade several studies have highlighted the CSR linkage with typical problems of globalization (Starck and Kruckeberg, 2004; Frynas, 2005; Jenkins, 2005). In fact, there is a strong evidence that global “responsible companies” sought to draw attention to CSR communication (Pinkston and Carroll 1994; Kotler and Lee, 2005; Lindgreen et al., 2009) also using the innovative tools of Web 2.0 (i.e. social media), which open new opportunities for dissemination of CSR related information and stakeholder management (Carroll, 2007; Lattemann and Stieglitz, 2007; Frederick, 2008). Several academic studies noted that the use of social media facilitates stakeholders participation in corporate decision-making and in CSR activities (Isenmann, 2006; Lattemann and Stieglitz, 2007), supporting their online cooperation with companies (O’Reilly, 2005). The present paper aims to trace the current evolution of CSR communication and the stages of this development from traditional CSR to “the brand new” CSR 2.0 paradigm. The starting point of this study is a literature review on CSR evolution through an overview of the influence and the use of social media in CSR communication. The paper is based on the explorative case study of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), one of main Italian bank with the most prominent CSR 2.0 strategy. 2. Research Issues 2.1 From Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Social Responsiveness Currently, the concept of “social responsibility” is considered less accurate than “social responsiveness”, because “many companies have recognized and formalized their responsibility (or rather their obligation) to social demands in different ways” (Murphy, 1978). Consequently, it is worth pointing out that Corporate Social Responsiveness is not alternative to Social Responsibility, but completes it (Wartick and Cochran, 1985); in fact the evolution of CSR paradigm from CSR1 (Corporate Social Responsibility) to CSR2 (Corporate Social Responsiveness) highlights “the capacity of a corporation to respond to social pressures” (Frederick, 1994). Corporate social responsiveness requires a corporate behaviour evolving from consistency “with social obligations, values and prevailing expectations” to “a long period corporate involvement in social needs” (Carroll, 1979). In particular, corporate social responsiveness is defined as “the company ability of responding or achieving a responsive attitude” through mechanisms, procedures, arrangements, and behavioural patterns, which allow the identification, the recognition and even the anticipation of social demands (Frederick, 1994). Proactive and responsive organizations develop strategic CSR initiatives and integrate them with the normative dimension of social responsibility (Wood, 1991). In other terms, social responsiveness policies complete the normative and motivational concept of social responsibility through monitoring and evaluation of social conditions. Thus, proactive and socially responsible companies generally have a congruent behaviour with the prevailing social norms, values, and expectations. This behaviour makes them more attractive than competitors and contribute to establish and maintain a responsible reputation (Fombrun et al., 2000). Moreover, a proactive approach to social responsibility can reduce social conflicts, create public goodwill and improve corporate image and reputation (Barone et al., 2000; Hoeffler and Keller, 2002; McAlister and Ferrell, 2002). 2

2.2 CSR 2.0 paradigm Corporate social responsibility has a great number of different and emerging definitions; one of the most recent is Corporate Community Responsibility (CCR), which is based on a democratic and clear company-stakeholders cooperation (Kitchin, 2003). Furthermore, CSR has been redefined by a multi-dimensional dynamic perspective, which shows its evolution from the origins of organizational commitment in social initiatives to the recent proactive behaviour oriented to a transparent and constructive dialogue with key stakeholders (Maon et al., 2010). An additional CSR definition is Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility or CSR 2.0 (Visser, 2010), which aims to a sustainable and responsible business. CSR 2.0 is focused on the evolution of traditional corporate social responsibility into a set of actions oriented to a shared value creation. In short, the different definitions and the key elements of online CSR are summarized as presented in table 1. Tab. 1 – Definitions and key elements of online CSR Authors

Relevant excerpts

Key elements

Kitchin, 2003

“[…] Corporate Community Responsibility (CCR), refers to cooperation and to transparent relationship between companies and communities in which they act.”

Sørensen and Peitersen (2007)

Social media and Web 2.0 tools are changing the game in different fields in unknown intensity, from political campaigning to CSR communications. Researchers as well as practitioners should learn to understand the rules of CSR 2.0.

Clear cooperation between companies and society. Extensive use of social media in CSR communication.

Maon et al., 2010

“[…]CSR has been redefined by a dynamic perspective, which allows us to understand organizational commitment to such initiatives.

Cultural roots in organization.

Visser, 2010

“ CSR as a set of activities aimed at sustainable and responsible business is also known as Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, an Evolution of the traditional social responsibility oriented to share value creation.”

Extensive use of social media in CSR communication.

The new approach to corporate social responsibility aims to overcome the general stakeholders’ scepticism for social communication (Sen and Bhattacharya, 2001; Du et al, 2010; Elving, 2010). Hence, this attitude concerns social responsibility messages, because stakeholders generally assign a negative value to social communication (Friestad and Wright, 1994), considering companies unable to dismiss their instrumental approach to social responsibility in favour of a proactive behaviour (Kitchin, 2003). CSR literature review shows a significant gap in corporate social responsibility definition, due to the lack of a unique perspective in defining corporate commitment in social issues (Maon et al., 2010). In this context, literature is extremely fragmented according to the different perspectives and classification, ranging from voluntary practices (Kotler and Lee 2005), moral obligations and corporate response, to social expectations (Carroll, 1979; Jones, 1980). To overcome this situation, researchers should accept a global perspective in order to provide an accurate definition of CSR processes (Swanson, 1999). Within the existing literature emerges two major trends: the occurrence of a positive effect of CSR communication on corporate performance (Margolis et al., 2001, Porter and Kramer, 2002) and the increasing spread of IT in CSR communication. Consequently, scholars should engage themselves in further researches on the application of Web 2.0 technologies in CSR communication. 2.3 CSR communication in social media context There is a general understanding that the rising of Web 2.0 communication tools helps companies to face the increasing social requests in terms of communication and participation. The main contributions on CSR communication consider the success of a sustainability strategy due to a communication plan based on both traditional and innovative channels, which generate interest, 3

involvement and support to social demands (Andriof e Waddock 2002; Werther and Chandler, 2006; McWilliams and Siegel, 2006; Trebeck, 2008). Web 2.0 is not a strictly technological phenomenon, but it consists of technological drivers (e.g. increased broadband availability and hardware capacity), economic drivers (e.g. increased availability of tools for the creation of UGC), and social drivers (e.g. rise of a generation of “digital natives”). Therefore, Web 2.0 has been defined as “the philosophy of mutually maximizing collective intelligence and added value for each participant by formalized and dynamic information creation and sharing” (Hoegg et al., 2006). On the other hand, social media are defined as “a group of web based applications built on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user generated content” (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). Within this definition, it is possible to identify different social media, classified on: - media research, which is based on social presence (Short et al., 1976) and media richness categories (Daft and Lengel, 1986); - social processes, which are based on self-presentation (Schau and Gilly, 2003) and selfdisclosure categories. Figure 1 – Classification of social media by social presence/media richness and selfpresentation/self-disclosure

Source: Adapted from Kaplan, A. P., Haenlein, M. (2010), “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media”, Business Horizon, Vol. 53, pp. 59- 68. Figure 1 shows a classification of the most used social media, based on different levels of media research (social presence and media richness) and social processes (self presentation and self disclosure). As matter of fact, social media and Web 2.0 technologies are changing not only the economic, political (Wattal et al., 2010) and organizational scenarios, but also the traditional CSR communication (Sørensen and Peitersen, 2007). Hence, social media can provide four key benefits for CSR communication: cost containment, real time communication, public relations improvement and on line storage (Pressley, 2006). Generally, companies undervalue the importance of CSR communication management (Dawkins, 2005), despite they use several innovative channels and directly manage blogs, feed RSS, wiki, forums and social networks sites (Isenmann, 2006). In order to understand the role of social media in CSR communication strategies, the current research has been based on the analysis of a case study in the Italian banking industry. The principal goals are the following:  the definition of social media role in CSR 2.0 communication and in companiesstakeholders relationship;  the recognition of opportunities and risks arising from social media usage in CSR 2.0 communication;  the classification of the most used social media in CSR communication. 4

3. Research Methodology The case study method is a valuable tool for investigating the CSR development and the emerging change in social responsibility communication (Matthyssens and Vandenbempt, 2008). The MPS case study is based on “within-case” method (Eisenhardt, 1989), which provides a better understanding of company CSR and CSR 2.0 strategies. Moreover, this method analyzes the occurrence of specific phenomena (i.e. social media influence in CSR communication and corporate web reputation; the evolution of social responsibility according to CSR 2.0 paradigm) and their consistency with the assumptions of literature review (Yin, 2003). It has been administered a questionnaire to CSR manager, in order to identify CSR 2.0 company’s attitudes, goals and activities, and clarify the purpose of online CSR communication. The survey has been divided in three parts, respectively dedicated to data collection on: company’s CSR activities, CSR online communication and social media usage, and future CSR 2.0 strategies. The analysis of different corporate documents (brochures, flyers, websites, articles, promotional material, presentations, etc.) has provided accurate and reliable data (Yin, 2003), which have been crossed with previous data to avoid bias occurrence. A codebook is proposed to have a better data analysis (King et al., 1994), and a detailed data presentation (Crabtree and Miller, 1992). The codebook is structured in five main themes: MPS Approach to CSR; Corporate definition of CSR 2.0; Mapping of CSR 2.0 programs; Actions and results of CSR 2.0 communication in social media context; Future developments. 4. Findings: MPS case study 4.1 MPS Approach to CSR The MPS Group is one of the main Italian banks, active since 1472 and listed on the FTSE MIB 40 (the main benchmark index of the Italian equity markets). The Group has been selected as finalist for 2010 Annual Academy Award of Banking and Finance Companies for its 2009 CSR Report and Financial Report. MPS observes the most important national and international guidelines in terms of CSR: the code of conduct for companies listed on Italian Stock Exchange, the code of conduct of the banking sector, the United Nations Declaration on “Finance and Sustainability”, and many others. MPS is engaged in CSR activities since 2000, when the Charter of Values and the Code of Ethics were published for the first time. The most used CSR tools are: the code of ethics, the sustainability report, the management system ISO 14001, the cause-related marketing partnerships applied to the social sector, the traditional media and social media. Moreover, the main CSR actions are related to environmental issues (i.e. energy saving policy; the development of new "green finance" markets; the quotation on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes World and Europe; the publishing of the first Carbon Footprint report); customer policies, social value (i.e. MPS foundation, oriented to social value creating thanks to cooperation with local and national institution) and gender policies (i.e. regular attention to women professional development). Furthermore, the Group supports several international initiatives, including: The Global Compact, the European Alliance for CSR, UNEP Finance Initiative - Innovative financing for sustainability. 4.2 Corporate definition of CSR 2.0 MPS definition of CSR 2.0 is in line with the academic literature (Visser, 2010). The company defines this paradigm as “a new corporate approach to social responsibility based on a real-time and transparent communication with stakeholders”. In fact, the Group considers the CSR 2.0 paradigm based on a proactive approach to social responsibility, which aims to integrate CSR into the general corporate strategies and in the life cycle management. Social responsibility is for MPS “the right approach to market and the better way to manage the relationship with stakeholders”.


4.4 Mapping of CSR 2.0 programs As illustrated in CSR Report, MPS uses a specific model for economical measurement of the most important non-financial and intangible assets (i.e. reputation, compliance, skills development, resources management, motivation and employees’ sense of ownership, customer satisfaction, social and environmental commitment, etc.). This model is called “Tree of Sustainability” and has 40 extra-financial indicators. In addition, MPS examines on line and off line CSR communication through specific software to assess their impact on corporate web reputation and on its relationship with stakeholders. The online monitoring implies the data analysis through the regular check of social media (social media analysis). On the other hand, the offline monitoring is based on monthly reports and on a quantitative and qualitative data evaluation. Finally, the Group involves stakeholders in random interviews. A policy of sustainable supply has been put in practice according to quality management system (ISO), which allows the evaluation of each action, the total quality improvement, and costs decreasing (i.e. assets optimization). Finally, in the next future MPS will implement the following programs: the development of CSR internal regulation, the increasing of corporate social media presence, the development of a new CSR intranet and tools for web reputation monitoring. In line with 2011- 2015 corporate plan, the new “social” Intranet will be online in the next October and it will be based on different social media (chat, blogs, forums, and Wiki) to promote a real-time dialogue and the information sharing between the bank and its employees (more than 30.000). 4.5 Actions and results of CSR 2.0 communication in social media context MPS is involved in CSR 2.0 programs in order to increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of CSR communication. According to MPS manager, using CSR 2.0 communication tools, the Group aims to:  manage and enforce brand and web reputation;  speed up customer care;  improve communication with stakeholders through direct and transparent relationships;  promote the convergence of formal and informal communication processes;  receive suggestions about product improvements;  build areas of shared knowledge. CSR 2.0 strategy of MPS is focused on: the development of company’s presence on major social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube); the publishing of RSS feeds on corporate website; the creation of online channels dedicated to customer suggestions, products and services; the development of a corporate Web 2.0 intranet (i.e. wikis, blogs, knowledge sharing etc.); the publishing of different and customized CSR budget editions (i.e. for investors, financial analysts, clients etc.). Currently, to communicate its social responsibility MPS uses a wide range of social media but the most used are Facebook and Twitter, because of these media enable and facilitate the real time interaction with customers and stakeholders. The analysis of the most used social media is an appropriate way to define MPS attitude to CSR 2.0. Consequently, it is worth underlining that CSR issues are not the exclusive topic posted on these media, in fact, they allow different discussions, linking, and commenting about the company and its social commitment. The analysis of MPS Facebook page, as Table 2 shows, has proved that the large user community (4170 friends) is quite active in publishing and commenting on posts related to bank activities. In fact, on Facebook page are posted several news, links, pictures and videos about corporate measures of social responsibility (i.e. “La fabbrica del sorriso”, Japan aid, “Danza in fiera”, College “30”, gender policies, the right to water for Senegal, celebrations for 150 years of national unit, sponsorship of the basketball team “Mens Sana”, CSR budget for i-book), products and services information (Mobile PasKey, “1472” brand promotion, home banking security), and also information about special events. Facebook analysis has pointed out the following hot topics: the 6

news about “Mens Sana” basketball team, Paskey service, fashion line “1472”, and the sponsorship of 150 years national union celebrations. In particular, the posts about 150th national unity anniversary celebrations have been collected a significant number of positive comments and "like it". On the other hand the posts about “1472” brand have been criticized, because nearly all users considered them a mere commercial program with no social value. Finally, at the end of August MPS has published a new Facebook page (Montepaschi Sport), dedicated to the different teams and events sponsored by the Group. Tab. 2 – Statistics about MPS Facebook page (posts published from January to July 2011)

Moreover, Facebook page analysis has revealed that MPS promotes a free debate on this media. In fact, the company does not contribute to online debate even if users post negative notes, consequently corporate programs are contradicted or supported by the users themselves. MPS lack of reactions observed on Facebook page is due to the corporate strategy oriented to a free online users’ interaction (Fieseler et al., 2010). According to a top-down approach (Lee et al., 2006), MPS involves its employees in the online debate, allowing them to post topic and start new threads. Finally, it has been found out the remarkable MPS employees participation in Facebook discussions. MPS Twitter page shows fewer comments and interactions than Facebook page (see Tab. 3). Firstly, Twitter contacts and posts are lower in number than Facebook ones (474 followers), even though they cover the same topics (i.e. sponsorship, CSR actions, information about products and services etc.). Analyzing Twitter homepage, it has been noted a significant difference in companyusers relationship. In fact, the posts reveal much more interaction between parts, also because the interaction protocol of these media is based on a fast, short, direct and reliable communication. Tab. 3 – Statistics about MPS Twitter page (posts published from January to July 2011)


Youtube is another important channel used by MPS since February 2008 to communicate its corporate activity. Furthermore, the Youtube channel dedicated to MPS broadcasts videointerviews, brand initiatives and commercials, concerning home banking, corporate and product communication. The video production of MPS includes some initiatives on CSR themes for example: “The bank meets the city”, in which MPS discusses economic and financial issues. Tab. 4 – Statistics about Youtube channel (videos published until August 2011)

* Una storia italiana - 90'' istituzionale. ** Una storia italiana - 90'' istituzionale

4.6 Future developments The future aims of MPS in CSR communication are related to: the integration of traditional and online communication channels, the growing in frequency of CSR 2.0 initiatives and communication (i.e. quarterly reports, instantly accessible online), and the improving of companysuppliers communication. Finally, MPS aims to encourage the collaboration between corporate departments and to improve working environment and corporate interaction with stakeholders. 5. Discussion 5.1 The definition of social media role in CSR 2.0 communication and in companies-stakeholders relationship The results of survey and the analysis of corporate social media show that MPS seems to be aware of social responsibility evolution to CSR 2.0. Indeed, the Group believes that the influence of CSR 2.0 and social media on general CSR strategies is quite minimal, even if these tools contribute to the increasing of web reputation and company-stakeholders communication. According to MPS CSR manager, the new corporate approach to social responsibility is related to “the switching from a generalist to a customized communication”. To avoid the emergence of potential conflicts with the general CSR strategy, MPS aims to integrate traditional and online communication, making its approach to CSR 2.0 more “tangible” and “focusing its actions on company and stakeholders relevant issues”. The unofficial character of social media communication represents a significant opportunity to establish a less formal dialogue between companies and stakeholders, and to test their reactions to corporate positions (i.e. press releases, annual reports etc.). This is possible, even if social media audience is usually smaller than traditional mass media audience, which is large but generally passive to corporate communication.


5.2 The recognition of opportunities and risks arising from social media usage in CSR 2.0 communication The present analysis shows that social media represent in CSR 2.0 communication a source of new opportunities, but also of possible risks. In most cases, a credible commitment to social issues can help companies to reduce conflicts with stakeholders and strengthen their web corporate reputation (Creyer and Ross, 1997; Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004). The analyzed scenario is both positive and negative, because social media and consequently MPS social media have an indirect impact on general audience thanks to the action of opinion leaders, who represent the key users of these channels (Fieseler et al., 2010). The unofficial character of social media communication provides several opportunities for a democratic relationship with stakeholders. The typical function of these media to replace to every posts provides users with the opportunity to react directly and without restraint to corporate statements. In fact, these tools enable companies, even in the case of MPS, to have an immediate knowledge about audience reactions to their specific positions or actions, and prevent possible scandals through a transparent communication of critical issues. Consequently, companies are able to promptly fulfil and discuss stakeholder demands, whereas traditional corporate media are unable to do so. Finally, CSR 2.0 communication facilitates the employees’ commitment in CSR activities and helps company to gain visibility among potential employees. On the other hand, social media can also entail the risk of public criticism, especially in informal contexts such as online forums, corporate blogs, and social networks. In these contexts, as the MPS case study shows, companies are threatened by a potential loss of control over their social communication. This risk could have a negative influence on general CSR strategy; in fact, stakeholders reactions on social media are frequently different or even opposite to the general corporate social responsibility communication. 5.3 The most used social media in CSR communication and their lexicon. Our investigation of the MPS social media (fig. 2) shows that company is not involved in collaborative projects (e.g. Wikipedia), but it regularly uses blogs that score high in social presence and media richness, in fact they are open to different content domains, but low in self presentation and self disclosure, because of their text-based protocol, which allows the exchange of simple text messages. Moreover, MPS uses social networks (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), which score medium either in media research and social processes, because of text-based communication and media sharing protocol (pictures, videos, movies, links etc.), and content communities (e.g. Youtube), which score medium in social presence and media richness, but low in self presentation and self disclosure, because they are focused just on a specific content domain. Finally, the Group does not use the virtual game worlds or virtual social worlds (e.g. Second life), which try to replicate the reality and face-to-face interaction. Figure 2 – MPS most used social media.


In contrast to mass communication concept of asymmetric communication, social media facilitate the spread of a symmetric communication between organizations and highly engaged audiences in online spaces (Fieseler et al., 2010). This is possible thanks to formal hierarchies defeating, which opens online media to an authentic, transparent, and reliable communication. In fact, corporate communication in social media context should be aware of every single user possibility to replace or “repost” comments to corporate messages. Posting their comments, users adopt the specific language of web communities, which is extremely different from the traditional corporate language. Thus, in CSR 2.0 communication companies and also MPS should use an informal speech, featuring short sentences, common words and shortcuts of Internet lexicon. In fact, social media communication is based on the “word of mouth paradigm”, which states that information are published not necessarily by an institutional source, but they can be published, repeated and sometimes modified by an unknown audience (Kietzmann, 2011). Our investigation of the MPS Facebook page reveals the presence of numerous posts about the basketball team sponsored by the Group named “Mens Sana”. The posts are published both by MPS and users, who support the team publishing information (photos, movies etc.) about team performance, coach and players, and the links to external sources. 6. Conclusion and Future Research As some statements emerging from literature show, communicating social responsibility is an essential corporate activity that contributes to lead “good” business to “better” business. This assumption is based on ethical behaviour and on the increasing consumers’ self-esteem (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004). More than ever, companies are involved in social and environmental initiatives, also using the potential of Web 2.0 communication tools. In fact, the MPS case study demonstrates that these tools and in particular social media can, under certain conditions, increase stakeholders’ involvement in CSR programs and minimize their scepticism about companies’ genuine concern in social issues. Thus, these media promote a clear and democratic dialogue between companies and stakeholders, who aims to know about the good deeds of the companies they buy from or invest in. Content analysis can be a valid method to discover and analyze a variety of psychological states (Judd et al., 1991; Viney, 1983). This method is currently applied to social media contents to discover users behaviour and preferences (e.g. which topics create more feedbacks, which issues are read often and commented or not commented on, which are the most active users, etc.). According to this method, the manually conducted content analysis of corporate Facebook and Twitter posts has given insights into different strategies concerning intensity and interactivity of CSR communication. The variance of interactivity and responsiveness degree leads to the conclusion that companies apply different communication strategies to address (or not address) CSR on different social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.). These media are based on pull communication protocols, which promote recipient independence in contents creating and publishing (i.e. news, opinions, comments, etc.). The motivation for more interaction stems not only from a corporate goodwill, but also from stakeholder demands. Moreover, the present research reveals that companies should be more aware of social media potential adopting proactive strategies to minimize possible risks. In fact, the lack of monitoring or the general corporate inability to recognize weak signals contribute to make companies less aware of spontaneous communication (e.g. word of mouth) and its negative influence on corporate reputation. As final point, the results of this study suggest that social media seem to be functional for the future development of CSR debate, because they can help companies to reach a better stakeholders engagement and a genuine dialogue on corporate issues. The conclusions derived from this single-case analysis are a first step toward a more complex and deep research line (Eisenhardt and Graebner, 2007). Analyzing online CSR, scholars have revised 10

the lack of a unique paradigm and the needed for a deep study on CSR evolution. It is also needed a bridge between corporate practice and theory conceptualizations, because it is essential to achieve to a solid foundation for further research on the topic. Finally, further studies are also requested in the field of online CSR communication, informal web communication, and word-of-mouth influence on CSR communication in social media context (Godes and Mayzlin, 2004). References Andriof, J. and Waddock, S. (2002), “Unfolding stakeholder engagement”, in Andriof, J., Waddock, S., Husted, B. and Sutherland Rahman, S. (Ed.), Unfolding Stakeholder Thinking: Theory, Responsibility and Engagement, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK. Barone, M. J., Miyazaki, A. D. and Taylor, K. A. (2000), “The Influence of Cause-Related Marketing in Consumer Choice: Does One Good Turn Deserve Another?”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 258-262. Bhattacharya, C. B. and Sen, S. (2004), “Doing Better at Doing Good: When, Why, and How Consumers Respond to Corporate Social Initiatives,” California Management Review, Vol. 47 No. 1, pp. 9-24. Bauer, R.A. and Fenn, D.H. Jr (1972), The Corporate Social Audit, Russel Stage Foundation, New York, NY. Bowman, E.H. and Haire, M. (1975), “A Strategic Posture toward Corporate Social Responsibility”, California Management Review, Vol.18 No. 2, pp. 49-58. Brooks, L.J. Jr. (1980), “An Attitude Survey Approach to the Social Audit: The Southam Press Experience”, Accounting, Organization and Society, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 123-32. Brummet, R.L. (1974), “Total Performance Measurement”, Management Accounting, Vol. 25 No. 5, November, pp. 11-15. Burke, L. and Logsdon, J.M. (1996), “How corporate social responsibility pays off”, Long Range Planning, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 495-502. Carroll, A.B. (1979), “A three-dimensional conceptual model of corporate performance”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 497-505. Carroll, A. B. (1983,), “Corporate social responsibility: Will industry respond to cutbacks in social program funding?”, Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. 49, pp. 604-608. Carroll, A.B. (1997), Managing Corporate Responsibility, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, MA . Carroll, A. B. (2007), “A History of Corporate Social Responsibility. Concepts and Practices”, in Crane, A., McWilliams, A., Matten, D., Moon, J. and Siege, D.S. (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, pp. 19-46. Churchill, N.C. and Toan, A.B. Jr. (1978), “Reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility: A Progress Report”, Journal of Contemporary Business, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 5-16. Clarkson, M.B. (1995), “A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate social performance”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 92-117. 11

Cochan, L. and Wood, R.A. (1984), “Corporate Social Responsibility and Finacial Performance”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 41-56. Crabtree, B.F. and Miller, W.L. (1992), “A template approach to text analysis: developing and using codebooks”, in Crabtree, B.F., Miller, W.L. (Ed.), Doing Qualitative Research, Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp. 93-110. Creyer, E. H. and Ross, W. T., (1997), ‘The Influence of Firm Behaviour on Purchase Intention: Do Consumers Really Care About Business Ethics?’, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 421-432. Daft, R. L. and Lengel, R. H., (1986), “Organizational information requirements, media richness, and structural design”, Management Science, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 554-571. Davis, K., Frederick, W. C., Blomstrom, R. L (1980), Business and society concepts and policy issues, 4th. ed., Mc- Graw-Hill, New York, NY. Dawkins, J. (2005), “Corporate Responsibility: The Communication Challenge”, Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 108-119. De Bakker, F.G.A., Groenewegen, P. and Den Hond, F. (2005), “A Bibliometric Analysis of 30 Years of Research and Theory on Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Social Performance”, Business & Society, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 283-317. Dierks, M. and Coppock, R. (1978), “Europe Tries the Corporate Social Report”, Business and Society Review, Spring, pp. 21-24. Du, S., Bhattacharya, C.B. and Sen, S. (2010), “Maximizing Business Returns to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): The Role of CSR Communication”, International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 8-19. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989), “Building Theories from Case Study Research”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 532-550. Eisenhardt, K. M. and Graebner, M.E. (2007), “Theory Building from Cases: Opportunities and Challenges”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 25-32. Ellen, P., Webb, D.J. and Mohr, L.A. (2006), “Building corporate associations: consumer attributions for corporate socially responsible programs”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 147-157. Elving, W.J.L. (2010), “CSR and Scepticism; the Influence of Fit and Reputation on Scepticism towards CSR Communications”, in Bech-Larsen, T. and Frandsen, F. (Ed.), Corporate and Marketing Communications in Times of Growth and Times of Crisis, Aarhus University Business School, Aarhus, pp.133-145. Fieseler, C., Fleck, M. and Meckel, M. (2010), “Corporate Social Responsibility in the Blogosphere”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 91 No. 4. pp. 599-614. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006), “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research”, Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 219-245. Fombrun, C., Gardberg, N. A. and Barnett, M. L. (2000), “Opportunity Platforms and Safety Nets: Corporate Citizenship and Reputational Risk”, Business and Society Review, Vol. 105 No. 1, pp. 85–106. 12

Frederick, W. C. (1994), “From CSR1 to CSR2: The maturing of business-and-society thought”, Business Society, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 150-164. Frynas, J.G. (2005), “The false developmental promise of Corporate Social Responsibility: evidence from multinational oil companies”, International Affairs, Vol. 81 No. 3, pp- 581598. Friestad, M. and Wright, P. (1994), “The Persuasion Knowledge Model: How People Cope with Persuasion Attempts”, The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 1-31. Garriga, E. and Melé, D. (2004), “ Corporate social responsibility theories: mapping the territory”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 53, pp. 51-71. Godes, D. and Mayzlin, D. (2004), “Using Online Conversations to Study Word-of-Mouth Communication”, Marketing Science, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 545–560. Guthrie, J.E. and Mathews, M.R. (1985), “Corporate Social Accounting in Australia”, Research in Corporate Social Performance and Policy, Vol. 7, pp. 215-77. Hoeffler, S. and Keller, K. L. (2002), “Building Brand Equity Through Corporate Societal Marketing”, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 77-89. Hoegg,

R., Martignoni, R., Meckel, M., Stanoevska-Slabeva, K., Meißner, K. and Engelien, M. (2006), Overview of Business Models for Web 2.0 Communities, GeNeMe, Dresden.

Isenmann, R. (2006), “CSR Online: Internet Based Communication”, in Jonker, J., De Witte, M. (Ed.) Management Models for Corporate Social Responsibility, Springer, Berlin/ Heidelberg, pp. 247-254. Jenkins, R. (2005), “Globalization, Corporate Social Responsibility and poverty”, International Affairs, Vol. 81 No. 3, pp. 525-540. Jones, T.M. (1980), “Corporate social responsibility revisited, redefined”, California Management Review, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 59-67. Jones, T.M., Felps, W., Bigley, G. (2007), “Ethical theory and stakeholder-related decisions: The role of stakeholder culture”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 137– 155. Judd, C. M., Smith, E. R. and Kidder, L.H. (1991), Research Methods in Social Relations, 6th Edition, Harcourt Brace Jovanovic, Orlando, CA. Kaplan, A. M. and Haenlein M. (2010), “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”, Business Horizons, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 59-68. Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K. and McCarthy, I. P., Silvestre, B. S. (2011), “Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media”, Business Horizons, Vol. 54 No. 3, pp. 241-251. King, G., Keohane, R.O. and Verba, S. (1994), Designing social inquiry: Scientific inference in qualitative research, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NY. Kitchin, T. (2003), “Corporate social responsibility: A brand explanation”, Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 10 No. 4/5, pp. 312-326. 13

Kotler, P. and Lee, N. (2005), Corporate Social Responsibility: doing the most good for your company and your cause, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, N.J. Lattemann, C. and Stieglitz, S. (2007), “Online Communities for Customer Relationship Management on Financial Stock Markets – A Case Study from a German Stock Exchange”, proceedings of Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) 2007, Key-stone, Colorado, USA, 2007, pp.1-11. Lee S., Hwang and T., Lee, H.H. (2006), “Corporate Blogging Strategies of the Fortune 500 Companies”, Management Decision, Vol. 44 No.3, pp. 316-334. Lindgreen, A. and Swaen, V. (2004), “Corporate Citizenship: Let Not Relationship Marketing Escape the Management Toolbox”, Corporate Reputation Review, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 346363. Lindgreen, A., Swaen, V. and Maon, F. (2009), “Corporate social responsibility implementation”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 85 Suppl. 2, pp. 251-256. Lockett, A., Moon and J., Visser, W. (2006), “Corporate Social Responsibility in Management Research: Focus, Nature, Salience and Sources of Influence”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 115-136. Luo., X. and Bhattacharya, C.B. (2006), “Corporate Social Responsibility, Customer Satisfaction, and Market Value”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 70 No. 4, pp. 1-18. Maon, F., Lindgreen and A., Swaen, V. (2010), “Organizational Stages and Cultural Phases: A Critical Review and a Consolidative Model of Corporate Social Responsibility Development”, International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 20-38. Margolis, J. D., Walsh, J. P. and Mahwah, N. J. (2001), People and profits?: the search for a link between a company’s social and financial performance, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ. Margolis, J. D. and Walsh, J. P. (2003), “Misery loves companies: Rethinking social initiatives by business”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 48 No. 2, pp. 268-289. Matthyssens, P., and Vandenbempt, K. (2008), “Moving from basic offerings to value-added solutions: Strategies, barriers and alignment”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 316-328. McAlister, D. T. and Ferrell, L. (2002), “The Role of Strategic Philanthropy in Marketing Strategy”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 5/6, pp. 689-705. McWilliams, A. and Siegel, D. (2006), “Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory of the Firm Perspective”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 117-127. Murphy, P. E. (1978), “An evolution: Corporate social responsiveness”, University of Michigan Business Review, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 19-25. O’Reilly, T. (2005), “What is Web 2.0: Design. Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software” available at: (accessed 16 June 2011).


Parker, L.D. (1977), “The Accounting Responsibility towards Corporate Financial Reporting to Employees”, Accounting Education, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 62-83. Parker, L.D. (1986), “Polemical Themes in Social Accounting: A Scenario for Standard Setting”, Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 1, pp. 67-93. Pinkston, T.S. and Carroll, A.B. (1994), “Corporate Citizenship Perspectives and Foreign Direct Investment”, U.S. Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 157-169. Porter, M. E. and Kramer, M. R. (2002), “The competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 80 No. 12, pp. 56-69. Pressley, L. (2006), “Using Social Software for Business Communication”, working paper, LIS 650, Library Administration and Management, 3 April. Preston, L.E. (1978), “Analyzing Corporate Social Performance: Methods and Results”, Journal of Contemporary Business, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 135-149. Ramanathan, K.V. (1976), “Toward a Theory of Corporate Social Accounting”, The Accounting Review, July, Vol. 51 No. 3, pp. 516- 528. Schau, H.J. and Gilly, M.C. (2003), “We are what we post? Self presentation in personal web space”, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 385-404. Sen, S. and Bhattacharya, C.B. (2001), “Does Doing Good Always Lead to Doing Better? Consumer Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility”, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 225-243. Short, J., Williams, E. and Christie, B. (1976), The social psychology of telecommunications, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, New York, NY. Sørensen, M. H. and Peitersen, N. (2007), “CSR at: (accessed 27 June 2011).



Starck, K. and Kruckeberg, D. (2004), “Ethical obligations of public relations in an era of globalization”, Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 29-40. Swanson, D.L. (1999), “Toward an integrative theory of business and society: a research strategy for corporate social performance”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 506521. Trebeck, K. (2008), “Exploring the responsiveness of companies: corporate social responsibility to stakeholders”, Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 349-365. Trotman, K.T. and Bradley, G.W. (1981), “Associations between Social Responsibility Disclosure and Characteristics of Companies”, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 355-362. Viney, L.L. (1983), “The Assessment of Psychological States Through Content Analysis of Verbal Communications”, Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 94 No. 3, pp. 542-563. Visser, W. (2010), “The DNA Model of CSR 2.0: Value Creation, Good Governance, Societal Contribution and Ecological Integrity”, CSR International Inspiration Series, No. 9. Walsh, J.P., Weber, K., Margolis, J.D. (2003), “ Social issues and management: Our lost cause found”, Journal of Management, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 859-881. 15

Wartick, S. L. and Cochran, P.L., (1985), “The Evolution of the Corporate Social Performance Model”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 758-769. Wattal, S., Schuff, D., Mandviwalla, M. and Williams, C.B. (2010), “Web 2.0 and politics: the 2008 U.S presidential election and an e-politics research agenda”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 669-688. Werther, W.B. and Chandler, D. (2006), Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility – Stakeholders in a Global Environment, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA. Windsor, D. (2006), “Corporate social responsibility: three key approaches”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 93-114. Wood, D.J. (1991), “Corporate social performance revisited”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 691-718. Yin, R. (2003), Case Study Research (3rd ed.), Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.


Suggest Documents