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Communicating CSR: practices among Switzerland's top 300 companies

Communicating CSR: practices among Switzerland's top 300 companies Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a picture of the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication among the top 300 companies in Switzerland and to investigate how favorable the cultural context is for this kind of communication. Design/methodology/approach – The investigation of the top 300 companies in Switzerland was conducted using a written survey that built on previous studies. Findings – CSR communication in Switzerland appears to be well developed, but still has broad margins for development. Examples are provided on how to improve CSR communication. Such improvements should be relatively easy to implement since Switzerland, it is argued, appears to be open to CSR communication. Research limitations/implications – The investigation considered only the communication objectives toward a limited range of stakeholders, such as clients, shareholders, and employees. The survey was conducted among the top 300 companies in Switzerland; these companies are not necessarily representative of the whole Swiss business community. Practical implications – The paper describes the elements that should be considered in order to develop an effective CSR communication. These elements are synergies between issues, objectives, and channels; criteria for a credible social report; the exploitation of the potentialities of CSR advertising and the web; and the understanding of the national context where the organization is operating. Originality/value – This paper focuses on CSR communication, an area that has received limited attention in CSR research. Organizations may find interesting hints on how to develop effective CSR communication. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Corporate Communications: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Communicating CSR: practices among Switzerland's top 300 companies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1356-3289
DOI
10.1108/13563280810869604
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a picture of the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication among the top 300 companies in Switzerland and to investigate how favorable the cultural context is for this kind of communication. Design/methodology/approach – The investigation of the top 300 companies in Switzerland was conducted using a written survey that built on previous studies. Findings – CSR communication in Switzerland appears to be well developed, but still has broad margins for development. Examples are provided on how to improve CSR communication. Such improvements should be relatively easy to implement since Switzerland, it is argued, appears to be open to CSR communication. Research limitations/implications – The investigation considered only the communication objectives toward a limited range of stakeholders, such as clients, shareholders, and employees. The survey was conducted among the top 300 companies in Switzerland; these companies are not necessarily representative of the whole Swiss business community. Practical implications – The paper describes the elements that should be considered in order to develop an effective CSR communication. These elements are synergies between issues, objectives, and channels; criteria for a credible social report; the exploitation of the potentialities of CSR advertising and the web; and the understanding of the national context where the organization is operating. Originality/value – This paper focuses on CSR communication, an area that has received limited attention in CSR research. Organizations may find interesting hints on how to develop effective CSR communication.

Journal

Corporate Communications: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 9, 2008

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Stakeholder analysis; Communication management; Channel relationships; Switzerland

References