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Mapping the environment for corporate social responsibility Stakeholders, publics and the public sphere

Mapping the environment for corporate social responsibility Stakeholders, publics and the public... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to seek to improve how companies map their environment in order to identify the social norms and values that exist in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical discussion is accompanied by a short case study that includes analysis of ten sustainability reports published by the oil company Shell. Findings – The mapping tools recommended in the literature of management and public relations have limitations. There are also weaknesses in the way that Shell, a supposed leader in the CSR movement, maps its environment. The public sphere concept is suggested as a fruitful supplement. Research limitations/implications – More in‐depth case studies accompanied with qualitative interviews are needed to back up the conclusions put forward. Practical implications – The norms, values and expectations regarding CSR are not fixed entities, and it is thus vital for organisations to engage in ongoing listening and dialogue to keep abreast of these changing factors. Companies have to attempt to be well informed and well read participants in civic society. Conceptualizing their environments as made up of stakeholders and a public sphere, can help in this endeavour. Originality/value – The paper points to the limitation of current environmental mapping tools, and discusses how such mapping exercises can be improved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Corporate Communications: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Mapping the environment for corporate social responsibility Stakeholders, publics and the public sphere

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1356-3289
DOI
10.1108/13563280810869578
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to seek to improve how companies map their environment in order to identify the social norms and values that exist in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical discussion is accompanied by a short case study that includes analysis of ten sustainability reports published by the oil company Shell. Findings – The mapping tools recommended in the literature of management and public relations have limitations. There are also weaknesses in the way that Shell, a supposed leader in the CSR movement, maps its environment. The public sphere concept is suggested as a fruitful supplement. Research limitations/implications – More in‐depth case studies accompanied with qualitative interviews are needed to back up the conclusions put forward. Practical implications – The norms, values and expectations regarding CSR are not fixed entities, and it is thus vital for organisations to engage in ongoing listening and dialogue to keep abreast of these changing factors. Companies have to attempt to be well informed and well read participants in civic society. Conceptualizing their environments as made up of stakeholders and a public sphere, can help in this endeavour. Originality/value – The paper points to the limitation of current environmental mapping tools, and discusses how such mapping exercises can be improved.

Journal

Corporate Communications: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 9, 2008

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Stakeholder analysis; Public sector organizations

References