Communication of CSR : An Analysis

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för informatik och media

Author: Shahid Iqbal; [2011]

Keywords: ;


Communication has attained a pivotal role in the modern day businesses. One of the key genres of this communication is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined and spelled out in several different contexts, depending mainly upon the interpretation under which the concept is conceived.  This research focuses on the puzzle as to how the two chosen companies, which come from different business areas, understand and spell out their perception of CSR through the wheel of communication, and thereby construct social reality. An analysis of genre of CSR communication can solve this puzzle. Thus, by employing a case study approach in combination with Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Genre Analysis (GA), this study seeks answers to three interrelated research questions: 1) what conventions are found in this genre of communication? ; 2) Which identical and different discourses the case companies draw upon through the order of discourse in CSR communication? 3) Of these discourses, why are some identical and some differ?  The study has employed Fairclough’s three dimensional CDA model complemented by Bhatia’s seven step approach as analytical framework. The study concludes that the genre of CSR communication is highly conventionalized and these conventions mainly seek strength from guidelines and principles of international bodies like UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Further, this study surmises that high level of intertextuality found in the data is evident of the fact that the companies stick to prevalent conventions. However, the existence of non-conventional discourses manifest the companies’ desire to focus on company or industry specific discourses for social  construction of CSR in a way that suits their overall business strategy, perception of Corporate Social Responsibility and how CSR is embedded in the business strategy. 

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