Refugee Integration – A new field of CSR?
Abstract: The refugee crisis of 2015/2016, has not only challenged the political actors and the civil society of Germany, but also its businesses. Appealed by politicians, few German companies have started contributing to the integration of refugees into the labour market, mainly in form of donations, employee commitment and occupational preparation courses. This constitutes a new field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for business, which has been analysed in this study. The research was driven by the interest to find out how the DAX 30 (the 30 largest and highest-selling German companies) have motivated their CSR exhibited in the field of refugee integration. This was realized through drawing upon CSR theory and analysing the corporate communication displayed in webpages, press releases and sustainability reports with the help of a qualitative content analysis. It could be shown, that companies face difficulties in reasoning their CSR in the field of refugee integration, which manifests itself in an inconsistent corporate communication. It was furthermore argued that this inconsistency in communication reflects the inexperience of corporations to deal with the social process of refugee integration and the conflicting intra-organizational interests. The study suggests that the role of companies in this field has to be re-negotiated within and outside the company in order to foster a successful and long-term oriented labour market integration of refuges.
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