CSR and sustainability in the media industry : A focus on Austria
Corporate Social Responsibility has grown since the late 1950s to become an important and wide-ranging topic in todays businesses. The media industry slowly starts to integrate CSR practices intheir corporate vision and policies. Due to the numerous amount of different definitions, perceptions and concepts of CSR in media companies are divided, reaching from sustainable practices throughout public duties to ethical responsibilities. Also in Austria's media industry, where CSR has just begun to develop and take shape, efforts and activities in this field diversify while trying to find common ground.
Although there is a comprehensive amount of literature about CSR in general, not as many publications and previous studies about CSR in media companies can be found. Especially Austria is a rather unexplored market when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility, which makes research in this field more complicated. The media industry relies on governmental guidelines and restrictions made by the state and therefor does not see an urgent need for efforts that go beyond what is demanded and prescribed by law and what exceeds their own, personal interests.
The purpose of this study was to find out if and how Austrian media companies have already implemented CSR and sustainability in their corporate philosophy, further if and how their approaches are being communicated within as well as outside the company.
After the theoretical framework, where a comprehensive literature review was compiled and previous studies in the research field were collected, an exploratory research has been conducted with two chosen media companies and one media expert's view on this topic that has not been studied in Austria before. Therefor qualitative semi-structured interviews were used as empirical method and were complemented with secondary data, provided by the respondents. The collected data was then analyzed by comparing it to the theory.
The findings in this thesis show that even though Corporate Social Responsibility is not a new topic, media companies, especially in Austria where this thesis draws its attention to, have not fully developed and elaborated a general valid understanding and concept of CSR but a clear movement towards this direction can definitely be perceived.
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