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CSR Communication - An Employee Perspective: Tailoring Internal Communication using Employee Preferences for Content, Style and Channel.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) represents a theory and practice that is well-known and communicating its content has shown to play an important role in order to exploit its advantages and engage stakeholders on CSR issues. Even though, CSR communication has shown to be a real challenge, since corporations are encouraged to engage in CSR, but not to communicate too loud about this engagement. This study was inspired by Jenny Dawkins (2005) and her initial idea that tailoring CSR messages by exploring stakeholder preferences for content, style and channel, would solve the communication challenge. One stakeholder group that corporations are highly dependent on is employees and exploring their preferences for CSR communication became the purpose of this thesis: to understand employee preferences for style and channel within the content of CSR. This was of specific interest, since existing research on CSR communication has mainly been centered around financial and external issues on the expense of internal. In addition, the idea of a tailored approach has not gained any interest in research so far, and a possible explanation might be its diffuse meaning, a problem this thesis has addressed.

In order to understand employee preferences for internal CSR communication, a qualitative case study research was conducted with in-depth interviews, observations and exercises at site. A total of 20 interviews were arranged in order to collect primary data during a one week prolong engagement at the case. The empirical findings from the respondents’ answers were then transcribed and analyzed using both inductive and theoretical thematic analysis. Based on the findings, the authors of this thesis contribute with two models that help practitioners to understand how to best communicate about various CSR content to employees. The first model developed suggests an implementation of the tailored approach for content, style and channel, and demonstrates a relationship between nature of content and constraint recognition. Also, the model explains how practitioners can provide CSR explanation in order to reduce skepticism and enable endorsement processes where employees communicate CSR to third parties. To show a more dependent relationship between how changes in nature of content and constraint recognition affect employee preferences, the authors created the "CSR Communication Grid".

The authors made a theoretical contribution by clarifying and providing a framework for the tailoring approach as initially developed by Dawkins (2005). Additionally, the authors managed to draw a relation between Public Relations (PR) and CSR by referring models of PR to communication styles, which filled this gap in previous research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 86 p.
Keyword [en]
CSR, CSR Communication, Employee, Employee Preferences, Internal Communication, Public Relations
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30126ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160193OAI: diva2:932416
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2016-06-08 Created: 2016-06-01 Last updated: 2016-06-08Bibliographically approved

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