Researching Corporate Social Responsibility Communication: Themes, Opportunities and Challenges

Andrew Crane, Sarah Glozer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Growing recognition that communication with stakeholders forms an essential element in the design, implementation and success of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has given rise to a burgeoning CSR communication literature. However this literature is scattered across various sub-disciplines of management research and exhibits considerable heterogeneity in its core assumptions, approaches and goals. This article provides a thematically-driven review of the extant literature across five core sub-disciplines, identifying dominant views upon the audience of CSR communication (internal/external actors) and CSR communication purpose, as well as pervasive theoretical approaches and research paradigms manifested across these areas. We then set out a new conceptual framework – the 4Is of CSR communications research – that distinguishes between research on CSR Integration, CSR Interpretation, CSR Identity, and CSR Image. This typology of research streams organizes the central themes, opportunities and challenges for CSR communication theory development, and provides a heuristic against which future research can be located.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1223-1252
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number7
Early online date29 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

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