Tendencies  in  Online  Communication  of  CSR  – A  Longitudinal  Study Cover Image

Tendencies in Online Communication of CSR – A Longitudinal Study
Tendencies in Online Communication of CSR – A Longitudinal Study

Author(s): Richard Szántó
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Economy
Published by: Vysoká škola ekonomická v Praze
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; online communication; corporate web pages; content analysis
Summary/Abstract: Purpose:Although quite a few studiesdealt with online communication of CSR principles and practices of companies, longitudinal studies are rare, therefore knowledge on the tendencies in this field is very limited. This paper tries to fulfil this void by analyzing changes in online CSR communication over time on the same sample of companies. Design/methodology/approach:In this study, the 200 largest Hungarian companies’ online CSR communication was analyzed, and the findings were compared to the ones of the research carried out 8 years earlier.40% of the firms disappeared from the 2009 list, consequently the author ended up with a sample of 120 firms that were present on both lists (2009 and 2017). In this research, a content analysis methodology was used: pre-given categories and themes were sought on corporate websites looking for patterns and regularities. Findings:Large Hungarian companies use the web more actively for CSR communication than they did almost a decade earlier. More companies have their dedicated CSR sections on their corporate website than 8 years ago, and they generally talk more about their CSR principles and practices. Some key issues are major topics of CSR communication such as CSR principles, values, philanthropy initiatives, and environmental management systems,while others are in the bottom like green office programs, responsible governance or responsible marketing. Research/practical implications:Based on the findings of this paper, practitioners can develop their online communication, and can identify the weaknesses of their current practices. Future research should reveal what the motivations of the more active firms are, and why companies lagging do not perceive the value of this activity. It is also important to explore other ways of online communication like the use of online media, since for many organizations it can be (or it is already) the next step to develop their CSR communication, and enable a two-way-dialogue with their stakeholders. Originality/value:Longitudinal studies in this field are rare,therefore this research focusing on how online CSR communication has evolved over time is unique. By exploring the changes in CSR disclosure, the determinants of this type of communication can be identified.

  • Page Range: 1025-1034
  • Page Count: 10
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: English