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Organising Corporate Responsibility Communication Through Filtration: A Study of Web Communication Patterns in Swedish Retail

Organising Corporate Responsibility Communication Through Filtration: A Study of Web Communication Patterns in Swedish Retail,10.1007/s10551-011-0771-

Organising Corporate Responsibility Communication Through Filtration: A Study of Web Communication Patterns in Swedish Retail  
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Corporate responsibility (CR) communication has risen dramatically in recent years, following increased demands for transparency. One tendency noted in the literature is that CR communication is organised and structured. Corporations tend to professionalise CR communication in the sense that they provide information that corresponds to demands for transparency that are voiced by certain stakeholders. This also means that experts within the firm tend to communicate with professional stakeholders outside the firm. In this article, a particular aspect of the organisation of CR communication is examined, a phenomenon that we refer to as the ‘filtration effect’. By comparing CR communication in parent companies and their subsidiaries, we show empirically that there is considerably less CR communication on the subsidiary level compared to the parent level. We see filtration as a sign of conscious organising of CR communication that implies particular attention to certain stakeholder groups with clearly defined demands and expectations on companies. The strong filtration effect noted in the study suggests that CR communication does not seem to be very much adapted to customers, which may be problematic both from a communicative and ethical perspective. The study covers Sweden’s 206 largest retail firms.
Journal: Journal of Business Ethics - J BUS ETHICS , vol. 100, no. 1, pp. 31-43, 2011
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