Stakeholder inclusiveness as argument pro homine in CSR reports

492 views
339 views

Published on

Cite as: Carroll, CE. (2014, May) " Stakeholder inclusiveness as argument pro homine in CSR reports." International Communication Association, Seattle, WA.

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
492
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
7
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
11
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Relies on 35 theoretically-derived keyword dictionaries containing over 10,000 words that are mutually exclusive (Hart, 2001). DICTION provides the most robust rhetorical understanding of the text. “IF you could only ask 5 questions of a text, these would be the five.”
    Predicated on the contention that texts are embedded within communities of discourse, and thus contain norms.
    The norms are drawn from Hart’s prior DICTION analyses of over 20,000 texts drawn from general public discourse, including political speeches, news coverage, advertisements, religious sermons, scientific reports, corporate press releases, corporate financial reports, etc. providing what Hart calls a more precise textual understanding.
    Determines the relative importance of each of its variables within each text by comparing the concepts’ calculated scores against a normative range (an upper and lower limit) established by averaging the scores of thousands of texts from widest range of genres over an extended time
  • Relies on 35 theoretically-derived keyword dictionaries containing over 10,000 words that are mutually exclusive (Hart, 2001). DICTION provides the most robust rhetorical understanding of the text. “IF you could only ask 5 questions of a text, these would be the five.”
    Predicated on the contention that texts are embedded within communities of discourse, and thus contain norms.
    The norms are drawn from Hart’s prior DICTION analyses of over 20,000 texts drawn from general public discourse, including political speeches, news coverage, advertisements, religious sermons, scientific reports, corporate press releases, corporate financial reports, etc. providing what Hart calls a more precise textual understanding.
    Determines the relative importance of each of its variables within each text by comparing the concepts’ calculated scores against a normative range (an upper and lower limit) established by averaging the scores of thousands of texts from widest range of genres over an extended time
  • Stakeholder inclusiveness as argument pro homine in CSR reports

    1. 1. STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT Inherent Part of CSR • Characteristic of corporate social responsibility • To what extent can CSR exist authentically, without stakeholder engagement? Instrumental part of transparency and disclosure • A means to ensure that transparency exists or that transparency improves • Organizations report on their CSR strengths and weaknesses in CSR annual reports. • Stakeholder engagement is one area where companies are expected to disclose their progress.
    2. 2. STAKEHOLDER INCLUSIVENESS • A firm “should identify its stakeholders and explain in the report how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests” (Global Reporting Initiative, 2011, p. 10).
    3. 3. THE FUNCTION OF TRANSPARENCYTo allow those who do not have direct experience with a firm to see or inspect for themselves what is going on inside the firm On issues, actions, and decision-making procedures about which they seek first-hand information to make informed decisions and judgments CSR Reports are designed to make companies more transparent. Carroll, C. E., & Einwiller, S. A. (2014). Disclosure alignment and transparency signaling in CSR reporting. In R. P. Hart (Ed.), Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World (pp. 249-270). Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
    4. 4. IN CSR REPORTS… A RESPONSE TO SOCIETY’S DEMANDS… Companies seek to reveal themselves as: •Transparent, with little or nothing to hide; •Rule-followers, meeting the demands of their stakeholders, We suggest they are engaging in- •Transparency signaling refers to organizational efforts to demonstrate transparency •Disclosure alignment: conforming to CSR reporting guidelines and expectations Carroll, C. E., & Einwiller, S. A. (2014). Disclosure alignment and transparency signaling in CSR reporting. In R. P. Hart (Ed.), Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World (pp. 249-270). Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
    5. 5. TRANSPARENCY SIGNALING Positive (+) Transparency Signals • Signals whose presence suggests transparency. The more positive transparency signals, the more the organization can claim transparency (and the more audiences will/should perceive transparency). Negative (-) Transparency Signals • Signals whose presence suggests a lack of transparency. • Negative transparency signals are minimized, moderated, or absent for one claim transparency. The less negative transparency signals, the more the organization can claim transparency (and the less audiences will/should perceive transparency). Carroll, C. E., & Einwiller, S. A. (2014). Disclosure alignment and transparency signaling in CSR reporting. In R. P. Hart (Ed.), Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World (pp. 249-270). Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
    6. 6. TRANSPARENCY SIGNALING Positive (+) Transparency Signals •Balance •Individual ownership (taking ownership of one’s message) •Guidance and direction (specify who, what, when, where) •Accuracy •Concreteness • Timeliness • Stakeholder Inclusiveness Negative (-) Transparency Signals •Anti-balance •Ambivalence •Assortment •Attachment •Adornment I Suggest that… Has two dimensions “Big Acts”of Transparency The 5 As to Avoid Stakeholder Inclusiveness is a “Positive” Transparency Signal Carroll, C. E., & Einwiller, S. A. (2014). Disclosure alignment and transparency signaling in CSR reporting. In R. P. Hart (Ed.), Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World (pp. 249-270). Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
    7. 7. DISCLOSURE ALIGNMENT CSR Report Contents 1. Materiality 2. Stakeholder Inclusiveness 3. 6 Topics of CSR CSR Report Quality 1. Timeliness 2. Balance 3. Clarity 4. Accuracy 5. Reliability We Suggest… Carroll, C. E., & Einwiller, S. A. (2014). Disclosure alignment and transparency signaling in CSR reporting. In R. P. Hart (Ed.), Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World (pp. 249-270). Hershey, PA: IGI-Global. Has two dimensions Stakeholder Inclusiveness is an indicator of Disclosure Alignment with the Global Reporting Initiative’s CSR Report Contents
    8. 8. 3 PERSPECTIVES ON TRANSPARENCY & DISCLOSURE ALIGNMENTWhere do transparency and disclosure alignment exist? Who gets to say? Transparency as a claim Transparency as meeting defined criteria Transparency as a perception, opinion, judgment, or evaluation
    9. 9. WHAT IS THE “RIGHT” AMOUNT OF TRANSPARENCY SIGNALS AND DISCLOSURE ALIGNMENT? Goldilocks’ “Not too hot, not too cold. Just right.” Medium Excessive. Information overload. “Jamming”/overloading the system. Saying so much that you say nothing at all. High Insufficient. Lacking in detail. LowA “high” amount of stakeholder inclusiveness offers the potential for “Argument Pro Homine.”
    10. 10. HOW DO WE “KNOW” WHAT THE RIGHT AMOUNT IS? • One organization’s (communicative) behavior over time • A set of organizations’ (communicative) behavior at any one time • A set of organizations’ (communicative) behavior over time “NO!” Expectations established based upon comparisons Do we have such points of comparison? A NORMATIVE APPROACH
    11. 11. A MOVE FROM AUTHENTICITY TO AUTHENTICATION…
    12. 12. Truth Lies Truthlike What makes truthiness so much more dangerous than lies is that for one to lie, one must know the truth (at least respect it enough to know what the truth is). Truthiness has no regard or respect for the truth at all. “how do we detect when an organization is being “truthy”?
    13. 13. ARGUMENT PRO HOMINE • To argue pro homine is to argue for the person as evidence rather than presenting the argument or evidence directly. • An argument pro homine is the inverse of the ad hominem argument. • It is concerned by the frequent casual insertion of any CAMPUS into organizational discourse without concern for context, relevance, or materiality. • Is it name dropping?
    14. 14. ARGUMENT PRO HOMINE • Predicate 1: Firm A asserts CSR claim 1. • Predicate 2: CAMPUS (Constituent, Audience, Market, Public, User, Stakeholder) B—which has been predetermined as credible, competent, legitimate or reputable—co-occurs with Claim 1. • Therefore, Proposition 1 is true.
    15. 15. ARGUMENT PRO HOMINE • Pro homine arguments embody the halo effect, a cognitive bias in which the perception of one trait is influenced by the perception of an unrelated trait. • An example of the halo effect is treating an attractive person as more intelligent or more honest than an unattractive person.
    16. 16. EXAMPLE FROM THE NYT… “Dozens of prominent Republicans [emphasis added] signed a soon-to-be-filed amicus brief… arguing for a constitutional right to same-sex marriage." “Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments.” Stohlberg, S. G. (2013). Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage, The New York Times, p. A1. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/us/politics/prominent-republicans-sign-brief-in-support-of-gay- marriage.html?_r=0 Demonstrating the persuasive power of argument pro homine,
    17. 17. INSTITUTIONAL RHETORIC • Language matters. • Language signals institutional values. • Language patterns are of special importance Hart, R. P. (2014). Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World. Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
    18. 18. SAMPLE Firms • U.S. Firms listed in Global Forbes 2000 • 36 firms • 24 publicly subscribing to GRI • 22 not publicly subscribing Texts • CSR Annual Reports from 2011 • PDFs downloaded from corporate websites • Corporate Register.com
    19. 19. DICTION 6.0 Background • 35 theoretically-derived, mutually exclusive keyword dictionaries • 10,000 words • most robust rhetorical understanding of the text. • “IF you could only ask 5 questions of a text, these would be the five.” Hart, R. P., & Carroll, C. E. (2011). DICTION 6.0. Austin, TX USA: Digitext, Inc. www.dictionsoftware.ccom
    20. 20. KEY ASSUMPTIONS 1. Institutional actors (evenly sophisticated ones like PR professionals and corporate attorney) rarely monitor their lexical decisions. 2. That they have no ability at all to monitor (all of) their lexical patterns. 3. That they think they have control over such matters Hart, R. P. (2014). Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World. Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
    21. 21. ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT TONE (1) Families of words have their own distinctive valence but become mutually implicative when combined; (2) tone becomes more identifiable when word families are commingled; (3) tone becomes more forceful when these families are repeatedly commingled; and (4) lexical layering explains differences among rhetorical genres—how a poem can be distinguished from a movie script, for example (Ishizaki & Kaufer, 2012). Hart, R. P., Childers, J. P., & Lind, C. J. (2013). Political Tone: How Leaders Talk and Why. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    22. 22. TONE IS THE PRODUCT OF… 1)individual word choices that… 2)cumulatively build up… 3)to produce patterned expectations… 4)telling an audience something important… 5)about the author's outlook on things. Hart, R. P., Childers, J. P., & Lind, C. J. (2013). Political Tone: How Leaders Talk and Why. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    23. 23. POLITICS… It is also a world of poorly understood words, “Politics is a world of words. Hart, R. P., Childers, J. P., & Lind, C. J. (2013). Political Tone: How Leaders Talk and Why. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. poorly remembered words, and poorly theorized words.”
    24. 24. • People are “gist processors”…taking what they need and leaving the rest. • People listen for context (yes), but they also listen for lexical weight. • People do their own “dictionary look ups” Hart, R. P., Childers, J. P., & Lind, C. J. (2013). Political Tone: How Leaders Talk and Why. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    25. 25. DICTION 6.0 Norms Drawn from Hart’s prior DICTION analyses of over 20,000 texts • Political speeches • News coverage • Advertisements • Religious sermons • Scientific reports • Corporate press releases • Corporate financial reports • Public policy speeches • Social protest movements Hart, R. P., & Carroll, C. E. (2011). DICTION 6.0. Austin, TX USA: Digitext, Inc. www.dictionsoftware.com
    26. 26. DICTION CSR Report Content 1. Materiality + Insistence + Centrality 2. Stakeholder inclusiveness + Cooperation + Collectives + Human Interest – Diversity Report Quality 1. Balance + Hardship + Accomplishment – Praise – Satisfaction 2. Timeliness + Present Concern 3. Accuracy + Numerical Terms 4. Clarity – Ambivalence 5. Reliability + Inspiration DICTION Positive Transparency Signals 1. Balance + Hardship + Accomplishment 2. Timeliness +Present Concern 3. Accuracy +Numerical Terms 4. Individual Ownership +Self–reference 5. Guidance + Familiarity 6. Concreteness + Concreteness 7. Stakeholder + Cooperation Inclusiveness + Collectives + Human Interest – Diversity Negative Transparency Signals 1. Anti-balance – Praise – Satisfaction 2. Ambivalence (Anti-clarity) – Ambivalence 3. Assortment – Variety 4. Attachment – Rapport 5. Adornment – Embellishment Carroll, C. E., & Einwiller, S. A. (2014). Disclosure alignment and transparency signaling in CSR reporting. In R. P. Hart (Ed.), Communication and Language Analysis in the Corporate World (pp. 249-270). Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
    27. 27. DICTION NORMS Hart, R. P., & Carroll, C. E. (2011). DICTION 6.0. Austin, TX USA: Digitext, Inc. www.dictionsoftware.com
    28. 28. STEPS 1. Scored the texts with DICTION, 2.Examined DICTION’s Insistence words 3.Parsed out DICTION’s Insistence words about CAMPUS (topical density) 4.Scored the measure of CAMPUS 5.Compared against DICTION’s norms 6.Compared each CSR Report against the sample CAMPUS Constituents Audiences Markets Publics Users Stakeholders
    29. 29. AN EXAMPLE OF INSISTENCE Yak! Yak! Yak! Yak! Yak! Mom when you were growing up
    30. 30. Mom when you were growing up AN EXAMPLE OF TOPICAL DENSITY Clean Your Room! Wipe off your feet when you come in the house. Fill the tank up with gas! Why weren’t you home before midnight? Get a haircut!
    31. 31. DICTION’S INSISTENCE MEASURE AND ITS HISTORICAL NORMS • Insistence counts repeated words within concentrated passages (500-word increments), thereby measuring the degree to which a text stays on-topic (or changes topic) over the course of a text • Captures all words appearing 3 or more times within a 500 word passage. Hart, R. P., Childers, J. P., & Lind, C. J. (2013). Political Tone: How Leaders Talk and Why. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    32. 32. INSISTENCE Count of words appearing 3 or more times X Sum of words appearing 3 or more times + .10 Add scores of the 500 word passages/divided by number of 500-word passages
    33. 33. CAMPUS TOPICAL DENSITY MEASURE Count of the eligible CAMPUSIG-nouns X Sum of the eligible CAMPUSIG-nouns + .10 Add scores of the 500 word passages/divided by number of 500-word passages For each firm’s report:
    34. 34. 2 HUMAN CODERS, W/1 INDEPENDENT REVIEWER • The two coders had to agree that a word was eligible for the CAMPUS topical density measure. • A tie breaker.
    35. 35. COMPARISON OF SCORES Compared against DICTION’s historical norms for insistence (above, within, and below the norms) Scores standardized. >+1 Z score: above the norm <1 to >-1 Z scores:“within” the norm < -1 Z score: “below” the norm CAMPUS Constituents Audiences Markets Publics Users Stakeholders Candidate for Argument Pro Homine Insufficient Stakeholder Inclusiveness
    36. 36. SUMMARY Descriptives • 255 unique CAMPUS terms • Used 3,555 times GRI vs non-GRI firms • Firms declaring public support for the GRI’s reporting principles had slightly more stakeholder inclusiveness, but the difference was marginal (p < .10)
    37. 37. TOPICAL DENSITY MAPSThe CAMPUS term “employees” had the largest degree of topical density, followed by suppliers, and then customers The CAMPUS terms with least topical density included girls, elderly, educator, scientist, policy maker, advocates, farmer
    38. 38. DISTRIBUTION OF FIRMS FOR STAKEHOLDER INCLUSIVENESS TOPICAL DENSITY Against DICTION’s historical norms • 35 of 36 firms fell within the normative range for DICTION’s Insistence • 1 firm fell below the norm. “Norms” within the sample • 5 of 36 firms were above the norm (Z score of +1 or higher) • 25 firms were “within” the norm (Z score • 6 of 36 firms were below the norm (Z score of -1 or lower)
    39. 39. CONCLUSIONS • Presence of pro homine appears when just considering the sample, but not evident when compared against DICTION’s historical norms • Appeared possible within 5 of 36 firms
    40. 40. FUTURE RESEARCH 1. Establishment of CSR norms for CAMPUS topical density using larger sample (full Global Forbes 500, and examined over time. 2. CSR reports compared on a per topic basis (Product, Labor, Society, Human Rights, Environment, Economic Performance) 3. Comparing within CAMPUS/stakeholder groups (Employees, Customers, Investors, Community, Partners, Regulators)

    ×