The Pseudo-Panopticon: TheIllusion Created by CSR-Related Transparency W. Timothy Coombs, PhD Sherry J. Holladay, PhD University of Central Florida, USA Presented at the International CSR Communication Conference Amsterdam, Netherlands 27 October 2011
Pseudo-Panopticon: “Transparency” of CSR Claims StakeholdersWatchdogs CSR Claims Internet
Pseudo- Panopticon• False sense of security• Internet creates transparency myth
Key drivers• CSR can be used to boost reputations• CSR is transparent due to fear of discovery o Wrongdoing exposed online o Wrongdoing is punished
Problems• Unlikely to question CSR claims• Apathy permits corporate control of disclosure• Watchdogs and Internet taken as effective monitors of corporate CSR claims
Future research• To what extent do stakeholders believe CSR information is verified?• What motivates stakeholders to question/research CSR claims?• To what degree do stakeholders believe in the pseudo-panopticon?• What sources do stakeholders consult when verifying CSR claims?