Session 11, Jancic

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Values, Identity & CSR

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Session 11, Jancic

  1. 1. Prof. dr. Zlatko Jancic Non-communication of corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  2. 2. <ul><li>Corporate social responsibility is the answer to the crisis of neo-liberal capitalis m . It is a way to “re-embed” the economy in a wider societal context (Midttun et al., 2006, p. 369). </li></ul><ul><li>RQ: Is conspicuous communication of the CSR activities than sufficient or even the optimal path towards this goal? </li></ul>
  3. 3. CSR communication matrix <ul><li>Golob, Jancic, Lah (2009) </li></ul>Self-evidence Strategy I mage YES Self-evidence I gnorance NO CSR Marketing communication and PR YES NO CSR orientation/ behaviour
  4. 4. You can “not communicate”
  5. 5. CSR and VoC <ul><li>The European “implicit” attitude towards CSR , v s US/UK “explicit” (Matten and Moon, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>The European institutional scene is not uniform : Continental, Nordic, Mediterranean , British , etc . </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons: culture/history, legislation, religion. </li></ul>
  6. 6. CSR non-communication <ul><li>French historical, religious and cultural reasons, moral reasons of Denmark , national/local reasons of Austria etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional obligation to society since the early beginnings of European industrialization/legacy of utopian socialists. </li></ul><ul><li>Discretion is deemed more sincere. </li></ul><ul><li>“ T he more a company communicates about its moral values, the more likely the company is to attract the attention of critical journalists and hereby to put its reputation at stake” (Valentin in Morsing, 2003, p. 151 . </li></ul>
  7. 7. The case of Slovenia <ul><li>The ideology of socialist self-management system introduced in the 50s abandoned in the 90s. </li></ul><ul><li>S ocial embeddedness of companies as a (declared) “conditio sine qua non” of every business endeavor. </li></ul><ul><li>C ompulsory practices ; enterprises were obliged to share their wealth with broader society (what in practice often meant to support the economic inefficiency of other companies and under developed regions) . </li></ul><ul><li>CSR was considered as self-evident and conspicuous marketing communication would seem redundant ! </li></ul>
  8. 8. Back to the square 1 <ul><li>After joining the EU and embracing the discontinuous and rather undigested rules of capitalism, things in Slovenia rapidly changed. Disappointed with the poor economic efficiency of the socialist system, the business community then uncritically embraced the idealization of the market economy in its outdated classical form . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Dissapointment <ul><li>“ N ational interest”, connected with the irrational fear of foreign ownership that might tear up the fabric of the social embeddedness of companies . </li></ul><ul><li>Some of such stories ended in the realization that the so-called national interest was nothing more than the individual or privileged group self-interest of the “nouveaux riches”. </li></ul><ul><li>S ince the concept of CSR strongly resemble s some vague memories of the socialist self-management system it was and sometimes still is belittled by the financial press. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Conclusion <ul><li>CSR when substantively performed need not be explicitly and conspicuously communicated in order to achieve the trust of stakeholders and thus superior business results. </li></ul><ul><li>A self-evident approach is efficient and credible option especially where historical, religious, cultural, legislative and ideological reasons demand restraint in CSR communication. </li></ul><ul><li>When, eventually, CSR grows into a necessary part of business “social contract” self-evidence might become a norm to regain a social embeddedness of business, even. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Thank you

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