1 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Language and Business Communication, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
CSR understandings and practices, including ways corporations communicate about CSR, are in constant flux due to innovation and changing stakeholder expectations, which in turn are influenced by inevitable changes in social, political and economic circumstances. In this paper, focus in on the growing expectation that companies address large, global issues (Stohl, Stohl & Popova, 2009). Through a case study of a unique and innovative CSR campaign that addresses global climate change, this paper revisits the understanding of CSR as a shift in roles and responsibilities between corporations, governments and civil society (Van Marrewijk, 2003). Within this framework, the case study contributes to our understanding of the motivation for the increasing number of CSR partnerships between business and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (Googins & Rochlin, 2000). More specifically, the analysis reveals that if a corporate CSR campaign fosters and enacts a blurring, or even elimination, of sector boundaries to reach campaign aims, important inherent distinctions between business, government, and civil organizations ultimately remain salient to the public. Unless these sector distinctions are recognized and maintained in CSR campaigns, challenges to a company’s credibility and reputation can arise. Key words: corporate social responsibility, corporate communication, cross-sector partnerships, corporate sustainability, campaigns, collaboration Paper type: case study Googins, B. K., Rochlin, S. A. (2000). Creating the partnership society: Understanding the rhetoric and reality of cross-sectoral partnerships. Business and Society Review, 105(1), 127-144. Stohl, C., Stohl, M. & Popova, L. (2009). A new generation of corporate codes of ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 90(4), 607-622. Van Marrewijk, M. (2003). Concepts and definitions of CSR and corporate sustainability: between agency and communion. Journal of Business Ethics, 44(2), 95-105.