The paper introduces the communication view on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which regards CSR as communicatively constructed in dynamic interaction processes in today's networked societies. Building on the idea that communication constitutes organizations we discuss the potentially indeterminate, disintegrative, and conflictual character of CSR. We hereby challenge established mainstream views on CSR such as the instrumental view, which regards CSR as an organizational instrument to reach organizational aims such as improved reputation and financial performance, and the political-normative view on CSR, which highlights the societal conditions and role of corporations in creating norms. We argue that both the established views, by not sufficiently acknowledging communication dynamics in networked societies, remain biased in three ways: control-biased, consistency-biased, and consensus-biased. We discuss implications of these biases and propose a future research agenda for the communication view on CSR.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2013, Vol 115, Issue 4, p. 681-692
CCO; Communication; Corporate social responsibility; Legitimacy; Network society