CSR communication: quo vadis?

Ursa Golob, Klement Podnar, Wim Elving, Anne Ellerup Nielsen, Christa Thomsen, Friederike Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

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Purpose – This paper aims to introduce the special issue on CSR communication attached to the First International CSR Communication Conference held in Amsterdam in October 2011. The aim of the introduction is also to review CSR communication papers published in scholarly journals in order to make a summary of the state of CSR communication knowledge. Design/methodology/approach – The existing literature on CSR communication was approached via systematic review. with a combination of conventional and summative qualitative content analysis. The final dataset contained 90 papers from two main business and management databases, i.e. EBSCOhost and ProQuest.
Findings – Papers were coded into three main categories. The results show that the majority of the papers are concerned with disclosure themes. Considerably less salient are papers that fall under process-oriented themes and the outcomes/consequences of CSR communications. The most important outlets for CSR communication-related topics are Journal of Business Ethics and Corporate Communications: An International Journal.
Originality/value – This paper represents the first attempt to perform a systematic and comprehensive overview of CSR communication papers in scholarly journals. Its value is in making this rather vast and heterogeneous literature more visible and accessible to all CSR communication scholars.
Keywords - CSR communication, Scholarly journals, Systematic review, Content analysis, Special issue, Journals, Social responsibility
Paper type - Research paper
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-192
JournalCorporate communications: an international journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventCSR Communication conference - Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Sept 201123 Sept 2011


  • corporate communication
  • social responsibility


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