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CSR communication in the business-to-business context : an exploratory study

Bemelman, Benthe (2015) CSR communication in the business-to-business context : an exploratory study.

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Abstract:Existing literature suggests that engaging and communicating about CSR is beneficial for organizations as it reaps positive consumer responses. However, in order for CSR to be effective, it requires sophisticated communication strategies. Although some researchers have described ways to communicate about CSR effectively, these studies always took place in a business-to-consumer setting. This study has two objectives. First, it wants to generate a first insight in how business-to-business organizations should communicate about CSR. This objective was fulfilled by conducting qualitative interviews from CSR experts at business-to-business organizations. The second objective was to investigate how business customers respond to their supplier’s CSR communication. This was reached by conducting qualitative interviews with purchasers. Overall, findings indicate that CSR is no longer a strategically disconnected topic and that business-to-business organizations should communicate about CSR being integrated into business strategies. This more integrated approach results in a broader view of CSR in which the supply chain is taken into account. In addition, results from this study suggest the existence of a new motive for organizations to engage in CSR, a rationally-driven motive, which – in the business-to-business context – is preferred over existing motives. These findings suggest that, for business customers, there are different underlying mechanisms for CSR communications as opposed to for consumers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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