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Tackling Internal CSR Awareness Challenges: The Case of a German-based Japanese ICT Subsidiary

Hülsmann, Lena (2015) Tackling Internal CSR Awareness Challenges: The Case of a German-based Japanese ICT Subsidiary.

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Abstract:The topic of Corporate Social Responsibility became highly relevant, not only for academia, but especially for the agendas of companies within several industries. Taking into account not only the economic but also the environmental and social impacts of business operations plays a crucial role for strategic planning, business strategies or a company’s mission and vision statements. Research on the involvement of all relevant stakeholder groups, like governments, non-governmental- (NGO) or non-profit organizations (NPO), customers, suppliers, partners, shareholders, employees and the general public has been highly increased within the last two decades. However, the role of one of the most important stakeholder groups, the employees, and their awareness has been rarely researched. Awareness of employees about the CSR performance of a company and their identification represents an essential element for the external communication, representation and image of the company as they are information transmitters to the external environment. Within the ICT industry the importance of a CSR image becomes critical for the (sustainable) competitive advantage of a company, so that a lack of internal awareness about CSR performance can represent a problem. Following the business-problem solving approach of Van Aken, Berends and Van der Bij (2012), the study sheds light on the internal CSR awareness problem based on the case of a German subsidiary of a Japanese ICT company. Sixteen internal interviews revealed that internal awareness problems are caused by inappropriate internal CSR communication, which does not address the employees needs and information which is relevant to their daily business tasks, or which is not provided through appropriate channels .Further employees can be best reached by verbal direct communication through specific persons or experts, CSR leaders. The assumption that involvement of employees is essential in order to raise awareness and positive perception was found to be only partly true. In contrast to existing studies, the findings reveal that only certain employees want or need to be involved. Building on the findings from theory and the interviews, a concept on how to tackle the CSR awareness problem was developed. The concept includes (1) the development of local CSR leaders responsible for social projects, (2) implementation of an internal web-based platform for social project coordination, and (3) providing non-financial incentive in terms of increasing visibility for engaged employees through internal and external communication channels.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68359
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