Advancing CSR Metacommunication

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CSR metacommunication is communication about CSR communication (cf. Castor, 2017; Mateus, 2017). As such, it includes discussions and assessments of corporate CSR ideals, aspirations and claims, comparisons with further CSR efforts, as well as considerations about corporate CSR motives. Metacommunication has potential to add reflexive sophistication to the field of CSR communication. Yet, CSR metacommunication is still in its infancy. Despite increased attention to what communication can do, manifested in a growing number of publications that explicitly apply a constitutive perspective to CSR communication (e.g., Christensen, Morsing & Thyssen, 2013, 2021; Cooren, 2020; Crane & Glozer, 2016; Haack, Schoeneborn, & Wickert, 2012; Penttilä, 2020; Schoeneborn, Morsing & Crane, 2020), common-sense expectations and understandings of CSR communication prevail. The main problem is not so much that such expectations and understandings dominate in media and public debate, but that they are replicated in academic writings. This paper challenges problematic tendencies that keeps reappearing in CSR metacommunication in contemporary academic writings: 1) a tendency to reproduce crude distinctions between CSR communication and action; 2) a tendency to ignore the temporal dimension when assessing CSR communication; and 3) a tendency to consider corporate CSR claims in isolation from CSR claims and efforts of other organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSR Communication Conference 2022 : Conference Proceedings
EditorsHannah Trittin-Ulbrich, Dennis Schöneborn, Matthias Wenzel, Ursa Golob, Klement Podnar
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationLjubljana
PublisherFaculty of Social Sciences. University of Ljubljana
Publication date2022
ISBN (Electronic)9789612950309
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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