Corporate Social Responsibility, Reputation, and Moral Communication: A Constructivist View

Friederike Schultz

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    Conditions and notions of corporate reputation underwent in the last years a fundamental change. Economic and technological processes of globalization, modernization, and rationalization enforced the institutionalization of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the corporate world. It is often assumed, that CSR positively affects corporate reputation and leads to financial benefits, although empirical evidence and an appropriate conceptualization of reputation are often missing. This chapter discusses the relation between CSR and reputation by taking a meta-perspective: it presents and critically discusses insights from instrumental perspectives and from political-normative perspectives (legitimacy, business ethics). It alternatively develops a constructivist communication view on CSR, building on the “communication constitutes organizations” perspective and a non-dualist turn. It argues that CSR is a symbolically mediated, communicative event, which, based on the underlying dynamics of moral communication, does not simply produce reputation, but also result in dysfunctional effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Communication and Corporate Reputation
    EditorsCraig E. Carroll
    Place of PublicationChichester
    Publication date2013
    ISBN (Print)9780470670989
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Communicative view
    • Constructivist view
    • Corporate reputation
    • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
    • Instrumental-functionalist view
    • Legitimacy
    • Moral communication
    • Political-normative view

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