CSR as Aspirational Talk

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Most writings on corporate social responsibility (CSR) treat lack of consistency between organizational CSR talk and action as a serious problem that needs to be eliminated. In this article, we argue that differences between words and action are not necessarily a bad thing and that such discrepancies have the potential to stimulate CSR improvements. We draw on a research tradition that regards communication as performative to challenge the conventional assumption that CSR communication is essentially superficial, as opposed to CSR action. In addition, we extend notions of organizational hypocrisy to argue that aspirational CSR talk may be an important resource for social change, even when organizations do not fully live up to their aspirations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization
Volume20
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)372-393
ISSN1350-5084
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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