Helpful Hypocrisy?: Investigating Humour and ‘Double Talk’ in CSR Communication

Sarah Glozer, Mette Morsing

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

Abstract

Conventional definitions of corporate hypocrisy focus on decoupling talk and action; incidences where an organisation’s ‘talk’ does not match its ‘walk’. In the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR), communications are inherently aspirational and hence prone to accusations of hypocrisy. Is hypocrisy, however, always undesirable? This caseinformed conceptual paper draws upon the Diesel ‘Global Warming Ready’ campaign to investigate the positive role of humour in hypocritical CSR communications. We highlight the moderating role of humour in distinguishing between ‘single talk’ (factual communications) and ‘double- talk’ (interpretative multiplicity in communications). It is double talk that elevates conventional hypocrisy towards a more ‘helpful’ form of hypocrisy that creates message incongruity and mobilises audiences towards critical reflection. We develop a model that identifies four different levels through which double-talk is manifest and discuss the implications of double-talk for organisations and society, carving out an agenda for future research.
Conventional definitions of corporate hypocrisy focus on decoupling talk and action; incidences where an organisation’s ‘talk’ does not match its ‘walk’. In the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR), communications are inherently aspirational and hence prone to accusations of hypocrisy. Is hypocrisy, however, always undesirable? This caseinformed conceptual paper draws upon the Diesel ‘Global Warming Ready’ campaign to investigate the positive role of humour in hypocritical CSR communications. We highlight the moderating role of humour in distinguishing between ‘single talk’ (factual communications) and ‘double- talk’ (interpretative multiplicity in communications). It is double talk that elevates conventional hypocrisy towards a more ‘helpful’ form of hypocrisy that creates message incongruity and mobilises audiences towards critical reflection. We develop a model that identifies four different levels through which double-talk is manifest and discuss the implications of double-talk for organisations and society, carving out an agenda for future research.
LanguageEnglish
Date2018
Number of pages35
StatePublished - 2018
EventPaper Development Workshop - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Jun 20186 Jun 2018

Workshop

WorkshopPaper Development Workshop
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period05/06/201806/06/2018

Bibliographical note

CBS Library does not have access to the material

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Communication
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Humour
  • Hypocrisy
  • Satire

Cite this

Glozer, S., & Morsing, M. (2018). Helpful Hypocrisy? Investigating Humour and ‘Double Talk’ in CSR Communication. Paper presented at Paper Development Workshop, London, United Kingdom.
Glozer, Sarah ; Morsing, Mette. / Helpful Hypocrisy? Investigating Humour and ‘Double Talk’ in CSR Communication. Paper presented at Paper Development Workshop, London, United Kingdom.35 p.
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Glozer, S & Morsing, M 2018, 'Helpful Hypocrisy? Investigating Humour and ‘Double Talk’ in CSR Communication' Paper presented at, London, United Kingdom, 05/06/2018 - 06/06/2018, .

Helpful Hypocrisy? Investigating Humour and ‘Double Talk’ in CSR Communication. / Glozer, Sarah; Morsing, Mette.

2018. Paper presented at Paper Development Workshop, London, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

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T1 - Helpful Hypocrisy?

T2 - Investigating Humour and ‘Double Talk’ in CSR Communication

AU - Glozer,Sarah

AU - Morsing,Mette

N1 - CBS Library does not have access to the material

PY - 2018

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AB - Conventional definitions of corporate hypocrisy focus on decoupling talk and action; incidences where an organisation’s ‘talk’ does not match its ‘walk’. In the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR), communications are inherently aspirational and hence prone to accusations of hypocrisy. Is hypocrisy, however, always undesirable? This caseinformed conceptual paper draws upon the Diesel ‘Global Warming Ready’ campaign to investigate the positive role of humour in hypocritical CSR communications. We highlight the moderating role of humour in distinguishing between ‘single talk’ (factual communications) and ‘double- talk’ (interpretative multiplicity in communications). It is double talk that elevates conventional hypocrisy towards a more ‘helpful’ form of hypocrisy that creates message incongruity and mobilises audiences towards critical reflection. We develop a model that identifies four different levels through which double-talk is manifest and discuss the implications of double-talk for organisations and society, carving out an agenda for future research.

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KW - Communication

KW - Corporate Social Responsibility

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KW - Hypocrisy

KW - Satire

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KW - Corporate Social Responsibility

KW - Humour

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Glozer S, Morsing M. Helpful Hypocrisy? Investigating Humour and ‘Double Talk’ in CSR Communication. 2018. Paper presented at Paper Development Workshop, London, United Kingdom.