Stakeholder Dissonance: Corporate Social Responsibility Versus Regulation. A Study of a Trust Recovery Process

Linne Marie Lauesen

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


    The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the question of whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be used as a link of trust between business and society, and which role CSR plays in recovering distrust in businesses. It uses a mixed methods study of processes of moving businesses within the Danish water sector from a general trust-breakdown to trust recovery from 2003 to 2013.
    Trust recovery is found to depend on stakeholders’ mutual engagement with each other and their willingness to share knowledge and learn from each other’s professional and institutional cultures and languages. An alignment of vocabularies of motives between regulation and voluntary CSR is found to be useful for building trust between conflicting parties. Furthermore the findings shows that the more stakeholders’ languages, motives and logics can coexist, the more trust can be recovered.
    The research is limited by a study of one business sector in one country and the findings have implications greater than the local contexts of which it is researched, because it is usable in other sectors that suffer from severe trust-breakdowns such as government systems in both the public and private sectors.
    This chapter suggests a theoretical extension of Bogenschneider and Corbett’s (2010) Community Dissonance Theory to embrace multiple stakeholders each having their own complex and unique culture and communication modus based on their institutional, professional or individual comprehensive language universes. This includes knowledge-sharing and educative diffusion of the stakeholders’ language universes’ vocabularies including its important nouns, verbs, terminologies, semantics, taxonomies and axioms as well as the stakeholders’ motives and logics implemented into these universes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAccountability and Social Responsibility : International Perspectives
    EditorsDavid Crowther, Linne Marie Lauesen
    Number of pages35
    Place of PublicationBingley
    PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Print)9781786353849
    ISBN (Electronic)9781786353832
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    SeriesDevelopments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility


    • Community dissonance theory
    • Stakeholder dissonance
    • Trust
    • Vocabularies of motives

    Cite this