CSR communication through social media: What happens when control over communication is lost?

Delia Matei

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Social media has revolutionized the traditional media by empowering stakeholders and facilitating their access to information. In the current paper, the emphasis is placed on the importance of social media to organizations and its potential as a communication instrument with regard to corporate social responsibility (CSR) matters. Based on a theoretical foundation consisting of identity and image, corporate social responsibility, and social media, the thesis is set in the context in which due to the rising demand from stakeholders, companies need not only to integrate sustainability activities in their operations but also communicate about such actions to their stakeholders. In addition, communication over social media implies certain drawbacks in terms of control, but also certain benefits regarding stakeholder engagement. To address this challenge, by means of a discourse analysis, McDonald’s was chosen as the foundation of the current research. The company has been under extensive criticism, ranging from serving unhealthy food to damaging the environment, and exploiting children and employees. Thus, it is important how such a condemned company chooses to communicate its CSR activities through social media and how effective these strategies are.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages89