Empirical research on CSR-Communication as a Differentiation Tool in the Danish Meeting Industry

Jonas Riis Rosenløv-Løytved & Anna Kjær Steffensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The report examines the influence of CSR communication in B2B customers purchasing process in the Danish meeting industry. The objective of the report is to explore how Scandic Hotels and Comwell Hotels can use CSR communication as a strategic differentiation tool to gain a competitive advantage. Our empirical examples have been drawn from interviews conducted with CSR managers and sales managers from Comwell Hotels and Scandic Hotels, respectively. Furthermore, empirical examples have been obtained from Scandic and Comwell’s corporate websites, annual reports and social media accounts.      The report highlights central aspects of Danish meeting industry and examines competitive forces which determine the attractiveness of the Danish meeting industry. To examine B2B customers buying process Fawzy and Samra’s site-selection framework has been applied. Price, flexibility, transparency and confidence in the suppliers’ ability to satisfy customer needs was identified as the most crucial criteria. Furthermore, confidence in the suppliers’ ability to satisfy customer needs is highly influenced by personal ties. Flexibility, transparency and personal ties are buying criteria which reduce the perceived risk of the purchase. However, CSR is only valued to some extent depending on the customer. To examine how Scandic and Comwell can gain a competitive advantage through CSR communication Matten and Moon’s framework examining implicit and explicit CSR communication has been applied. Our analysis has been supplemented by Morsing, Schultz and Nielsen’s theory on CSR-communication in a Danish context. The results demonstrate that Comwell and Scandic have adopted both implicit and explicit approaches to CSR. The findings suggest employees are used in both companies to distribute CSR messages and increase credibility among customers. However, both companies refrain from engaging in dialogue with B2B customers. Finally, the report discusses whether CSR communication can be a crucial buying criterion in a B2B context. The implications of the report suggest that B2B companies purchasing meetings for their own consumption are likely to downgrade CSR in their decisionmaking process. The customer perceived value is only partly created through CSR communication. The majority of the B2B customers anticipate CSR-actives. However, CSR is not perceived as a crucial buying criterion. Hence, CSR is perceived as a bonus but not a necessity

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages179
SupervisorsJacob Taarup-Esbensen