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Maximizing Business Returns to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): The Role of CSR Communication

Authors

  • Shuili Du,

    Corresponding author
    1. Simmons College, 300 the Fenway, Boston, MA 02115, USA,
      Email: shuili.du@simmons.edu; cb@esmt.org or cb@bu.edu; sankar.sen@baruch.cuny.edu
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  • C.B. Bhattacharya,

    Corresponding author
    1. European School of Management and Technology, Schlossplatz 1, Berlin 10178, Germany, and Boston University, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA, and
      Email: shuili.du@simmons.edu; cb@esmt.org or cb@bu.edu; sankar.sen@baruch.cuny.edu
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  • Sankar Sen

    Corresponding author
    1. Baruch College, City University of New York, One Bernard Baruch Way, New York, NY 10010, USA
      Email: shuili.du@simmons.edu; cb@esmt.org or cb@bu.edu; sankar.sen@baruch.cuny.edu
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Email: shuili.du@simmons.edu; cb@esmt.org or cb@bu.edu; sankar.sen@baruch.cuny.edu

Abstract

By engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, companies can not only generate favorable stakeholder attitudes and better support behaviors (e.g. purchase, seeking employment, investing in the company), but also, over the long run, build corporate image, strengthen stakeholder–company relationships, and enhance stakeholders' advocacy behaviors. However, stakeholders' low awareness of and unfavorable attributions towards companies' CSR activities remain critical impediments in companies' attempts to maximize business benefits from their CSR activities, highlighting a need for companies to communicate CSR more effectively to stakeholders. In light of these challenges, a conceptual framework of CSR communication is presented and its different aspects are analyzed, from message content and communication channels to company- and stakeholder-specific factors that influence the effectiveness of CSR communication.

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