Connecting Parties for Change: A Qualitative Study into Communicative Drivers for Animal Welfare in the Food Industry
29 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 24, 2018
Communication by companies plays an important role in Corporate (Social) Responsibility (CSR). One of the optional CSR topics is animal welfare. This exploratory qualitative study reveals which factors of communication stimulate an attitude of responsibility towards animals in companies in the animal-based food industry (producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers). It shows that a manager who is made responsible for animal welfare in a company can strengthen the company’s ethical position in two ways. The first one is to connect with stakeholders within and outside the company. The second way is to facilitate, as a moderator, connections between these stakeholders in which the manager is not involved per se. In both cases, if these connections take the form of personal meetings, this is extra helpful for enhancing a responsible attitude towards animals, because that is how insight, trust and collaboration are gained and sustained. We present a model outlining all supportive communicative connections, and a summary of communication channels that are used to effectuate them. Finally, we offer practical advice for those managers who want to reinforce a positive change in the field of animal welfare in the food industry.
Keywords: CSR, manager, animal welfare, animal ethics, corporate responsibility, communication, stakeholders
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