Contributing via Internal Social Media towards a better CSR Communication at the Top and Throughout an Organization Theoretical Foundations and New Results from a Qualitative Case Study and an additional Quantitative Interview Survey in Germany

18 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2022

See all articles by Holger Sievert

Holger Sievert

Macromedia University; Technische Universitaet Munchen (TUM); University of Cambridge; Institute for Public Relations

Riccardo Wagner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Tobias Weiler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 4-6, 2021

Abstract

This paper gives an overview of how internal social media might be reshaping communication
regarding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the top as well as throughout an
organization. Its approach is based on the theoretical differentiation between sensegiving or
sensemaking according to Weick. The results of this study are based on a two-pronged
methodological approach: on one hand, a comprehensive qualitative research approach is used,
which consists of a combination of interviews, observations and document analysis of a case
study of the internal CSR communication in a medium-sized German insurance company. On the
other hand, an additional quantitative online interview survey was conducted on the same issues,
with a sample size of approximately 200 German companies.
The results show very clearly that so far the conditions which influence the CSR process
are predominantly top-down oriented and even if participation is required, it is rarely realized. As
the theoretical analysis will postulate and the quantitative results will show, it is only if these
structures and the hierarchies behind them are culturally opened (e.g. via the effective use of
internal social media) that the internal CSR communication can become sensemaking-oriented. If
companies really want to act in more responsible way, a more communicative approach is
needed concerning CSR communication and management. In this context, CSR communication
via internal social media can be a role model for more interactive internal communication in
general.

Keywords: Internal Communication, Internal Media, Enterprise Social Network, CSR, Public Relations

JEL Classification: Sievert, Holger and Wagner, Riccardo and Weiler, Tobias, Contributing via Internal Social Media towa

Suggested Citation

Sievert, Holger and Wagner, Riccardo and Weiler, Tobias, Contributing via Internal Social Media towards a better CSR Communication at the Top and Throughout an Organization Theoretical Foundations and New Results from a Qualitative Case Study and an additional Quantitative Interview Survey in Germany (March 4-6, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4036563 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4036563

Holger Sievert (Contact Author)

Macromedia University ( email )

Head of Media School
Bruederstr. 17
Cologne, 50667
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.hochschule-macromedia.de/pr

Technische Universitaet Munchen (TUM)

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, 88045
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.communicate-program.de

University of Cambridge

Churchill College
Storey's Way
Cambridge, CB3 0DS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.cam.ac.uk

Institute for Public Relations

PO Box 118400
2096 Weimer Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611.8400
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.instituteforpr.org/

Riccardo Wagner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Tobias Weiler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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