Corporate communication and impression management – new perspectives why companies engage in corporate social reporting

Journal of Business Ethics 27 (1-2):55 - 68 (2000)

Abstract

This paper addresses the theoretical framework on corporate social reporting. Although that corporate social reporting has been analysed from different perspectives, legitmacy theory currently is the dominating perspective. Authors employing this framework suggest that social and environmental disclosures are responses to both public pressure and increased media attention resulting from major social incidents such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the chemical leak in Bhopal (India). More specifically, those authors argue that the increase in social disclosures represent a strategy to alter the public''s perception about the legitimacy of the organisation. Therefore, we suggest using corporate communication as an overarching framework to study corporate social reporting in which corporate image and corporate identity are central.

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