Corporate Social Responsibility in Poland :Businesses' Self-Presentations

Barbara Mazur

Abstract


20th International Scientific Conference; Economics and Management 2015, ICEM 2015, 06-08 May 2015, Kaunas, Lithuania

Corporate Social Responsibility in Poland :Businesses' Self-Presentations

Barbara Mazur

Bialystok University of Technology , ul. Wiejska 45 A, 15-351 Bialystok, Poland

Purpose. The main purpose of the paper is to present the extent and content of businesses’ communications about corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Poland. In particular, the study investigates the CSR actions and issues discussed in web pages.

Methodology. The Fortune 100 2014 ranking of businesses in Poland were used as a sample frame (purposeful sample). The study focused on corporate signature web pages. A procedure was defined to seek information about CSR in the web pages based on the investigation of 100 corporate sites. The search was limited to the web pages areas that directly referred to the responsibilities and commitment of the company either to society, environment and economy. Links to these relevant areas were searched for either in the home page or in a section providing general company information.

Results. The results show that the biggest businesses in Poland do not display the same eagerness to appear as socially responsible and employ diverse means to convey social responsibility images. However, many businesses are eager to display their CSR principles and social and environmental actions in order to communicate a positive image of their identity and to gain legitimacy along with support among stakeholders.

The theoretical contribution.

Over the past few years, businesses and academic researchers alike have displayed increased levels of interest for corporate social responsibility. In particular, recent research suggests that CSR may be an excellent instrument to enhance the legitimacy of the firm among its stakeholders (e.g., Handelman and Arnold, 1999) and to develop positive social responsibility images (e.g., Brown and Dacin, 1997; Sen and Bhattacharya, 2001). The value of the paper to is in the coding scheme which was developed based on an analysis of 100 web pages. The coding scheme employed was based on the conceptualization of CSR as three dimensions– social, economic and environmental.

Practical implications. Some studies have started to investigate how businesses use communications to highlight their commitment to CSR (e.g., Esrock and Leichty, 1998; Hooghiemstra, 2000). Against this backdrop, the present study examines how businesses in Poland communicate about CSR in their web pages. The research findings can be used to show the best practices in the respect of CSR communication.

Key words: corporate responsibility, on-line communication, Polish companies

Paper type: Research paper.


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