Developing a framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication expressiveness on hotel corporate websites : case study of top hotels in Asia

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Developing a framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication expressiveness on hotel corporate websites : case study of top hotels in Asia

 

Author: Lee, Mei Sang Amy
Title: Developing a framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication expressiveness on hotel corporate websites : case study of top hotels in Asia
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2014
Subject: Social responsibility of business -- Asia.
Hotels -- Asia.
Business communication.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xiii, 298 pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2761682
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7787
Abstract: Companies strive to operate and succeed in a socially responsible manner in this emerging age of responsibility. Revealing the corporate social responsibility (CSR) identity to be perceived as exactly who they are and sharing the CSR efforts to create more substantial effects have become more important in the business world. The capacity to expressively and effectively communicate the CSR identity across relevant stakeholders, referred to as CSR communication expressiveness in this study, has been increasingly emphasized. Verbal messaging is the core in creating meanings in communication and has a crucial role in conveying the CSR identity when supported with actual CSR behaviors and executed with skill and conscience. Nevertheless, the importance of verbal messaging has not been fully recognized in the existing limited CSR communication research. This empirical study aims to develop a framework of CSR communication expressiveness with major CSR messaging principles and underlying tactics on hotel corporate websites to address the knowledge gap. An exploratory qualitative approach was used in this study. The approach involved five iterative stages in data collection and analysis, namely, exploring concepts with subject experts, collecting empirical findings from analyzing the content of corporate websites of top hotels in Asia, and verifying and triangulating the results of analysis with hotel corporate CSR persons. The concept of corporate communication expressiveness to communicate corporate identity was based upon to form the foundation of the framework of CSR communication expressiveness in this study.
CSR communication objectives that were uncovered could be broadly categorized into creating business value and creating a better world. In most of the websites analyzed, CSR was communicated in corporate communication functions. Nine CSR messaging principles that were indicated by 29 underlying messaging tactics were confirmed to develop the framework. Four core messaging principles of transparency, sincerity, responsibility, and education were identified as key drivers in CSR communication on hotel corporate websites. Transparency was indicated by comprehensiveness, credibility, explanation, and optimal disclosure. Sincerity was indicated by authenticity, honesty, integrity, and stakeholder concern. Responsibility was indicated by admission and commitment, balance, core, professionalism, and responsiveness. Education was indicated by critique, engagement, inspiration and creativity, and knowledge sharing. Five other important messaging principles of consistency, ambition, compassion, distinctiveness, and visibility were identified as well. Consistency was indicated by dynamic consistency and key themes. Ambition was indicated by circularity, localizability, pioneering, and scalability. Compassion was indicated by humility and loving kindness. Distinctiveness was indicated by leadership and promises. Visibility was indicated by prominence and coverage. The results of analysis indicate that CSR has to be communicated as an integral part of corporate communication with a holistic approach to orchestrate these CSR messaging principles coherently, thus driving CSR communication expressiveness. This study contributes to the knowledge and practices of CSR identity communication on hotel websites with a framework of CSR communication expressiveness that includes a set of messaging principles and tactics and explains the underlying rationale and application to illustrate their importance.

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