Corporate Social Responsibility - AU .Corporate Social Responsibility ... There are a lot of values

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Corporate Social Responsibility

The Act of Creating Awareness of CSR Activities for H&M

MASTER THESIS

Written by:

Anne Ledertoug Vogel Cand.ling.merc, English 20093938

International Market Communication and PR Aarhus University

August 2014

Supervisor:

Leila Trapp

Department of Business Communication

Aarhus University

Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this master thesis is to examine H&Ms CSR communication in terms of strategy, content and

communication channels in order to gain insight into how they communicate their CSR activities to

customers in terms of creating awareness for H&Ms CSR activities.

Design/method/approach:

The thesis employs a case study approach in order to gather relevant data to use as findings. The data

collecting methods used were interview, document analysis and questionnaire. The interview was with

Christina Jrgensen who is Fashion PR Manager at H&M Denmark. The documents used were CSR

communication from H&M and the questionnaire was conducted via an online provider in order to survey

customers from H&M.

Theory:

The theories used in this thesis are first a general theory of stakeholder management and communication.

This theoretical background leads into the three stakeholder communication strategies presented by

Morsing and Schultz; stakeholder information strategy, stakeholder response strategy and stakeholder

involvement strategy. Next are the inside-out approach, the expert CSR communication process and the

endorsed CSR communication process. The theory section also consists of a content theory for

communicating CSR, theory about communication channels to use for this purpose and also what makes for

effective CSR communication.

Findings:

The findings from the interview with Christina Jrgensen show that H&M uses different strategies when

communicating their CSR activities to customers but the main strategy is the stakeholder information

strategy. There are also examples that can be interpreted as the stakeholder response strategy and the

stakeholder involvement strategy but these examples are few and far apart. The findings from the

document analysis show that H&M mainly uses the subtle way of communicating their CSR activities as

represented by the expert CSR communication process and the endorsed CSR communication process. The

findings from the document analysis also show that H&M uses the communication channels normally

associated with these CSR communication processes such as sustainability reports, information on

corporate websites and press releases. The findings from the questionnaire show that the respondents

think that CSR engagement is important in general, that they notice/pay attention to CSR communicating in

their everyday lives and also that they find the treatment of the employees and the environment the most

important CSR issues. The findings from the questionnaire also show that even though the respondents

notice/pay attention to CSR communication they do not seek out this information on their own.

Conclusions:

The findings from the interview, the document analysis and the questionnaire show indicate that H&M uses

a subtle way of communicating CSR meaning communicating their activities via subtle channels such as CSR

reports and through their corporate website. When customers, as mentioned in the different theories, do

not actively seek CSR information on their own the subtle way of communicating CSR activities, as via CSR

reports and corporate websites, then there is a low chance of creating awareness about CSR activities for

customers as the customers will not see the information.

Characters excl. blanks: 2,781

Normal pages: 1.2 pages

Table of Contents

Abstract ............................................................................................................................................................. 2

Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................... 6

Structure ........................................................................................................................................................ 7

Theoretical part ................................................................................................................................................. 9

What is corporate social responsibility? ....................................................................................................... 9

Strategies ..................................................................................................................................................... 10

General stakeholder management and communication theory ............................................................. 10

Stakeholder information, response and involvement strategies ............................................................ 13

Inside-out approach, expert and endorsed CSR communication processes ........................................... 14

Content ........................................................................................................................................................ 16

Channels ...................................................................................................................................................... 19

What makes for effective CSR communication? ......................................................................................... 21

Stages of Corporate Citizenship .................................................................................................................. 22

Conclusion of the theoretical part ............................................................................................................... 24

Empirical part .................................................................................................................................................. 27

About H&M and CSR values and activities .................................................................................................. 27

Stage of citizenship at H&M ........................................................................................................................ 28

Method ............................................................................................................................................................ 31

Case study .................................................................................................................................................... 31

Design and procedure ............................................................................................................................. 33

About interviews ......................................................................................................................................... 34

Design and procedure ............................................................................................................................. 35

About document analysis ............................................................................................................................ 36

Design and procedure ............................................................................................................................. 38

About questionnaires .................................................................................................................................. 38

Pretesting................................................................................................................................................. 40

Design and procedure ............................................................................................................................. 40

Findings ............................................................................................................................................................ 42

Findings from the interviews with Christina Jrgensen .............................................................................. 42

Findings from the document analysis - CSR communication at H&M ........................................................ 44

Descriptive statistics of the questionnaire .................................................................................................. 49

Findings from the questionnaire ................................................................................................................. 50

Conclusion to findings ..................................................................................................................................... 54

Discussion ........................................................................................................................................................ 56

References ....................................................................................................................................................... 58

Appendix .......................................................................................................................