Communicating Engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility: A Meta-Level Construal of Engagement

  • Devin B
  • Lane A
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Organizations are increasingly seeking stakeholder support through engagement to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility (CSR) credentials. These credentials are, in turn, used to support claims of legitimacy for organizational operations. This article uses a process model of antecedents, implementation, and consequences to study the connection between engagement and CSR. CSR reports show organizations perceive engagement in CSR as both communication and activities between organizations and their stakeholders; and as a second, meta-level of communication about that engagement with stakeholders beyond those directly involved, thereby broadening the scope of organizational claims to legitimacy. Understanding what engagement is and how and why it is carried out in CSR provides a framework for understanding engagement in public relations.

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  • Bree L. Devin

  • Anne B. Lane

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