The "Attention" Entrapment Phenomenon: A Communication-Centered Perspective on Decoupling in CSR

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenKonferenz-Abstracts in FachzeitschriftenForschungbegutachtet


This paper problematizes the assumption that in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR) ‘aspirational talk’ leads to substantive CSR implementation and a reduction of decoupling between CSR ‘talk’ (public corporate communication about CSR) and CSR ‘walk’ (substantive implementation of CSR policies into business practices). The conditions of this process have been largely unexplored. This study adds to the debate by exploring when and how aspirational talk leads to the reverse effect, meaning an ‘attention entrapment’, by which a firm moves towards even more CSR talk, and risks the reemergence of decoupling. Thereby it contributes to aspirational talk theorizing by stressing that aspirational talk can ‘trap’ corporations to engage into further CSR talk. The study further contributes to the debate on decoupling in CSR by stressing that decoupling is not a transitory, but potentially a cyclical phenomenon. Two conditions are discussed under which an ‘attention entrapment’ is likely to occur: A perceived high level of substantive CSR implementation and a perceived low level of external validation of this commitment.
ZeitschriftAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 30.11.2017
Extern publiziertJa