CSR communcation: trigger of crisis risk?

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Regine Herbrik - Speaker

Paula Maria Bögel - Speaker

Sigrid Bekmeier-Feuerhahn - Coauthor

So far, it has mostly been emphasized in CSR communication research that CSR lead to risk reduction, particularly it has been argued that successful CSR engagements improve company’s reputation and thus helps to reduce crisis risks. However, more recently, a new stream of research develops that explores the role of CSR itself as crisis risk: Today, companies are strictly monitored by stakeholders and recent scandals show the empowerment of stakeholders to disclosure irresponsible behavior. For example, Greenpeace has publicly denounced Nestlé for the use of palm oil. The topic has been taken up by the media, leading to significant crisis for Nestlé. Companies who have raised high expectations towards their CSR standards through their CSR communication particularly risk significant reputation damages in case of such attacks. Moreover, the CSR communication itself could enhance the probability to come into the focus of critical stakeholders. Thus, CSR communication itself could become a crisis risk. The aim of this research is to explore under which conditions CSR communication could lead to a CSR based crisis. Based on attribution theory particularly the role of company’s image prior to the CSR crisis is examined. To answer the research question, the case of Vattenfall is examined using discourse analysis.


18. Fachtagung der Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftspsychologie - GWPs 2015: Herausforderungen begegnen – Lösungen gestalten: Praxisrelevanz und Interdisziplinarität der wirtschaftspsychologischen Forschung


Heide, Germany

Event: Conference